If the NFL playoffs started right now, the Eagles would unfortunately be on the outside looking in, as the seventh seed in an NFC field that includes six teams.
Thankfully the playoffs will not become official for 14 days.
The easiest way for the Eagles to get to January is to win their final two games and have the Cowboys lose one, realistically at home to the 10-4 Indianapolis Colts next week.
A few other scenarios exist, but they are a bit less likely as Detroit, Seattle, or Green Bay would have to lose both of their final two games while the Eagles win both of theirs.
Green Bay faces the lowly Buccaneers next weekend, so let’s rule them out.
Seattle has two tough games at Arizona and home against the Rams, who play all opponents tough and beat the Seahawks earlier in the season, but it is difficult to envision them dropping two straight considering their strong play recently.
That leaves Detroit, the current leader of the NFC North by way of a tiebreaker over the Packers. The Lions will likely be heavy underdogs in the Week 17 bout at Lambeau, but in order for that game to matter to the Eagles, they would need to lose on the road to the struggling Bears next weekend.
Is that possible? You decide. I don’t trust Jay Cutler as far as I can throw him, but the Lions certainly didn’t look like world-beaters in a narrow win over Minnesota today.
Still, the Eagles easiest road remains a backdoor NFC East title with the Cowboys following a December tradition and dropping a pivotal game late.
For all of the issues that went wrong tonight, the Eagles should be far superior to their remaining opponents in the Redskins and Giants.
If help comes, it ideally comes next week by way of the Colts, but stranger things have happened (Think Week 17 in 2008 with the Raiders and Texans opening up a door for them).
Tonight hurt, but it was not a death sentence, and with the birds playing a day early on Saturday, a win will put the pressure squarely on the Cowboys who have struggled at home.
Hope NIck Foles gets cleared, beat a bad Washington team, and bite your nails on Sunday.
The Eagles need help, but it ain’t time to look at mock drafts quite yet.