The Eagles' simplest path to the NFL playoffs
The Eagles need to win out and get a little help. They got some of that help on Monday night.
What will it take for the Eagles to make the playoffs?
After the Eagles' upset win over the Rams on Sunday night and other NFL action in Week 15, the team’s chances for a playoff spot jumped to 39 percent, according to FiveThirtyEight.
With a win over Houston, they jump to 53 percent. A win over Washington, 75 percent. If the Eagles beat just one of those teams, the probability of them making the playoffs hovers between 14-20 percent.
If the playoffs began right now, the NFC field would be:
New Orleans Saints (NFC South winner), 12-2
Los Angeles Rams (NFC West winner), 11-3
Chicago Bears (NFC North winner), 10-4
Dallas Cowboys, 8-6
Seattle Seahawks, 8-6
Minnesota Vikings, 7-6-1
Those wild-card spots are up for grabs — the Panthers and Washington are still in play as well.
What is the easiest way for the Eagles to make the playoffs?
The first thing they can do is help themselves: By winning their final two games, this Sunday at home against the Texans and Dec. 30 on the road at Washington, the Eagles will have a much easier path to the postseason.
Then, it will take a little help. They already got some when the Saints beat Carolina on Monday night, dropping the Panthers to 6-8. The Eagles also need the Vikings to lose one of their final two games. Minnesota will play at Detroit this Sunday and close out the season with the NFC North champion Chicago Bears. If the Vikings lose once, they’ll be 8-7-1.
The Eagles, if they do win out, would finish 9-7 and pick up a wild-card berth.
For the Eagles to win the NFC East, the Cowboys would need to lose their final two games — this week against 5-9 Tampa Bay, and Week 17 against the 5-9 Giants — and they’d need to win their final two as well.
There are nine other scenarios, according to Jeff McLane, where the Eagles wouldn’t have to beat the Texans and Washington, but those start diving into tiebreakers.
Read more about the Eagles' chances in David Murphy’s column from Los Angeles.