The Philadelphia Eagles failed to get assistance in the form of other NFC competitors losing on Sunday but the Birds did help themselves by beating the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday night. The New York Times’ playoff simulator shows how their chances improved:
- Chances of making the playoffs: From >99% to >99%
- Chances of winning the NFC East: From 88% to 93%
- Chances of clinching the No. 1 seed: From 65% to 71%
The Eagles are happy to avoid losing ground after watching the Detroit Lions (who annoyingly pulled off an unlikely comeback), the Dallas Cowboys, and the San Francisco 49ers all win in Week 11. Philly maintained their cushion atop the NFC playoff picture.
On the surface, beating the Chiefs may not seem like the biggest deal when it comes to tiebreakers since they’re an AFC team. But it could actually prove more meaningful than expected since “record against common opponents” could come into play with the Lions if Philly and Detroit end up with an identical conference record. And with the Lions having defeated the Chiefs back in Week 1, they had a chance to have an edge over the Eagles … but now the Birds are 4-0 (instead of 3-1) while the Lions are 2-1 against common opponents.
For the sake of having even more breathing room, the Eagles will still prefer to see their competitors slip up. Coincidentally, their top threats all play again in just a couple of days on Thanksgiving:
As you can see, the odds do not favor the Eagles getting help. But even just one upset would be really nice.
The Eagles can help themselves again with a win over the Buffalo Bills. Sean McDermott’s team was struggling prior to blowing out the New York Jets in Week 11. But they’ll probably bring a good fight to Philly.
Here’s a full look at the NFC side of the NFL playoff picture ahead of Week 12.
NFC PLAYOFF PICTURE
THE TOP SEVEN
1. Philadelphia Eagles (9-1)
2. Detroit Lions (8-2)
3. San Francisco 49ers (7-3)
4. New Orleans Saints (5-5)
5. Dallas Cowboys (7-3)
6. Seattle Seahawks (6-4)
7. Minnesota Vikings (6-5)