With the NFL season halfway through, the playoff picture has begun to take shape. Teams near the bottom are inching closer to playoff elimination, and are coming to terms with an early offseason ahead of them. A cluster of teams still remain alive, however, and despite their stinging loss to the rival Dallas Cowboys, the Philadelphia Eagles are one of them.
Though teams like the 0-8 Browns have all but given up hope on the season—in spite of their bizarre trade for star pass rusher Jaime Collins on Monday—organizations like the Eagles are still in the mix for a playoff spot.
The Eagles currently sit at 4-3, the seventh seed in the NFC if the season ended today. Their 2-3 conference record has them behind teams like the Giants (4-3) and the Packers (4-3) on tiebreaker. However, seven of the Eagles’ remaining nine games are against NFC opponents: their next four games are against the four teams currently ahead of them in the playoff picture. The Eagles’ hunt for a wild card spot is far from over.
But where do the Eagles’ odds at an NFC East title lie? After their overtime loss to the Cowboys on Sunday night, Philadelphia sits in a tie for second in the division with the New York Giants. The Eagles travel to New York this Sunday to try to regain some ground on the Cowboys, who face the winless Browns this weekend. The rest of the schedule looks a bit dicier, with the Vikings, Steelers, and Ravens still to come, along with three more divisional games, and five road games overall.
Though the Eagles’ schedule has several good teams on it as well, they have the benefit of a heavy dose of home cooking. Philadelphia is unbeaten at home so far this season, and will play five of its final nine games at Lincoln Financial Field, including the final two games against the Giants and Cowboys. While the Eagles have no advantage opponent-wise, their lack of travel should help them down the stretch, especially considering their home record thus far.
Photo: Group Canam (via: Wikimedia Commons)