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1-3 Philadelphia Eagles Can Still Reach Playoffs with Favorable Schedule

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 29:  Quarterback Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles is sacked by outside linebacker Shaun Phillips #90 of the Denver Broncos in the third quarter of a game at Sports Authority Field Field at Mile High on September 29, 2013 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images
Yueh HoCorrespondent ISeptember 30, 2013

After losing their third straight game of the season on Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles are 1-3. While the team is down, it is certainly not out, as the Eagles remain just one game back in the NFC East.

The Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants both suffered losses in Week 4, with current records of 2-2 and 0-4, respectively. The Redskins got their first win of the season this week to push their record to 1-3, but the Eagles own the tiebreaker against them.

This puts the Eagles in second place in the NFC East and one game back of the division lead.

1-3 may be a deep hole, but it is not an insurmountable one. As the Associated Press (h/t Vikings.com) notes, many teams have gone 1-3 before and went on the make the postseason. Most notably, the 2001 New England Patriots started 1-3 and ended the season with a Super Bowl win.

In such a weak division, the Eagles cannot be counted out just yet—especially when they still have five divisional games left to be played.

Furthermore, the Eagles have a very favorable schedule coming up. Below is who they're set to face over the rest of the 2013-14 season:

Of the Eagles' remaining 12 opponents, only two have a record above .500 (Lions and Bears) and seven are currently below .500. Only three of Philadelphia's upcoming opponents have offenses ranked higher than 15th in the league (Redskins, Lions and Packers).

The Eagles failed to keep up with the Denver Broncos' offense, which is the best in the league. However, they are the second-ranked offense in the NFL and could still win games if they can build early leads—especially once LeSean McCoy is closer to 100 percent.

The offensive line may also gel more as the season goes on and players like Todd Herremans and rookie Lane Johnson get more accustomed to their new positions on the right side.

To get to the postseason, teams must traditionally aim for 10 wins.

But with the NFC East in its weakest state in yearsnot a single team over .500 after four gamesnine wins could be enough to clinch the division.

The Eagles would have to go 8-4 to finish at 9-7, likely with a 4-2 divisional record. Judging by the strength of their remaining schedule and the number of playmakers they have on offense, it's too early to rule them out.

It's an uphill battle and the odds are against them, but the Eagles are still very much alive in 2013. They were just shredded 52-20 by the best offense in the NFL, but they will be facing much weaker offenses in the coming weeks. 

If they can build some more chemistry, they can still fight for first place in their division.

 

Follow Yueh Ho on Twitter @YuehHo

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