Eagles' Rooting Guide for NFL Playoff Implications of Week 15

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistDecember 18, 2021

Eagles' Rooting Guide for NFL Playoff Implications of Week 15

0 of 3

    Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

    The lone benefit of the Philadelphia Eagles playing on Tuesday night is they will know exactly what is needed to improve their standing in the NFC wild-card race. 

    Philadelphia's rescheduled game with the Washington Football Team is one of two NFC divisional clashes that were moved from Sunday to Tuesday. The Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks also play Tuesday. 

    The Eagles can directly improve their playoff spot by beating the Football Team, who comes into Week 15 in seventh place in the NFC.

    A win over Washington is the most likely outcome that would help the Eagles' playoff hopes over the next few days. 

    Philadelphia needs to hope for upsets elsewhere. The Minnesota Vikings and San Francisco 49ers are both heavy favorites on Sunday. 

Bears over Vikings

1 of 3

    Aaron Gash/Associated Press

    The Eagles should be big fans of the Chicago Bears on Monday night. 

    The Bears could upset the Minnesota Vikings, and that would help the Eagles' playoff hopes regardless of a win or loss on Tuesday. 

    Chicago was competitive for a half against the Green Bay Packers in Week 14, but then the superior talent took over at Lambeau Field. 

    Justin Fields and Co. will try to build off that performance in prime time on home soil against a Minnesota team with all of the pressure on its shoulders. 

    Minnesota is ahead of Philadelphia thanks to a better win percentage in common games. Both franchises have a 6-7 overall record and a 4-4 conference mark. 

    The Eagles can move ahead in both of those records with a win over Washington and a Chicago victory. 

    That scenario would open the door for the Eagles to gain separation since the Vikings play the Los Angeles Rams and Green Bay Packers in the next two weeks. 

Falcons over 49ers

2 of 3

    John Bazemore/Associated Press

    Philadelphia needs a lot of help from San Francisco's final four opponents to make its wild-card path clearer. 

    The 49ers are one game ahead of the Eagles in the standings, and they carry a head-to-head win over them from Week 2. 

    That means the Eagles have to be two games better than the 49ers in the last four contests to have a shot at jumping them in the wild-card standings. 

    The far-fetched scenario needs to go into play on Sunday at Levi's Stadium. The Atlanta Falcons are the clear underdog in the game, but they are technically still fighting for their playoff spot as well. 

    Atlanta is buried beneath the Eagles because of its Week 1 loss to Jalen Hurts and Co. It needs to win and get help from Washington to remain in the wild-card conversation. 

    If Atlanta pulls off the road upset, more chaos will take place in the NFC wild-card standings. There could be at least four 7-7 teams if that happens. 

    That would benefit the Eagles since they have head-to-head wins over the entire NFC South outside of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and they have an easier finishing schedule than Minnesota. 

    San Francisco could be susceptible to a slip-up since it faces a short week to play the Tennessee Titans on Thursday. 

    If the Niners fall to the Falcons, they could finish 1-3 with defeats to the Titans and Los Angeles Rams. 

Buccaneers over Saints

3 of 3

    Mark LoMoglio/Associated Press

    The Eagles do not have to worry about the New Orleans Saints as long as the two sides have the same record. 

    Philadelphia owns a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Saints, but it never hurts to remove some direct competition from a playoff race. 

    New Orleans is expected to lose to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday night at Raymond James Stadium.

    Tampa Bay is in the thick of the hunt for the No. 1 seed, a race that opened up after the Arizona Cardinals lost to the Los Angeles Rams. 

    A Tampa Bay win on Sunday presents the best-case scenario for the Eagles since the Saints have a mildly easy finish against the Carolina Panthers, Miami Dolphins and Falcons. The Saints could get hot and win their final three games. 

    In case that happens, the Eagles need the Bucs to drop the Saints to 6-8 to at least remain ahead of New Orleans on the head-to-head tiebreaker going into Week 16.