We had hoped that at this point in the season the Eagles would be comfortably in first place in the NFC East and in control of their own destiny. Unfortunately, that is not how things have played out, and the team finds itself in a position where the results of other games around the league will be just as important as the games the Eagles play.
There’s no denying that the Eagles are in an incredibly difficult spot. However, with four division games remaining and a jumbled NFC playoff picture, all is not lost…yet. With that in mind, let’s highlight some of the key games Eagles fans should keep an eye on as the team looks to get a little outside help.
In addition to their own opponent, Eagles fans will have an eye on Carolina, Minnesota, Green Bay, Atlanta, Seattle, Washington, and Dallas.
Week 11 kicked off with Seattle and Green Bay on Thursday night, with the Seahawks pulling out a 27-24 win. We knew this would produce mixed results for the Eagles with one team getting a win, but at least Seattle’s win came at the expense of the Packers.
Here are the other key Week 11 matchups for the Eagles.
Dallas (4-5) at Atlanta (4-5), 1 PM
Like the Green Bay-Seattle game, one team the Eagles are battling with will get a win while another will take a loss. The Eagles hold a head-to-head win over the Falcons and will get another shot at the Cowboys later this season. It’s debatable what the better outcome for the Eagles would be in this game, so we’ll just look on the bright side that one of them will be taking a loss.
Carolina (6-3) at Detroit (3-6), 1 PM
We’re big time Lions fans in this one. A win from Carolina gives them a stranglehold on the top Wild Card spot, further reducing the Eagles’ playoff hopes. Consequently, a Lions win brings Carolina back to the pack a bit and helps to keep the playoff race much more open.
Houston (6-3) at Washington (6-3), 1 PM
This one is pretty obvious. A Redskins win puts them one step closer to putting the division title out of reach while a loss keeps them within striking distance of the rest of the pack.
Minnesota (5-4-1) at Chicago (6-3), 8:20 PM
A huge Sunday night matchup with major playoff ramifications. The Bears currently control the NFC North, and it’s in the Eagles’ best interest if it remains that way. With the Bears already two games clear of the Birds, the hope is they win this game and go on to win the division. Meanwhile, a Vikings loss puts them at five losses, helping to keep the playoff picture jumbled and the Eagles in the mix.
Obviously, none of this means anything if the Eagles don’t handle their own business. While we’re all hoping for a surprise on Sunday, another loss is a very real possibility. A win would be huge and would have the potential to be a season-turning victory. However, while a loss would hurt badly, it wouldn’t slam the door shut just yet.
Peeking ahead, there are some very intriguing matchups in Week 12 (we’ll highlight those next week) that will have significant playoff ramifications, and several of the teams the Birds are chasing have their fair share of difficult matchups remaining.
Again, an Eagles win on Sunday would do wonders for the playoff outlook while a loss makes an already difficult task even more daunting. Fortunately, no one outside of the Rams and Saints has separated themselves, and with plenty of difficult games to go around, things will remain interesting for at least a few more weeks regardless of Sunday’s outcome.