Things broke the Eagles’ way in Week 14 as Cleveland beat Carolina and Seattle beat Minnesota, but thanks to the Birds failing to handle their own business and the incompetence of NFL officiating, it may not matter much. This is becoming a depressing exercise, but with mathematical hope still remaining, we’ll continue our exploration of the team’s possible paths to the playoffs regardless of how painful and frustrating it is. So anyway, here are the key games in Week 15.
Miami at Minnesota, 1 PM
The Birds got a huge boost from Minnesota’s loss to Seattle, and with Miami’s miracle win over the Patriots the Dolphins still have plenty to play for this week. If Miami knocks off the Vikings and the Eagles manage to beat the Rams, the Birds would leapfrog Minnesota and drag out the playoff intrigue for another week.
Dallas at Indianapolis, 1 PM
The Cowboys win over the Eagles dealt a major blow to the Birds’ chances of winning the division, but if the Cowboys somehow go 0-3 and the Eagles go 3-0, they could still claim the NFC East. Both of those scenarios are incredibly unlikely, but until it’s impossible we’ll keep an eye on it. Like the Dolphins, the Colts sit on the fringe of the AFC playoff picture, so at least they have something to play for and will be playing at home.
New Orleans at Carolina, 8:15 PM (Monday)
As much as it stinks, we’ll be rooting for the Saints Monday night. Like the situation with Minnesota, an Eagles win paired with a Panthers loss would allow the Birds to jump Carolina. As unbelievable as it sounds, if the Vikings and Panthers both lose and the Eagles win, the Eagles would occupy the final Wild Card spot with two games to play. New Orleans is still battling the Rams for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, so the Saints have plenty to play for.
As ugly and frustrating as this season has been, the playoffs are still on the table. Beating the Rams in Los Angeles will be a tall task, especially with the Rams still trying to secure the top seed in the NFC. Everything remains contingent on the Eagles handling their own business, and frankly they’ve inspired little confidence that they will be able to do so, but somehow hope is still alive.