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Wild Card chances after loss to Cowboys

Eliot Shorr-Parks
December 09, 2018 - 9:10 pm

Chances are the Eagles will not be winning the NFC East after their 29-23 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. 

That doesn't mean, however, that their playoff chances are over -- they are just slim. 

The Eagles are now 6-7 following their loss to the Cowboys, which is good enough for the first team out of the NFC playoffs. As of Sunday evening, prior to the Los Angeles Rams' game vs. the Chicago Bears, here is how things stand in the NFC, according to NFL.com:

1. Los Angeles Rams: 11-1

2. New Orleans Saints: 11-2

3. Chicago Bears: 8-4

4. Dallas Cowboys: 8-5

5. Seattle Seahawks: 7-5 (Wild Card No. 1)

6. Minnesota Vikings: 6-5-1 (Wild Card No. 2)

7. Eagles (6-7)

8. Washington Redskins (6-7)

9. Carolina Panthers (6-7)

Realistically, the Eagles are competing with two teams for a playoff spot --the Carolina Panthers and the Minnesota Vikings. The good news for the Eagles is that the Panthers lost on Sunday to the Cleveland Browns, and the Vikings play the Seahawks in Seattle on Monday night. 

Here is a look at the remaining schedule for each teams, with a likely outcome for each game.  

Seahawks (7-5) — Vikings (W), @49ers (W), @ Chiefs (L), Cardinals (W) = 10-6

Vikings (6-5-1) — @ Seahawks (L), Dolphins (W), @ Lions (W), Bears (W) = 9-6-1

Eagles (6-7) — @ Rams (L), Texans (W), @ Washington (W) = 8-8

Panthers (6-7) — Saints (L), Falcons (W), @ Saints (L) =7-9

If those predictions hold, the Seahawks and Vikings clinching the final two Wild Card spots. A few things, however, are trending in the Eagles' favor.

First, the Panthers are collapsing, and have now lost five in a row. The chances of them making the playoffs at this point are plummeting. The Vikings are also not playing great, but their schedule is a bit of a wild card. The trip to Seattle is not easy. The key will be Week 17 against Chicago. If the Bears need that win, that is a tough spot for the Vikings. If the Bears are already settled in with the No. 3 seed, however, they could be resting their starters. 

The Eagles' most realistic path to the playoffs through the Wild Card spot seems to be this -- win out to nine wins, hope the Panthers' continue their collapse and hope the Vikings split their final two games. That isn't extremely unlikely with the Panthers and Vikings. In fact, the most unlikely part might be the Eagles getting to nine wins. 

If the Eagles can win all three of their final games, however, their chances of getting into the playoffs are not as slim as you might think. 

You can follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at esp@94wip.com!

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