Josh (desh) wrote,

Football geekery

Eagles' complete playoff scenarios, as best as I can figure them:

If the Eagles beat the Falcons in Week 17, they clinch a playoff berth.

If they do this after beating Dallas in Week 16, that playoff berth is the division title. We probably can't get a bye (it would require the Saints losing to NYG and CAR, and Seattle losing to SD or ARZ), so if we win the division title, we'll probably be hosting a wild card game, probably against Dallas, but perhaps also against the Giants or one of several other teams that have a chance to sneak in.

If they beat the Falcons after losing to the Cowboys, it's a wild-card berth, not the division. The wild card game would almost definitely be in Dallas or Seattle. (In other words, if the Eagles win in week 17, there's a decent chance that they'll be playing a rematch of the Dallas game in the first week of the playoffs, with the winner of the Week 16 game being the home team.)

If the Eagles beat Dallas but lose to the Falcons, I'm almost certain we still clinch a playoff spot. We'd have to root hard for Dallas to get beat by the Lions in week 17, in which case we still win the division. But I'm pretty sure that the worst case scenario at that point is still the 6th seed and going to Dallas for a playoff game, with the Falcons taking the 5th seed and the Giants missing the playoffs. On second look, I think this is wrong. If the Eagles beat Dallas but lose to the Falcons, we can still miss the playoffs. We need NYG to lose to NO, or NYG to lose to WAS, or ATL to lose to CAR to get a wild card, or DAL to lose to DET to still win the division. Otherwise, we can beat Dallas but still miss the playoffs.

Can the Eagles lose both remaining games and still make the playoffs? I think so! If the Giants lose their last two games and finish 7-9, and the Eagles finish 8-8, then there's a huge logjam for the NFC wild card, but I think the Falcons and Eagles get in. (I don't feel like doing the math on a 4- or 5- or 6-team tiebreaker now, though, so this is just a guess.) It's possible that the math would show the Eagles getting in even over the Giants, but that would be a stroke of bad luck for the Giants, since they win any head-to-head tiebreaker over the Eagles if the teams end up tied 8-8.

EDIT: And as long as I'm here, let's do Pro Bowl predictions. I think the Birds will get 3 in: Brian Westbrook, William Thomas, and Lito Sheppard. Just missing the cut (or perhaps making the alternate list) are Jon Runyan, Shawn Andrews, and Brian Dawkins.

EDIT EDIT: Aw, crap, I screwed up again. I missed this tiebreaker rule for a multi-team wild-card tiebreaking scenario: 1. Apply division tie breaker to eliminate all but the highest ranked club in each division. This means that I was right the first time with the stricken text above, and the Eagles make the playoffs if they win either remaining game. Couldn't be simpler. Go Birds!

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