The Eagles definitely have some rooting interests in this afternoon’s games, including a few that can be debated based on your perspective. Are you the glass half full fan who is eyeing home field advantage throughout the playoffs, or are you the glass half empty type who just wants to lock up a playoff spot?
Green Bay Packers (7-3) at Atlanta Falcons (8-2) (1:00, FOX) – If the Eagles don’t hold off the Giants down the stretch, the Packers could be direct competition for a Wild Card spot. At the same time, the Eagles are just a game behind the Falcons for the top spot in the NFC. A Packers win and an Eagles win would set up a three-way logjam at 8-3, with Green Bay holding the tiebreaking advantage. There is some extra incentive to root for the Falcons to improve the Eagles’ strength of victory, which could be a fourth level tiebreaker if things are crazy at the end of the season.
Jacksonville Jaguars (6-4) at New York Giants (6-4) (1:00, CBS) – This one is pretty simple. Root against the Giants, who are still chasing the Eagles in the NFC East. A Jaguars win means that the Eagles could likely lose two more non-division games and still win the NFC East, while a Giants win puts the pressure on the Eagles to get a win and maintain their lead.
Minnesota Vikings (3-7) at Washington Redskins (5-5) (1:00, FOX) – Root for the Vikings, as they can put the Redskins further out of the playoff picture and give the Eagles some additional breathing room in the NFC East.
Tennessee Titans (5-5) at Houston Texans (4-6) (1:00, CBS) – This one currently doesn’t have much impact on the Eagles, but they’ve already loss to the Titans and have a chance to beat the Texans this Thursday. Therefore, a Texans win could potentially improve the Eagles’ strength of victory, while a Texans loss does nothing for Philadelphia.
Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3) at Buffalo Bills (2-8) (1:00, CBS) – This game has zero impact on the Eagles, so take your pick.
Carolina Panthers (1-9) at Cleveland Browns (3-7) (1:00, FOX) – This is another game that has no effect on the Eagles, but does feature a few former Birds in Cleveland. Sheldon Brown, Chris Gocong and Mike Bell are all playing for Eric Mangini in Cleveland after spending time in Philadelphia.
Kansas City Chiefs (6-4) at Seattle Seahawks (5-5) (4:05, CBS) – This game has minimal impact on the Eagles, as the NFC West is a virtual lock to have just one playoff team. There’s no real reason to root for a fellow NFC team though, so you might as well hope for a Chiefs win.
Miami Dolphins (5-5) at Oakland Raiders (5-5) (4:05, CBS) – This is another one with no impact on the Birds, although Miami could be a potential landing place for backup quarterback Kevin Kolb if the Eagles opt to trade him in the offseason. With injuries and struggles for both Chad Pennington and Chad Henne, Tyler Thigpen is filling in for the ‘Phins.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3) at Baltimore Ravens (7-3) (4:15, FOX) – A Ravens win is advantageous to the Eagles, since the Buccaneers are potential Wild Card competition if the Eagles don’t win the NFC East. Philadelphia also holds a sixth round pick from Tampa Bay, which will be higher if the Buccaneers lose. Despite its 7-3 record, Tampa Bay has not yet beaten a team with a winning record, going 0-3 against the Steelers, Saints and Falcons.
St. Louis Rams (4-6) at Denver Broncos (3-7) (4:15, FOX) – Once again there’s no motivation to root for a fellow NFC team, even if they do look to be down and out in the playoff chase. So pull for former Eagle Brian Dawkins’ Broncos.
San Diego Chargers (5-5) at Indianapolis Colts (6-4) (8:20, NBC) – The Eagles already topped the Colts, so an Indianapolis win further improves the Birds’ strength of schedule. Philadelphia also owns San Diego’s fifth round draft pick this offseason, so each Chargers’ loss improves that pick.
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