Win the games that you're supposed to win... Try not to lose the games that you shouldn't... That's typically where our minds travel when the NFL rolls its schedule out and we begin thinking about another season and, if we're lucky, a possible Super Bowl run. For the most part, life has treated Philadelphia Eagles fans very well this season. We have hit a bit of a speed bump though.
Two consecutive losses have shaken the confidence of some. Perhaps a difficult portion of their schedule has finally taken its toll. Losses to the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys have evened each of these three proud franchises at ten wins and three losses apiece.
If all three win out, which is a very real possibility, the Niners will claim the NFC's top seed and a first-round bye. Let's hope San Fran loses a game somewhere because we'd much rather the Eagles earn the rest.
Philly still controls its destiny in terms of winning the NFC East. With that said, let's discuss tie-breakers.
Here are the current tie-breaking scenarios should the Eagles and Cowboys finish with identical records.
The Eagles finish their regular-season show by traveling to play the Seattle Seahawks next Monday before sandwiching a game versus the Arizona Cardinals between home and road dates versus the New York Giants. We're going to assume that stretch ends with four wins.
The Dallas Cowboys remaining schedule is as follows: Buffalo Bills (AWAY), Miami Dolphins (AWAY), Detroit Lions (HOME), and Washington Commanders (AWAY). Sure, they could win out. You could also argue they're going to lose three games. Let's just say they go 4-0 during this stretch. Here's the protocol/order for determining tie-breakers.
- Head-to-head record
- Divisional records
- Record versus common opponents
- Conference Record
Here's a breakdown of what that means.
If the Eagles and Cowboys finish with 14-3 records, they'd both own a win in their season series, so the head-to-head records tell us nothing. They'd both own 3-1 records versus NFC East competition, so the divisional records tell us nothing.
Common opponents and conference record are where we'll rest here.
By virtue of Philly beating the Seahawks and Cardinals (presumably) and Dallas beating the Bills, Dolphins, and Commanders, both teams would own two losses versus common competition, but the Eagles would own only two conference losses while the Cowboys would hang on to three.
That would give the Eagles the NFC East's crown. There's a lot to dissect there. We realize that, but at least the Eagles would be assured of at least one home game as opposed to, worst-case scenario, playing their first playoff game on the road.