Masters Of Their Own Destiny

With a win over the Redskins on Sunday and a Dallas loss to the Saints, the Eagles find themselves in pretty good shape for a post-season spot. Of course, they need to beat some tough teams along the way.

Sharpen your pencils boys and girls. Math class is here.

The Eagles can win the division and here's how; Beat the Giants and Cowboys on the road and then come home and wrap up the season with a win at home against Atlanta.

Easy, huh?

Winning out would give the Eagles a 10-6 record on the season. Since one of those wins would come over the Giants and another over the Falcons, the best either of those teams could muster would be 9-7. Since the other win would come over Dallas, then the Cowboys would have to win their other two remaining games (at Atlanta this weekend and at home against Detroit on New Year's Eve) to also finish at 10-6.

Keep the pencils sharp, it's tie-breaker time.

Actually, the division tie-breaker is very easy. Since the Eagles would have beaten the Cowboys twice this season, the division would be theirs and the Cowboys would wind up as the wild-card.

Anything less than a sweep of the final three games and things get a little tougher to figure out. Two wins - let's say they're against the Giants and Falcons - could also give the Eagles a post-season spot. They'd have the tie-breaker over Atlanta on head-to-head, so that part is easy. The Eagles and Giants could finish with identical 9-7 records if New York picked up wins over New Orleans and Washington. With the Eagles and Giants splitting their two regular season games, the tie-breaker would move to division record and they would be tied there as well. That takes us to record against common opponents. Outside of the division, the two teams would have eight common opponents (Houston, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Indianapolis, Carolina and Atlanta). The Giants would easily win that battle, finishing with a 5-3 record against those teams, while the Eagles would be just 3-5. In other words, the Eagles would need either the Saints or Redskins to take out the Giants in the final two weeks of the season.

Wins over Dallas and New York would give the Eagles a 5-1 division record and if they wound up tied with the Giants, they would have the tie-breaker based on division record. Of course, if Atlanta were to win one of their other two games (against Dallas and Carolina) they too would finish at 9-7, but would have the tie-breaker over the Eagles. Wins over the Cowboys and Giants could give the Eagles the division title though; They'd have the tie-breaker over the Giants because of division record and the tie-breaker over Dallas based on winning their two regular season games against the Boys.

Wins over Dallas and Atlanta would make things interesting and put the Eagles at 9-7 on the season. At that point, it would come down to what a number of other teams would do over the final three weeks. If Dallas were to lose one of their other two remaining games and the Giants didn't win out, there would be some math to do for both the division and the wild-card. Remember, a win over Dallas gives the Eagles the tie-breaker between those two teams if they finish in a tie. A loss to the Giants and the Eagles can't win the tie-breaker against the Giants.

If the Eagles win just one of their remaining games, they need a lot of help and things would be very confusing.

The easiest way for all of this to play out is for the Eagles to simply win out. Of course, the schedule doesn't allow for any easy games over the final three weeks, so winning out won't be easy.


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