Monday, July 28, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

All eyes on Atlanta

Why the Eagles' tie makes life so much easier.

All eyes on Atlanta

You probably don't care about this but I do: the fact that the Eagles tied that game in Cincinnati is making the next couple of weeks so much easier.

There are no tiebreakers to worry about this year because of that tie. There is no pesky calculation of record against common opponents, no worry about conference or division record, no fantasizing about net points or any such stuff. The tie takes all of that out of the equation. In fact, there is no equation -- which means I can think of plenty of other ways to embarrass myself in print without having to resort to messing up wildcard calculations.

That said:

All eyes on Atlanta.

With three games to go, the Eagles now control their destiny against both the Cowboys and the Redskins. If the Eagles win out -- which would include a win over the Redskins and the Cowboys, as well as those pesky Browns on Monday night -- they guarantee that they will be ahead of both of them. That leaves the Bucs (who already have nine wins) and the Falcons (eight wins) leading the Eagles in the race for the two wildcard spots in the NFC.

The Bucs and Falcons play on Sunday. The game is at Atlanta and, depending upon where you look, the Falcons are a 2 1/2-point or 3-point favorite. Eagles fans, it would seem to me, need to be Bucs fans for that one. Because if the Bucs win, the Eagles really would control their destiny. If the Bucs win, and the Eagles win out, the Eagles would get the final NFC wildcard.

Even three weeks ago, it seemed impossible -- and they still have to beat the Redskins on the road and the Cowboys at home (oh, and the pesky Browns), which will be the working definition of high drama. But because every game fell so neatly last Sunday, the game at the Meadowlands most of all, that is where things stand.

 

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
About this blog
Rich Hofmann arrived at the Daily News in 1980 for a job whose status was officially designated as "full-time, temporary." A senior at Penn at the time, he was hired to fill in on the copy desk during a staff illness. The notion of him covering the Eagles or being a columnist did not exist in anyone's imagination. It was supposed to be six weeks and out, but he never left. It is only one of the reasons why so many people have concerns about him as a potential house guest. Rich has blogged the postseasons of the Flyers and Eagles. E-mail Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com Reach Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
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