Friday, February 5, 2016

Tiebreaks don't fall favorably for Eagles

What happens if the Eagles and Giants both finish 11-5? Here's an answer to that question, along with a look at some other tiebreak scenarios.

Tiebreaks don't fall favorably for Eagles

The Eagles face different playoff scenarios with the regular season quickly coming to an end. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)
The Eagles face different playoff scenarios with the regular season quickly coming to an end. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)

With four games to go, there are six NFC teams with at least eight wins.

And none of those teams are in the NFC West, meaning one of them will be sitting at home come playoff time.

I've heard several people discuss the following scenario for the Eagles:

* The Eagles finish the season 3-1.
* The Giants finish the season 3-1.
* The Giants beat the Eagles in Week 15.
* Both teams finish the season with an 11-5 record.

If those things happen, it all comes down to which team the Giants lose to in the final four weeks. If the Giants lose to the Redskins, the NFC East would go to the Eagles on account of the division-record tiebreak. The Birds would be 4-2 in the NFC East, and the Giants would be 3-3.

But if the Giants finish 3-1 down the stretch, and their loss is to the Packers or Vikings, they get the division. If this scenario plays out, we'd have to go way down the list of tiebreaks. Head-to-head would be a push. Both teams would be 4-2 in the division. And by my calculations, both teams would be 8-4 against common opponents, which is the third tiebreak.

It would come down to conference record, and the Giants would be 9-3; the Eagles 8-4.

Of course, if the Eagles just go ahead and beat the Giants in Week 15, they own the tiebreak because of head-to-head wins.

The Birds don't match up favorably in tiebreaks for the wild card either. If they find themselves in a tie with the Packers or the Bears, the Eagles lose out since they lost to both teams earlier this season.

A tiebreak scenario between the Eagles and Saints is a little trickier since the two teams have not played. It would come down to winning percentage in conference games. New Orleans has the edge there right now. The Saints are 7-2 against the NFC; the Eagles are 5-3.

Is there a scenario where the Eagles could go 11-5 and still not get in? Yes. But that's getting even more ahead of ourselves than we already are.

Below is a chart of the six NFC teams that have eight or more wins. The Bucs (7-5), Rams (6-6) and Seahawks (6-6) are not included, although they're all obviously still in the mix.

Team Record Record of remaining opponents Home games Road games
Falcons 10-2 17-31 (.354) 2 2
Bears 9-3 32-16 (.667) 2 2
Saints 9-3 31-17 (.646) 2 2
Eagles 8-4 21-27 (.438) 2 2
Giants 8-4 26-22 (.542) 1 3
Packers 8-4 29-19 (.604) 2 2

As you can see, the Bears have the toughest schedule. Three of their final four are against teams that currently have eight wins or more: the Patriots, Jets and Packers.

The Eagles actually measure up pretty favorably in terms of strength of opponents. The only team they face that's currently above .500 is the Giants.

In addition to Eagles-Giants in Week 15, there are a few other head-to-head matchups among this group. The Falcons host the Saints on Monday night in Week 16. The Packers host the Bears in Week 17. And the Giants travel to Green Bay in Week 16.

There's still a quarter of the season to be played, but the Eagles have two ways to guarantee themselves a spot in the playoffs. One is to win out and finish 12-4. And the other is to finish 3-1, but beat the Giants in Week 15.

In all other scenarios, they'd need to count on one of these six teams to falter down the stretch.

More coverage
Ashley Fox: Cowboys want to spoil Birds' season
Eagletarian: Vick has fan in judge who sentenced him
Paul Domowitch: Eagles need to shore up red-zone D'
Hobbs won't rush decision on future Hobbs won't rush decision on future
Rich Hofmann: NFL players deserve their income
Win $150: Challenge us in weekly fantasy game
New app: Follow the Birds!
Buy Eagles tickets
Video: How the QB market will affect Vick
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at or by clicking here

Follow Sheil on Twitter. And become a fan of Moving the Chains on Facebook.

Download our NEW iPhone/Android app for even more Birds coverage, including app-exclusive videos and analysis. Download it here.

Reach Sheil at

Sheil Kapadia
Latest Videos:
Also on
letter icon Newsletter