Unfortunately, my very first SBnation fanpost has to come at a time like this. The Eagles loss definitely hurts our chances at winning the division and securing a wild card spot. I want to take a look at the standings and see where we stand right now...
Cowboys: overall 6-4, div 2-1, conf 5-2
Giants: overall 6-4, div 1-2, conf 3-4
Eagles: overall 4-6, div 3-1, conf 4-5
Redskins: overall 3-7, div 1-3, conf 3-5
The Cowboys have this remaining schedule: vs. Miami, at Ariz, vs. Giants, at Tampa, vs. Eagles, at Giants
The Eagles have this remaining schedule: vs. NE, at Seattle, at Miami, vs. Jets, at Dallas, vs. Skins
I am not going into the Skins, they have one game left vs. Eagles and Giants
The Cowboys have a fairly easy remaining schedule, as their opponents are 20-30 (note: only 50 games, as I only counted Giants once). With three games left vs. NFC East and a 2-1 division record, they seem to have the inside track now to the division. The Eagles have a little tougher schedule left, as their opponents are combined 30-29, and they play a tough NE team, an improved Dallas squad, and hey, Seattle beat us. The Giants have the toughest remaining schedule by far, playing the best team in the NFL right now, a tough Saints team away, and two games left against Dallas. Let's not forget that the Jets will be coming for blood against us. Even if Dallas splits against us and beats the Eagles, that would put their division record at 4-2. At the same time, if we split with Dallas and beat the Skins, our div record would be 3-3. Then we would have to hope that the Cowboys lose to 2 of the other 3 games, at the same time that we would have to beat the remaining teams. I am not worried about the Eagles. They have to run the table to be a threat and I do not see them getting passed both the Patriots and Dallas. We have to beat the Cowboys twice to make life easier on us. Outside the division, things look even bleaker.
Right now, there are 6 teams out of division with equal or better records, 3 of which are leading their divisions: 49ers, Falcons, Saint, Packers, Bears, and Lions. 49ers are pretty much a lock for the NFC West. The Packers should win the NFC North. The NFC South is a bit more cloudy. The Saints still have to play the Giants, Titans, Vikings, Detroit, Falcons, and the Panthers. The Falcons still have Vikings, Texans, Panthers, Jags, Saints, and Bucs. But, in the NFC North are two teams at 7-3: Lions and Bears. I wish we were playing one of those two rather than the Packers. I heard Cutler is out 6-8 weeks, so who knows about the Bears' future, but their schedule seems a bit easy with the Raiders, Chiefs, Broncos, Seahawks, Packers, and Vikings. The Lions have to play Packers, Saints, Viking, Raiders, Chargers, Packers.
With how crowded the middle of the field is right now, with the Saints, Falcons, Bears, Lions, Cowboys, and Giants, it is too early to really tell where the Gmen stand. I wish we had head-to-head match-ups against the Bears and/or Lions. I think next week against the Saints is the biggest must win of the season. Would give us a tie break over them and keep our pace with the Cowboys. The Saints have a few tough games, but their schedule seems manageable. I believe the Falcons, with their remaining schedule win that division. Like I said, who knows how the Bears will do without Cutler. The Lions could make a strong playoff push with a win over the Packers on Thursday. That would give them tremendous confidence. We have four key games left: at Saints, at Cowboys, vs. Skins, and vs. Cowboys. Those are four games that are either must wins or pretty darned close to it. I think we can beat the Jets and a win vs. the Packers would be a boost.
How do you all think it will play out?