Let’s get this out in the open. The NFC East is bad. It’s not good. It’s inconsistent and disappointing and sometimes fairly unimpressive. It’s also shaping up to be one of the most interesting playoff races in the entire NFL.
That makes it more fun.
It also makes it just a little bit confusing. There’s a good amount of math going on here, as well as tiebreakers and possible down-to-the-wire games. Luckily, there’s a way to break it all down.
Heading into Week 15, here’s how the NFC East breaks down via the NFL’s tiebreaking procedure:
Head to Head: Redskins over Eagles, Redskins over Giants, Eagles over Giants
Win Percentage in Division: Redskins (2-2); Eagles (2-2); Giants (2-3)
So, read on and get ready for a postseason battle that is actually going to be pretty darn exciting.
Last Week: Defeated the Chicago Bears 24-21
Games Left: vs. Bills, at Eagles, at Cowboys
How They Win: The Redskins are in a good place right now because they own the tiebreaker over both New York and Philadelphia thanks to a head-to-head win over the Eagles and a better division record than the Giants. Washington doesn’t have to win out to secure the NFC East title, but it would certainly help. The key here is beating Philadelphia. If the Redskins lose to Buffalo on Sunday afternoon, but beat Philly in Week 16, their playoff chances are at 64 percent and Washington would have a sweep the Eagles.
Last Week: Defeated the Buffalo Bills 23-20
Games Left: vs. Cardinals, vs. Redskins, at Giants
How They Win: Much like the Redskins, Philadelphia controls its own postseason destiny heading into a Week 15 tilt against the Arizona Cardinals. Although the game on Sunday afternoon may be the best-looking on paper, it’s the Eagles final two games against Washington and New York that will determine their chances at clinching a playoff berth. Even a loss on Sunday doesn’t eliminate Philadelphia. The Eagles simply need to win out in their final two games. Yup, that’s it. This is, however, the NFC East so winning two divisional games is easier said than done.
New York Giants
Last Week: Defeated the Miami Dolphins 31-24
Games Left: vs. Panthers, at Vikings, vs. Eagles
How They Win: Alright, the Giants are still in first place. But out of the three teams tied at the top of the NFC East, New York faces the toughest road to playoff potential. Big Blue will face its biggest challenge with a matchup against still-perfect Carolina at home in Week 15 before a road game against Minnesota that has already been flexed to primetime. Technically losing one of those games doesn’t keep the Giants out of the playoff mix, but it will force them to get some help – especially when the Redskins and Eagles play in Week 16. Basically, it’s just easier for New York to win out. If we can really call that easy.