Sometimes it’s good to be a victim of circumstance, especially when you play in the worst division in football. The Eagles are predicted to win the NFC East this season with a 6-9-1 record, per FiveThirtyEight, and have a 46% chance of making the playoffs following the Cowboys’ embarrassing 38-10 loss to the Cardinals. Philly is officially the betting favorite.
The Eagles would get a home playoff game just for winning the division, too. NBC Sports’ Peter King joked on Twitter that he saw an Eagles-Bears matchup (hello, Nick Foles!) coming in the NFC Wild Card Round on Jan. 9 in Philadelphia. The futility of the division was trending on social media as many people noted that six NFL teams had as many wins (5) as the entire NFC East combined.
NFC Wild Card Round
Sat, Jan 9
5 seed Chi (11-5) at
4 seed Phil (5-10-1)
— Peter King (@peter_king) October 20, 2020
On Monday, Eagles coach Doug Pederson alluded to the benefit of playing in the NFC East. Everything is all in front of them, believe it or not. The Eagles (1-4-1) are a half-game out of first place and host the New York Giants on Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field.
“I mean, obviously the New York Giants, it’s a division opponent,” Pederson said, “and games that we have to — you just understand you are the NFC East, right? Everything is still kind of up for grabs and we’re just trying to figure out how to win a game and how to get guys healthy to play and where we are that way.”
The NFC East has a collective record of 5-18-1 through Week 6 😬 pic.twitter.com/A3HODbOPce
— ESPN (@espn) October 20, 2020
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Social Media Hilariously Mocks NFC East
The NFC East was a bad division in 2019 but this is a whole new level of incompetence. The Cowboys lost on “Monday Night Football” yet somehow remain in first place with a record of 2-4. The Eagles are just one game back at 1-4-1. Naturally, there were plenty of jokes to go around on social media, too.
FOX Sports called it a dumpster fire:
Live look at the Cowboys and Eagles racing for the NFC East crown pic.twitter.com/Y8R9xMvSix
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) October 20, 2020
Pro Football Talk reminded everyone that the winner gets a home playoff game:
NFC East: Cowboys 2-4, Eagles 1-4-1, Giants 1-5, Washington 1-5. One of those teams will host a playoff game, likely against the Packers, Bears, Saints, Buccaneers, Seahawks, or Rams.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) October 20, 2020
Skip Bayless picked the Giants to win the division:
I'm starting to like the Giants to win the NFC East.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) October 20, 2020
Max Kellerman went with the Cowboys:
With their two wins on the season (so far!) the Cowboys can afford to lose this tonight — they’ll still have a seemingly insurmountable half game lead in the NFC East! Think about it: the Eagles will likely have to win a game outright to catch them!
— Max Kellerman (@maxkellerman) October 20, 2020
NBC10’s John Clark pointed out that the Eagles still have the best point differential at -34:
Look at the point differentials in the NFC East 👀 pic.twitter.com/MCVIoECgAT
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) October 20, 2020
And The Athletic’s Robert Mays suggested the NFC East just take the year off:
The NFC East should just take the year off. I’m sure everyone’s had enough. Easy enough to go back to a 6-team playoff in the NFC. No hard feelings. Better luck next year.
— Robert Mays (@robertmays) October 20, 2020
Former Eagles linebacker Emmanuel Acho picked the Eagles:
I hope the #Eagles make and host a playoff game at 4-11-1, it would really bring joy to my heart.
Yes, it is statistically possible. Lol
— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) October 20, 2020
Eagles Leaning on Veterans, No Quit on This Team
If there is one team out there that can pick themselves up off the carpet and defy the odds, it’s those underdog Eagles. They always play their best football when their backs are against the wall.
Head coach Doug Pederson credited the veteran leadership for making sure there is never any panic or quit. Guys like Rodney McLeod, Brandon Graham, Jalen Mills, and Carson Wentz are all experts at rising above adversity.
“This is where veteran players who have been through it, and as recently as the last couple of seasons with us, know how to deal with it, know how to handle it, and know how to pull these guys along,” Pederson told reporters on Monday. “I think it’s valuable to have the experience that our guys have had.
“Listen, nobody wants to go through a season with the amount of injuries that have piled up on us right now. But you saw it yesterday [Sunday]. There’s no quit in these guys. There’s always a constant battle till the end and that’s encouraging moving forward.”
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