Cowboys Help Improve Eagles’ NFL Playoff Odds During Bye Week

Nick Sirianni

Getty Eagles coach Nick Sirianni wants the team to grow roots like a healthy flower amid a 2-5 season.

The Philadelphia Eagles enjoyed some much-needed rest and relaxation in Week 14. Head coach Nick Sirianni let his players take the whole week off since the bye came so late in the season. It was a time to heal and get their bodies right.

That didn’t stop the rest of the NFL from strapping on the pads. The Eagles actually got an assist from their most hated rival after the Dallas Cowboys beat the Washington Football Team 27-20. Dallas has the NFC East crown pretty much locked up. The Cowboys (9-4) lead the division by three games with four weeks to go. Meanwhile, Philadelphia (6-7) and Washington (6-7) sit in a tie for second place.

Those two teams battle at Lincoln Financial Field in Week 15 (December 19) and again at Washington in Week 17 (January 2). The Eagles can control their own destiny by winning their last four games and can clinch the final wild-card spot. ESPN’s Football Power Index has Philly “in the hunt” while slating their playoff odds at 33.4%. And FiveThirtyEight is giving the Eagles a 38% chance of qualifying for the postseason.

“I think obviously I would like to be in better shape. There are some games out there that we feel like we could have got earlier in the year that we didn’t,” Sirianni told reporters on December 6. “But our job is to try to win every single game, so my mind is in a mindset of whatever we got to do to win each and every game, that’s what we’re going to do. And so, I don’t want to look at it as ahead of schedule. All I really care about is getting a little bit better each day.”

Other teams to keep an eye on in the NFC playoff race are the San Francisco 49ers (7-8) and Minnesota Vikings (6-7). The 49ers own the tie-breaker over the Eagles, while Minnesota and Philadelphia don’t play this season.

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Taylor Heinicke Expected to Start

Washington starting quarterback Taylor Heinicke suffered a knee injury against Dallas and underwent an MRI. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Heinicke won’t miss any time and should be good to go in Week 15 versus Philadelphia.

The 28-year-old is coming off a forgettable performance where he went 11-of-25 for 122 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Backup Kyle Allen replaced Heinicke, but there is no controversy brewing in D.C.

“If he’s healthy, he’s our starter,” head coach Ron Rivera said, via ESPN.

Doug Pederson Heading to Jacksonville?

The Jacksonville Jaguars might be heading for a divorce from Urban Meyer. His first season in North Florida has been filled with dysfunction and credibility issues as rumors of his impending dismissal mount.

One name popping up as a logical replacement has been Doug Pederson. The Super Bowl-winning coach remains unemployed and has expressed a desire to return to the sideline, plus he resides in Florida. NJ Advance Media’s Mike Kaye called him the “perfect fit” for Jacksonville assuming Meyer is fired. Kaye served as a Jaguars beat reporter prior to covering the Eagles so it stands to reason he has a good handle on the organization’s thinking. Stay tuned.

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