Three weeks to go and the playoff races are officially on. With the Giants already clinching the East, the Cowboys praying for a wild card spot, the Eagles trying to pull off a Christmas miracle, and the Redskins trying to spoil the Eagles’ plans and finish off their own season in respectable fashion, the NFC East has a lot to look forward to.
It’s been a while since we all thought three teams from the Beast would go to the postseason, but there is still a chance two can go with either the Cowboys or Eagles making a last second surge.
But right now you have to think it’s going to the Falcons or Eagles for the sixth spot seeing as though the Cowboys finish with the Giants, Ravens, and Eagles.
Right now there are an insane amount of possibilities as to what can happen for the three teams to make the playoffs and even more if you believe that the Panthers and/or Bucs will fall apart.
Dallas and Philly will play each other in Week 17. This means that at least one of these teams will finish with at least one more over the final three games. So if Dallas beats Philly they finish no worse than 9-7 and if Philly beats Dallas they finish no worse than 8-7-1.
Therefore Atlanta has to win two games to finish ahead of Dallas if Dallas is going to win that Philly game, but they only need to win one game if Dallas loses out and Philly goes 1-2. Still following?
Now there is a chance Dallas goes 0-3. A very good chance seeing as though they play the Giants, Ravens, and Eagles. And if the Giants defeat Dallas this weekend, then the Cowboys hopes will be destroyed and that could lead to a rocky finish for Dallas even though they will not mathematically be out of it at 8-6.
But the Eagles are not going 0-3. Not with Cleveland on the schedule this Monday night. So at worst the Eagles are going to go 1-2. And if the Eagles go 1-2 (with a win against Cleveland), then that means the Cowboys would go at least 1-2 (because they would have won the game against Philly), and that would mean Atlanta would need to go 2-1 to clinch.
As you can see the possibilities are insane like I said and will make your head hurt if you think about them long enough. It’s nearly impossible to figure out who will finish with what record and where right now, but it’s fun to think about it and try to predict.
There are three easy scenarios to understand though…
If Dallas goes 3-0, they are in.
If Atlanta goes 3-0, they would need Dallas to lose once.
If Philly goes 3-0, they would need Atlanta to lose once.
Maybe one of the teams will run the table and none of these other tricky situations will matter. But right now Dallas is the only team that controls their own destiny. The other two teams need some sort of help even if they win out. But then again, winning out is a lot easier said than done.