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December 10, 2018

Eagles need help from Vikings to win Wild Card spot

The Vikings continue to be intrinsically connected to the Eagles.

With the NFC top-seeded Rams looking beatable Sunday night and the Vikings shut down by Seattle Monday, things maybe falling into place if the Eagles can do their part.

And with three weeks of football remaining, Birds' fans may have found much-needed reassurance and a sense of purpose as they continue to reel from the Birds' overtime heartbreaking loss against the Cowboys in Week 14.

The remaining slate of games doesn't particularly favor the Eagles (two of them division leaders), but they still have a realistic chance of making the NFC playoffs as a wild card team — they just need some help from their good old friends the Vikings.

Vikings 6-6-1MIA, DET, CHI
Eagles 6-7LAR, HOU, WAS
Redskins6-7 JAX, TEN, PHI
Panthers6-7NO, ATL, NO 

Division leaders: Rams (11-2) , Bears (9-4), Saints (11-2), Cowboys( 8-5), Wild Card 1: Seahawks (8-5)

At the simplest level, the Eagles need each of the teams listed among them to lose at least one game. Which means first and foremost they must go 3-0 to close out the season at 9-7. 

This means beating the Rams in L.A., the Texans at home and the Redskins in Washington. Easier said than done — but the Eagles defense did manage to somehow keep them in the game despite allowing more than 500 yards from scrimmage as the offense picked up late in Dallas.

The division is more or less gone — barring the Cowboys losing to the Colts, Buccaneers and Giants in their final three-pack of games. But the Wild Card is most attainable with a Vikings assist.

Without things getting too complicated, Minnesota currently sits at 6-6-1, technically a half game ahead of the Eagles for the final slot. 

The Bears are 9-4, and will clinch the NFC North with one more win (they face the Packers, Niners and Vikings). 

The Seahawks — now at 8-5 after their dominating defense humbled Minnesota 21-7 — have the Niners, Chiefs and Cardinals left to go. Assuming they win the two layup games they have left, they'd get to at least 10 wins and get the No. 5 seed.

Minnesota is the team the Eagles can catch (assuming the Panthers lose one of two games remaining against the Saints and the badly beaten up Redskins continue to slide). The Eagles will catch the Vikings if Minnesota drops one of its remaining games against the Dolphins, Lions and Bears — with the Eagles also going 3-0. 

What happens if the Eagles lose in L.A. next week? Well, then it becomes an even more improbable path to the playoffs for Philly, one that would more or less be contingent on the 8-8 Eagles winning several tie-breakers while seeing the rest of the NFC fall apart over the final two weeks.

The Eagles could also go 7-9 or 6-10, miss the playoffs, and be stuck with a middle first rounder — a complete waste of a season. 

The full gambit of possibilities still lie ahead. Stay tuned.

Follow Evan on Twitter:@evan_macy

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