December 02, 2020
The NFC East in 2020 is destined to go down as the worst division in the history of football. All four teams have either three or four wins — and that's through 12 weeks of football.
The team that wins the division, and hosts a playoff game in January, is almost sure to have six wins or fewer and no team has had a more volatile relationship with oddsmakers this season than the Eagles.
Eagles in the NFC East
|Week||NFC East |
Odds | Rank
|Week 1||+130 | 2nd||+2000 | 6th|
|Week 4||+290 | 2nd||+6500 | 19th|
|Week 8||-275 | 1st||+4000 | 13th|
|Week 11||-155 | 1st||+8000 | 16th|
|Week 13||+250 | 3rd||+10000 | 18th|
Their division-winning chances went from being solid second fiddles, to huge favorites, to third place as the losses piled up across the east and the Eagles showed little fight. As it stands now, according to fivethirtyeight.com's computers, the Giants have a 39% chance of making the playoffs, Washington 29%, the Eagles 23% and the Cowboys 10%.
Football Outsiders has the Giants at 40%, Washington at 30%, the Eagles at 19% and the Cowboys at 11%.
Really, the only factor keeping Philly statistically so alive and well, despite their putrid recent play, is that they have that wonderful tie with the Bengals back in Week 3, essentially making it so that if the Eagles are somehow able to win two or three more games this season, they'd have one less loss and would win a tie-breaker against any other rival with the same win total.
The schedule is brutal for the Eagles, but it is also pretty difficult for the rest of the would-be contenders. The Giants may be favored, slightly, but it's hard to find more than one (or maybe two) wins for them down the stretch. Here's the remaining five games for each team:
NFC East schedules
|at GB (8-3)||at SEA (8-3)||at BAL (6-4)||at PIT (10-0)|
|vs. NO (9-2)||vs. ARZ (6-5)||at CIN (2-8-1)||at SF (5-6)|
|at ARZ (6-5)||vs. CLE (8-3)||vs. SF (5-6)||vs. SEA (8-3)|
|at DAL (3-8)||at BAL (6-4)||vs. PHI (3-7-1)||vs. CAR (4-8)|
|vs. WAS (4-7)||vs. DAL (3-8)||at NYG (4-7)||at PHI (3-7-1)|
Just for fun, let's assume every NFC East team loses the games they're supposed to lose. Which would mean, every game in the next three weeks is a loss, except for Dallas vs. Cincinnati. That would put the records of the entire division at 4-10 —with the Eagles at 3-10-1. The unwatchable slop-fest that is the NFC East would come down essentially to divisional games in the last two weeks of the year, with Philly able to control its own destiny against the Cowboys and Washington, two teams without starting quarterbacks. (If only Eagles franchise QB Carson Wentz wasn't playing worse than the backups for these two teams.)
That would be both incredibly exciting and embarrassing as hell.
This is all a complicated way of trying to say, betting on the NFC East is probably something to stay away from right now.
We'll keep you posted on the battle for supremacy of the embarrassment of riches that is the NFC East as the playoffs continue to approach.
Follow Evan on Twitter: @evan_macy
Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports