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November 11, 2018

Week 10 non-Eagles Sunday rooting guide

Eagles NFL
111018AlexSmith Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports

Alex Smith could be running for his life behind an offensive line full of backups.

In past seasons, Philadelphia Eagles fans generally rooted for their own team, and kept an eye on the rest of the NFC East. In 2018, with the Birds initially being among the favorites to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, it was perhaps worth keeping tabs on the conference, as opposed to just the division.

And so, each week we laid out a rooting guide for non-Eagles games on the NFL schedule. However, sitting at 4-4 and still looking up at the 5-3 Washington Redskins, Eagles fans' outside rooting interests should be shifted from earning a first round bye, to just having a seat at the table, at all, in the playoffs, whether that be by winning the NFC East or a wildcard.

Ideal winner in bold (and nothing particularly insightful this week):

• Redskins at Buccaneers: The Redskins still lead the division at 5-3, though their roster took a big hit last weekend when they lost both starting guards and their No. 1 receiver for the season. They'll be trying to stave off a collapse, and a loss to the Bucs could obviously help the Eagles draw even with them in the NFC East.

• Lions at Bears: Of the Bears, Vikings, Falcons, and Panthers, the Bears would be the wildcard team I'd prefer to face in the playoffs if I were the Eagles, so it's probably best if they put some wins on the board.

• Saints at Bengals: Obviously, any AFC win over an NFC contender is ideal.

• Falcons at Browns: Ditto, and oh by the way, the Falcons look like they're good again.

• Dolphins at Packers: Previously, I felt that the Packers just being eliminated from playoff contention was best, just to keep Aaron Rodgers out. I would like to reverse course on that. The Packers' roster stinks, and if the Eagles can't beat them in the playoffs, they really don't deserve to be Super Bowl contenders.

Seahawks at Rams: Another Rams loss would end the notion that they are some kind of juggernaut.

• Cardinals at Chiefs: The more games the Cardinals lose the better the chance they can end up with a higher pick than the Giants.

Chargers at Raiders: Ditto that for the Raiders.

• Bills at Jets: Ditto ditto that for the Bills.

Irrelevant to the Eagles:

  1. Patriots at Titans
  2. Jaguars at Colts


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