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November 19, 2023

Week 11 non-Eagles rooting guide

The Eagles don't play until Monday, so what should fans be looking out for across the rest of the NFL until then?

Eagles NFL
USATSI_21551757.jpg Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles are unlikely to get any help today from Frank Reich, Bryce Young, and the 1-8 Carolina Panthers.

Each week during the NFL season we lay out a rooting guide for non-Eagles games on the schedule. And yes, I'm aware that most of the below is obvious. Ideal winners bolded.

NFC East

The standings:

NFC East Record Division GB 
Eagles 8-1 3-0 
Cowboys 6-3 2-1 
Commanders 4-6 0-3 4.5 
Giants 2-8 1-2 6.5 

The NFC East is a two-team race between the Eagles and Cowboys, as usual. As a reminder, the tiebreakers for the division are as follows:

  1. Head-to-head games
  2. Division record
  3. Record against common opponents

The Eagles have a 2-game lead in the NFC East with a head-to-head win over the Cowboys under their belt. They also have a 3-0 record in the division, and have already played three of their four most difficult divisional games. They also have a favorable outlook on common opponents so far, should the tiebreaking process get that far: 

Common Opponent PHI DAL WAS NYG 
49ers  Loss  Loss 
Cardinals  Loss Win Win 
 RamsWin Win   
 Seahawks  Loss Loss 
 Bills  Loss Loss 
 DolphinsWin   Loss 
 JetsLoss Win  Loss 
 PatriotsWin Win Win  

The next tiebreaker after common opponents is conference record, which means that the Cowboys' loss to the Cardinals could end up being a killer. Anyway, onto the games this week:

• Cowboys at Panthers: The Eagles' lead in the NFC East will likely dwindle from 2.5 games to 2 games to 1.5 games without the Birds having even set foot on a field, as the Cowboys are double-digit favorites in this game. Never completely rule out a Cowboys choke job against a clearly inferior opponent, like we saw Week 3 against the Cardinals, but it's unlikely.

Giants at Commanders: Let's take a look at the NFL's draft positioning, via Tankathon:


As you can see, the Giants are currently in position for the No. 2 overall pick. The more games they win, thus messing up their draft position, the better.

Threats for the 1 seed

The NFC standings:

Seed NFC standings Record Conf record 
Eagles 8-1 6-0 
Lions 7-2 4-1 
49ers 6-3 4-1 
Saints 5-5 2-3 
Seahawks 6-3 5-1 
Cowboys 6-3 3-3 
Vikings 6-4 6-2 
Buccaneers 4-5 3-3 
Commanders 4-6 2-5 
10 Falcons 4-6 3-4 
11 Packers 3-6 3-3 
12 Rams 3-6 2-4 
13 Bears3-7 2-4 
14 Giants2-8 2-4 
15 Cardinals2-8 2-5 
16 Panthers1-8 0-6 

As you can see, the Lions and 49ers are the Eagles' biggest threats for the 1 seed in the NFC.

Bears at Lions: The Eagles currently have just a 1-game cushion over the Lions in the NFC after the Lions beat the Chargers on the road Week 10. The Lions have a very easy schedule the rest of this season. Here are their remaining games, with opponent records and point differentials in parenthesis:

Week 11: Bears (3-7, -51)
Week 12: Packers (3-6, -3)
Week 13: At Saints (5-5, +16)
Week 14: At Bears (3-7, -51)
Week 15: Broncos (4-5, -52)
Week 16: At Vikings (6-4, +24)
Week 17: At Cowboys (6-3, +104)
Week 18: Vikings (6-4, +24)

Their next five games are against teams with a combined record of 18-30 and a combined point differential of -141. The Eagles' chances of landing the 1 seed would increase with a Lions loss to the Bears.

The first three tiebreakers for the 1 seed would go as follows: 

  1. Head-to-head ❌
  2. Conference record: Eagles currently hold the advantage 6-0 to 4-1 over both the Lions and the 49ers.
  3. Record against common opponents, minimum of four.

The Eagles' and Lions' common opponents:

Common opponent PHI DET 
Chiefs  Win 
Seahawks  Loss 
Buccaneers Win Win 
Vikings Win  
Cowboys Win  
Vikings N/A  
Cowboys  N/A 

So, again, the Eagles are in good position on the tiebreaker front.

Buccaneers at 49ers: The 49ers are now 2 games behind the Eagles for the 1 seed after beating the Jaguars Week 10. An updated look at their schedule:

Week 11: Buccaneers (4-5, +5)
Week 12: At Seahawks (6-3, -1)
Week 13: At Eagles (8-1, +57)
Week 14: Seahawks (6-3, -1)
Week 15: At Cardinals (2-8, -87)
Week 16: Ravens (7-3, +113)
Week 17: At Commanders (4-6, -57)
Week 18: Rams (3-6, -26)

That's a combined record of 40-35 with a combined point differential of +3.

There's no need to show the Eagles' and 49ers' common opponents since they play each other this season. We'll only need to think about common opponents if they tie.

Seahawks at Rams: It is better if the Seahawks win the NFC West, thus making the 49ers' trek through the playoffs more difficult.

Vikings at Broncos: I think the Vikings are an ideal 7 seed. That's a team the Eagles could easily handle in the wildcard round should the Birds end up as the 2 seed, and yet, the Vikings have already proven they can beat the 49ers, which would be an ideal result should the Eagles land the 1 seed.

Draft pick watch

The Saints are on their bye. They have a 0.5-game lead over the Bucs. The Eagles own the Saints' second-round pick. Let's fire up the PFF mock draft simulator even if the Saints aren't playing this week.

• Round 1: Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa
• Round 2 (from Saints): Kamren Kinchens, S, Miami
• Round 2: Kingsley Suamataia, OT, BYU
• Round 3: Nazir Stackhouse, DT, Georgia
• Round 4: Kris Abrams-Draine, CB (slot), Missouri
• Round 5: Cooper Beebe, OG, Kansas State
• Round 5: Trevin Wallace, LB, Kentucky
• Round 5: Joe Milton, QB, Tennessee

For future reference

It doesn't really matter who wins these games, but we'll bold the Eagles' future opponents:

  1. Jets at Bills
  2. Cardinals at Texans

The Eagles play the banged-up Bills on a short week next Sunday in Philly.

Also, I've seen some worry that the Cardinals might be better now with the return of Kyler Murray. Guys/gals... that team is still ass, and if the Eagles can't beat them they don't deserve the 1 seed.

Irrelevant to the Eagles

  1. Steelers at Browns
  2. Chargers at Packers
  3. Raiders at Dolphins
  4. Titans at Jaguars
Byes: Saints, Falcons, Colts, Patriots.

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