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November 26, 2022

Week 12 non-Eagles rooting guide

Eagles NFL
112622AndyDalton Chuck Cook/USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles will hope Andy Dalton still has a few more losses in him.

The Philadelphia Eagles did not get ideal results in the three NFL games played on Thanksgiving. They'll hope that things shift their way during the afternoon games on Sunday in advance of their Sunday night matchup against the Green Bay Packers. Ideal winners bolded.

The NFC East, and potential playoff opponents

Let's first update the NFC East standings:

NFC East GB 
Cowboys 1.5 
Giants 2.5 
Commanders 3.5 

The Cowboys beat the Giants on Thanksgiving, thus pulling them to within a game and a half of the Eagles. The Cowboys are the bigger threat to the Eagles in the NFC East, so that was not a good result. It's also worth noting here, by the way, that if the Cowboys are able to split with the Eagles this season by beating them on Christmas Eve, the Eagles are "extremely unlikely" to win a tiebreaker in the NFC East should both teams finish with the same record, per the great Deniz Selman.

You can click through his Twitter thread above for a more full explanation, if you must know the "why" behind the tiebreakers. 

Otherwise, the Commanders are the Eagles' only NFC East rival to play on Sunday.

• Falcons at Commanders (1:00 p.m.): In my opinion, the biggest threat in the NFC to the Eagles Super Bowl aspirations are the San Francisco 49ers, who are playing good football right now and could be a difficult matchup. It would be ideal for the Eagles if the Niners don't qualify for the playoffs. Below, you can see what the playoff situation looks like at the moment in the NFC. For the Niners not to make the playoffs, the Seahawks would have to beat them out in the NFC West, and a team like the Commanders or Falcons would also have to catch them in the wildcard hunt. 

Seed NFC 
Eagles (NFCE)
Vikings (NFCN)
49ers (NFCW)4 
Buccaneers (NFCS)
Cowboys (WC)
Giants (WC)
Seahawks (WC) 4 
Commanders 5 
Falcons 6 
10 Lions 
11 Packers 
12 Cardinals 
13 Saints 
14 Rams 
15 Panthers 
16 Bears 

The Commanders, at 6-5, are in a better position to catch San Francisco, so they are the more ideal winner.

• Raiders at Seahawks (4:05 p.m.): As noted above, it's better if the Seahawks win the NFC West.

Draft positioning

• Saints at 49ers (4:25 p.m.): If the season ended right now (it doesn't), the Saints' first-round pick, owned by the Eagles, would be 10th overall, down from fourth overall a week ago. However, unlike most weeks, it's not a no-brainer to root for the Saints to lose, since, as noted above, it's ideal if the Niners don't make the playoffs.

This is a game in which the Eagles will get good outcome either way whether that's with a Saints loss (thus better draft positioning), or a Niners loss (thus weakening a legitimate Super Bowl contender). 

Anyway, as always, let's fire up the mock draft simulator each week just for fun:

  1. Pick No. 10: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State
  2. Pick No. 31: Gervon Dexter, DT, Florida
  3. Pick No. 63: JL Skinner, S, Boise State
  4. Pick No. 95: Andrew Vorhees, iOL, USC
  5. Pick No. 197: Kendre Miller, RB, TCU
  6. Pick No. 227: Isaiah Land, Edge, Florida A&M

Buccaneers at Browns (1:00 p.m.): The Bucs hold a 1.5-game lead on the Saints in the NFC South. It would be ideal if they extend that cushion, thus helping guarantee at least a top 18 pick.

And then there are some other teams with bad records near the top of the draft order who could be jockeying for position with that Saints pick. It's better if these teams win:

  1. Ravens at Jaguars (1:00 p.m.)
  2. Bears at Jets (1:00 p.m.)
  3. Texans at Dolphins (1:00 p.m.)
  4. Chargers at Cardinals (4:05 p.m.)
  5. Rams at Chiefs (4:25 p.m.)
  6. Steelers at Colts (MNF): Either outcome is helpful.
  7. Broncos at Panthers (1:00 p.m.): Either outcome is helpful.

Irrelevant to the Eagles

  1. Bengals at Titans (1:00 p.m.)

Teams on their bye week: None.

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