December 10, 2022
The Philadelphia Eagles will take on the New York Giants on Sunday and try to hold serve in what is becoming a very competitive NFC playoff landscape.
As we continue to get closer to the end of the regular season, what happens around the rest of the league will matter to the Eagles, in terms of playoff seeding, how quickly they can rest their starters if they keep winning, and draft positioning. And, of course, we will watch the New Orleans Saints closely, because the Eagles own their first-round pick in 2023. Ideal winners bolded.
Let's first update the NFC East standings:
• Texans at Cowboys (1:00 p.m.): The 1-10-1 Texans should be in full-on tank mode the rest of the season, not that they would have much hope of beating the Cowboys even if they were fully invested in winning games. I think the best that Eagles fans can reasonably hope for is that Texans at least keep the game close enough that that Dallas can't rest starters in the fourth quarter.
Otherwise, the Eagles are playing the Giants, as noted above, and the Commanders are on their bye week.
• Vikings at Lions: The soonest the Eagles can clinch the 1 seed without any outside help is if they beat the Giants, Bears, Cowboys, and then the Saints Week 17 at home on New Years Day. If the Vikings lose to the Lions — and they're actually underdogs in this game — the Eagles would only need to win their next three games to clinch the 1 seed.
• Buccaneers at 49ers: Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a foot injury that will probably keep him out the rest of the season, so it will be interesting to see how they play under rookie Brock Purdy, the literal last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft. Purdy played well in Garoppolo's absence Week 13 against the Dolphins, but starting (and having someone like Todd Bowles game plan specifically for you) will be another challenge. The Niners were looking like significant threats in the NFC playoffs a week ago. We'll get a better idea on Sunday if they still appear to be a major player in January or not. Ideally, they will look worse, obviously.
If the season ended right now (it doesn't), the Saints pick would be fifth overall, up from sixth overall a week ago. As always, let's fire up the mock draft simulator each week just for fun:
Pick No. 5: The Colts offered me this trade, and I took it:
|Colts get||Eagles get|
|No. 5 overall pick||No. 9 overall pick|
|No. 40 overall pick|
|2024 1st round pick|
|2024 3rd round pick|
• Pick No. 9: Brian Bresee, DT, Clemson: Good run stuffer, intriguing pass rusher. The Eagles have to replace some combination of Fletcher Cox, Linval Joseph, Ndamukong Suh, and maybe Javon Hargrave.
• Pick No. 31: Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Edge, Kansas State: Explosive pass rusher with 19.5 sacks and 8 FFs the last two seasons (25 games).
• Pick No. 40: JL Skinner, S, Boise State: Huge safety (6'4, 220) who can be an enforcer over the middle, but who also has good range. Can maybe be a S/LB hybrid.
• Pick No. 63: Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee: RG of the present, RT of the future.
• Pick No. 95: Bo Nix, QB, Oregon: Athletic QB with some similar traits as Jalen Hurts.
• Pick No. 196: Payne Durham, TE, Purdue: "Bull in a China shop" TE who catches red zone TDs and blocks his ass off.
• Pick No. 227: Deuce Vaughn, RB, Kansas State: 5'6 RB with bigtime college stats and some receiving chops.
By the way, here's my official "mock draft simulator" rankings so far:
Man, I need a life.
Anyway, getting back on topic, prior to the Saints' Week 13 matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday Night Football, fivethirtyeight.com placed the Saints' chances of making playoffs at eight percent. With a win, those odds would have jumped up to around 24 percent. With a loss, they are now down to less than one percent. The New York Times' playoff probability tracker basically agreed. They too gave the Saints an eight percent chance, which jumped to 20 percent with a win over the Bucs, and less than one percent with a loss.
With the Saints' loss in Tampa, the Eagles have all but cliched at least a top 18 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. That pick will more likely land in the top 10. If the season ended today, it would be the fifth overall pick. A look at the top 18, via Tankathon:
The Saints have their bye this week, but both the ceiling and floor of where that pick can ultimately land can improve. Here are the ideal winners around the rest of the league in terms of draft positioning:
The above is also how I view the order of game outcome importance.
Irrelevant to the Eagles
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