December 26, 2020
After one of the more dreadful seasons in recent franchise history, the 4-9-1 Philadelphia Eagles have a not-so-crazy path to winning the NFC East in 2020. Really all they need is the following to occur:
Likely? No. But possible? Sure. I mean, it feels more likely than when they needed a pair of underdogs in the Texans and Raiders to beat the Bears and Bucs, respectively, in Week 17 of the 2008 season, before they took care of the Cowboys themselves in the 44-6 game.
So for those of you still hoping the Eagles can hang a "6-9-1 NFC East champs" banner at the Linc, your rooting interests are rather clear:
• Panthers at Football Team (-1): The Football Team suddenly has distractions galore. Dwayne Haskins was photographed not wearing a mask an event with strippers, and it came to light this week that the Football Team paid $1.6 million to a former employee in 2009 to settle a sexual misconduct claim she made against Dan Snyder, per the Washington Post.
Haskins was stripped of his captaincy (lol), and fined $40,000. Snyder claimed that he is being extorted by one of the team's minority owners. So, business as usual with the Football Team.
On the field, the Football Team should take care of business, as their defense has been playing at a very high level the last month or so. We'll see. It's interesting that this line is only Football Team (-1), per the consensus odds at TheLines.com. Oddsmakers clearly believe that Haskins will start, as opposed to Alex Smith, who has a calf strain in his bad leg.
• Giants at Ravens (-10.5): The Giants have failed to score 20 points in each of their last four games, and they're averaging 12.3 points per game over that span. Meanwhile, the Ravens' offense the last three weeks has looked more like the Ravens' offense circa 2019, as they have scored 121 combined points the last three weeks.
If you're of the opinion that the Eagles are better off missing the playoffs and getting a higher draft pick, then you would want the Football Team to win Sunday and put the Eagles out of their misery.
You will also be rooting for the four-and five-win teams to win their games. An updated look at the draft order, via Tankathon:
Ideal winners bolded:
The game above that's perhaps debatable is the Bengals vs. Texans. If the Texans win and the Eagles lose, the Eagles will definitely jump their spot (the Dolphins own their pick) in the draft order. If the Bengals win and the Eagles lose, the Eagles might not jump the Bengals, because the tiebreaker is strength of schedule, and as you can see above, they're only separated by .002 percentage points on that front.
Should the Panthers beat the Football Team and the Eagles lose, the Eagles would jump the Panthers, so there's perhaps merit in that. However, as noted above, if you want the Eagles' season to just be over, it's best if the Football Team clinches the division on Sunday, locking them in at no better than the 19th overall pick, where it would be difficult for them to draft a quality quarterback prospect.