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October 28, 2018

Week 8 non-Eagles Sunday rooting guide

Eagles NFL
102818EliManning Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports

E-L-I-L-E-S! Eliles! OK, that's stretch.

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. After a disappointing 3-4 start, the Eagles are highly unlikely to earn any sort of first-round bye, as their best chance of making the playoffs (and any kind of noise if they get there) will be as the winner of the NFC East. 

Of course, the Washington Redskins lead the Birds at the moment by a game and a half at 4-2, and have a favorable schedule the rest of the way. As such, 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.

Ideal winner in bold:

• Redskins at Giants: This is as obvious as it gets. The Redskins are 4-2, atop the NFC East. A Giants win would not only benefit the Eagles in terms of chances of winning the division, but it would also hurt the Giants' draft position.

• Packers at Rams: The Eagles aren't catching the Rams at this point, so it's probably best if the Packers just take another loss in case the Redskins somehow run away with the division and the Eagles' only way into the playoffs is via a wildcard.

Jets at Bears: The more losses the rest of the NFC teams take, the better the chances of an Eagles wildcard, should they need one.

• Buccaneers at Bengals: Ditto

• Ravens at Panthers: Ditto again, though at least there's debate on this game, as the Eagles own the Ravens' second-round pick. A Panthers loss potentially benefits the Eagles more than marginally better draft position in the second round, in my view.

• Seahawks at Lions: Both of these teams are 3-3, so it's probably better if the Seahawks lose, seeing as Russell Wilson seems to have the Eagles' number.

49ers at Cardinals: This game is all about ruining the Giants' draft position. In my view, the Cardinals are the worse team here, so it's probably just better if they continue to keep pace with the Giants. 

Saints at Vikings: Like the Rams above, the Eagles can probably forget about catching the Saints, so it's maybe best if the Vikings take another loss.

Irrelevant to the Eagles:

  1. Broncos at Chiefs
  2. Browns at Steelers
  3. Colts at Raiders
  4. Patriots at Bills


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