NFL Playoff Photo: Saints loss to Dolphins moves Eagles closer to win in Week 17

The Philadelphia Eagles are one step closer to winning a playoff spot with the New Orleans Saints losing to the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football.

The Birds ‘postseason chances improved from 60% to 68% with the Saints’ losses, according to FiveThirtyEight. (They would have dropped to 52% with a win in New Orleans.)

Philly’s chances will officially go up to 100% if the following clinching scenario unfolds in week 17:

Although this parlay is hardly guaranteed to happen, it is very possible.

The eagles ought to be able to beat a Washington team that has just been torn down. But it may not be a cakewalk for Philly.

The Vikings seem unlikely to sweep their season series with the Packers, especially with Aaron Rodgers looking unstoppable.

The Saints looked pretty hopeless with Ian Book on Monday night. Maybe they’ll get Taysom Hill and / or Trevor Siemian back. Those guys are not quite good either, but they can be enough to beat a terrible Panthers team. But maybe not! Carolina blew New Orleans out earlier this year, no matter what it’s worth.

The 49ers are hard to match with Trey Lance potentially starting his second game. He did not look so hot in his first outing back in October, getting a pass rating of 58.4. The Texans come after a big win over the Los Angeles Chargers, but do they really have two wins in a row?

Needless to say, there will be scoreboard monitoring on Sunday. The Eagles can get things started with a win in their 1:00 PM ET kickoff. The Saints-Panthers and 49ers-Texans games take place in the late game window, so we’ll see if the Birds get at least one of two desirable results there. Provided they do, the Vikings-Packers match will be a must-watch affair on Sunday night. Rodgers can help ensure a happy Clinchmas for Philly as we call into the new year. (It was pretty forced, but uh, go with it.) All the while, it also helped the Packers stay ahead of the Cowboys for the No. 1 seed.

Can’t wait for this weekend.

DIVISION LEADERS

1 – Green Bay Packers (12-3) – Got NFC North
2 – Dallas Cowboys (11-4) – Clinched NFC East
3 – Los Angeles Rams (11-4) – Finished the playoff spot
4 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-4) – Got NFC South

WILD CARD-HOLD

5 – Arizona Cardinals (10-5) – Finished the playoff spot
6 – San Francisco 49ers (8-7)
7 – Philadelphia Eagles (8-7)

IN THE HUNT

8 – New Orleans Saints (7-8)
9 – Minnesota Vikings (7-8)
10 – Atlanta Falcons (7-8)
11 – Washington Football Team (6-9)

ELIMINATED

12 – Carolina Panthers (5-10)
13 – Chicago Bears (5-10)
14 – Seattle Seahawks (5-10)
15 – New York Giants (4-11)
16 – Detroit Lions (2-12-1)


The downside to the Dolphins’ victory, of course, is that it damages the placement of the first round that Miami owes the Eagles in the 2022 NFL Draft. The fish are currently set to make the off-season as the No. 7 seed. The good news for Philly is that Miami has two tough remaining games (on paper, at least) with an away game in Tennessee and a home game against New England.

AFC PLAYOFF PICTURE

DIVISION LEADERS

1 – Kansas City Chiefs (11-4) – Clinched AFC West
2 – Tennessee Titans (10-5)
3 – Cincinnati Bengals (9-5)
4 – Buffalo Bills (9-6)

WILD CARD-HOLD

5 – Indianapolis Colts (9-6)
6 – New England Patriots (9-6)
7 – Miami Dolphins (8-7)

IN THE HUNT

8 – Baltimore Ravens (8-7)
9 – Los Angeles Chargers (8-7)
10 – Las Vegas Raiders (8-7)
11 – Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7-1)
12 – Cleveland Browns (7-8)
13 – Denver Broncos (7-8)

ELIMINATED

14 – New York Jets (4-11)
15 – Houston Texans (4-11)
16 – Jacksonville Jaguars (2-13)

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