HomeDa Birds NewsEagles Remain in Control of NFC Playoff Picture Despite Disappointing Loss

Eagles Remain in Control of NFC Playoff Picture Despite Disappointing Loss

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At this point in the NFL calendar, the expression “control their own destiny” is so overused that it becomes tiresome. Yet, despite an unpleasant defeat to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 13, the Philadelphia Eagles still, for lack of a better way to phrase it, control their own destiny.

Let’s not sugarcoat it: Sunday’s 42-19 loss to the 49ers is cause for concern for the Eagles, as Kyle Shanahan’s offense exploited Sean Desai’s defense. Deebo Samuel scored three touchdowns and the 49ers also boast talent in pass-catchers Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle. Meanwhile, running back Christian McCaffrey and quarterback Brock Purdy both made a strong case for being MVP candidates. Moreover, the 49ers now hold the tiebreaker over the Eagles if both teams finish with the same record.

With that said, the 49ers are 9-3 after the win, compared to the Eagles’ 10-2 record. Thus, the tiebreaker isn’t yet a factor, as the Eagles still maintain the better record.

Deebo Samuel and the San Francisco 49ers crushed the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 13. 

Eric Hartline/USA Today

The loss to the 49ers certainly elevates the importance of the upcoming Sunday Night Football game against the Dallas Cowboys. If the Eagles had defeated the 49ers, sweeping the Cowboys would have been ideal. However, the loss to the 49ers means the Eagles probably need to sweep the Cowboys to win the NFC East and maintain control of the top playoff spot in the NFC, which entails a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Even with Jalen Hurts returning after an injury scare, it’s evident that his left knee injury has limited his mobility as a rusher. Having a week off heading into the playoffs would be advantageous for the Eagles, as would securing home-field advantage and preventing teams like the Cowboys, who excel in their stadium, from having the upper hand.

It’s likely that the 49ers would be favored over the Eagles in a potential postseason rematch, considering that the Eagles were rare home underdogs on Sunday. The 49ers are known for their physically dominant style of play, which was evident in their victories against the Eagles and Cowboys this season, and may carry them to Super Bowl LVIII. However, this style also makes them vulnerable to injuries.

Despite this, the Eagles are still in control of the NFC’s No. 1 seed, and they can compel the 49ers, as well as other contenders in the conference, to come to Philadelphia and defeat them in the postseason.

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