The Philadelphia Eagles lowered their magic quantity to clinch the NFC’s high spot and a first-round bye to at least one with a win at Chicago, however the victory got here at a value. Quarterback Jalen Hurts sprained his proper shoulder within the third quarter, and whereas Eagles Coach Nick Sirianni doesn’t anticipate the harm will sideline the MVP front-runner long run, his standing for Saturday’s recreation at Dallas is unsure.
Dak Prescott and the Cowboys clinched a playoff spot Sunday, however it was hardly price celebrating. One week after needing a late landing to keep away from a loss at residence to the league-worst Houston Texans, Dallas blew a 17-point second-half lead in a 40-34 additional time loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. And in a prime-time showdown that includes the biggest playoff chance swing of any recreation this yr, the New York Giants defeated the Washington Commanders at FedEx Discipline.
All 4 NFC East groups would make the playoffs if the season ended at present. Fortunately for Hurts and the Eagles, it doesn’t. Right here’s a have a look at the place issues stand with three weeks remaining within the common season.
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Philadelphia Eagles (13-1)
Hurts made up for his two first-half interceptions with 17 carries for 61 yards and three speeding touchdowns. A.J. Brown (9 catches for 181 yards) and DeVonta Smith (5 catches for 126 yards) each had big video games, as Hurts didn’t miss a snap after his shoulder harm and nonetheless managed to throw for 315 yards. Gardner Minshew will begin at quarterback if Hurts can’t play Saturday.
Haason Reddick, Jason Hargrave and Josh Sweat had two sacks apiece, because the Eagles restricted Chicago to 4.3 yards per play. Assuming Hurts is near one hundred pc by the point the playoffs start, Philadelphia seems to be just like the group to beat within the NFC, however the San Francisco 49ers might current a critical problem.
Remaining schedule (document in parentheses): at Dallas (10-4), vs. New Orleans (5-9), vs. N.Y. Giants (8-5-1)
Playoff outlook: The Eagles can clinch a first-round bye with a win or a Cowboys loss over the ultimate three weeks of the common season.
Prescott threw two interceptions Sunday, together with one in additional time that bounced off huge receiver Noah Brown’s arms and was returned for the game-winning landing. He’s thrown seven interceptions over his previous 4 video games and 11 this season, which is 2 shy of his profession excessive set in 2017.
The Cowboys, who took a 27-10 lead with 5 minutes remaining within the third quarter, sacked Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence solely as soon as and allowed Jacksonville to transform eight of its 12 third downs. Jaguars operating again Travis Etienne rushed for 103 yards and huge receiver Zay Jones scored three touchdowns.
Remaining schedule: vs. Philadelphia (13-1), at Tennessee (7-7), at Washington (7-6-1)
Playoff outlook: The Cowboys will most probably end because the fifth seed, which might imply a first-round matchup with the NFC South champion. Coming into Week 16, that’s the Tom Brady-led, sub-.500 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who at 6-8 are a recreation up on the Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons.
The Giants shook off a rout by the Eagles final week to tug off a gutsy win in prime time behind a gentle efficiency by quarterback Daniel Jones and a protection that compelled two key turnovers. Rookie edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux had a game-high 12 tackles, together with three for a loss. He gave the Giants the lead for good within the second quarter by forcing a fumble on a sack of Taylor Heinicke and returning it for a landing.
Jones was 21 of 32 for 160 yards. Saquon Barkley had his finest recreation in weeks, with 18 carries for 87 yards and a landing. Regardless of being restricted offensively — Richie James and Isaiah Hodgins led the group with 42 and 37 receiving yards, respectively, towards Washington — first-year Coach Brian Daboll has the Giants closing in on their first playoff berth since 2016.
Remaining schedule: at Minnesota (11-3), vs. Indianapolis (4-9-1), at Philadelphia (13-1)
Playoff outlook: The Giants’ playoff possibilities elevated to roughly 90 p.c after Sunday evening’s win. New York can clinch a playoff spot as early as Saturday with a win over the Minnesota Vikings and any mixture of two losses by the Detroit Lions, Seattle Seahawks and Commanders.
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Washington Commanders (7-6-1)
Washington wasted a golden alternative to extend its odds of clinching a playoff berth for the second time in three years. Heinicke struggled, notably within the first half. He was below strain all through the sport and misplaced his second fumble within the pink zone with Washington driving for the potential go-ahead rating within the fourth quarter. The Commanders had been 1 of 10 on third down and scored on solely considered one of their three pink zone journeys.
Rookie operating again Brian Robinson Jr. was efficient, ending with 89 yards, however he had solely 4 carries after halftime. Ron Rivera mentioned Heinicke will begin towards the 49ers on Saturday, however acknowledged that making a transfer to Carson Wentz is one thing he’ll “have to consider sooner or later.”
Remaining schedule: at San Francisco (10-4), vs. Cleveland (6-8), at Dallas (10-4)
Playoff outlook: Washington is clinging to the NFC’s seventh and ultimate playoff spot and nonetheless controls its personal future. The Commanders can have a roughly 80 p.c probability to make the playoffs in the event that they go 2-1 over their ultimate video games. In the event that they go 1-2, they’ll want some critical assist.