Even with a win at New York on Sunday, the Eagles will have to wait until Week 16 at the earliest for a chance to clinch a playoff spot or the division title. A win Sunday, however, would go a long way towards accomplishing that goal because the Eagles would need just one win or one Giants to win the NFC East.
There are four other NFC teams that have the chance to secure a spot in the 2010 NFL playoffs this weekend. Believe it or not, one of them is the Eagles' opponent.
The Atlanta Falcons have the simplest road to the playoffs this week. If they beat the Seahawks in Seattle (4:15 PM ET), they clinch a playoff spot. Even if the Falcons lose that game, a loss by New York, Chicago or Green Bay would still put Atlanta in the playoffs.
The Chicago Bears will be looking to win the NFC North for the first time since 2006 on Monday night when they travel to Minnesota to face the Vikings. The Bears will need to win that game, and have the Packers lose in New England on Sunday night, to don the championship gear. But first things first: the Bears have to handle the elements in Minnesota. While the Vikings usually play indoors at the Metrodome, damage from the collapsed roof has moved the game to the open-air TCF Bank Stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota. The brand new, state-of-the-art facility will host its first NFL game with temperatures forecasted to be around zero degrees at kickoff (with wind chills around -20 degrees).
The New Orleans Saints have a number of scenarios in which they can clinch a playoff spot on Sunday, all of which begin with beating the Ravens on Sunday afternoon in Baltimore and for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to lose Sunday at home against Detroit. Even if those two results happen, a number of other things must happen so the Saints will likely have to wait at least one more week.
The Giants can clinch a playoff berth this weekend. First, they must beat the Eagles. Second, Chicago, Green Bay and Tampa Bay must all lose. Last, a combination of other results must happen to result in the Giants clinching the strength of victory tiebreaker over the Buccaneers.
-- Posted by Josh Goldman, 5:30 p.m., December 17