In step with knowledge supplied by way of TruMedia, NFC East groups are Three-18 towards combatants with successful data, the department’s worst such mark at this level of the season because the NFL expanded to 32 groups and realigned into 8 divisions in 2002. In some other little bit of ugliness, NFC East groups are simply 10-26 in video games out of doors in their department — once more, the worst mark at this level of the season because the start of the present league configuration. The following-worst department this season? The AFC West, which is 14-18 in out-of-division video games.
In reality, the NFC East is placing in combination one of the vital worst out-of-division data of the previous 18 years. Handiest the 2008 NFC West, 2014 NFC South, 2008 AFC West and 2004 NFC West had been worse at this level within the season.
NFL laws dictate department winners earn playoff berths, so each and every of the ones department winners, in spite of their futile mark towards non-division groups, had been represented within the postseason. And, strangely, they weren’t embarrassed.
In 2004, the NFC West despatched the Seattle Seahawks (at Nine-7, the department champion) and the St. Louis Rams (at Eight-Eight, a wild-card staff) to the playoffs. The Rams beat the Seahawks within the wild-card spherical however then fell to the Atlanta Falcons, 47-17, within the divisional spherical. In 2008, the NFC West used to be represented by way of the Nine-7 Arizona Cardinals, who misplaced to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Tremendous Bowl XLIII. That very same season, the AFC West’s San Diego Chargers (Eight-Eight) gained their wild-card recreation earlier than shedding to the Steelers within the divisional spherical. And in 2014, the 7-Eight-1 Carolina Panthers gave the NFC South a playoff win (over the Cardinals) earlier than shedding to the top-seeded Seahawks, the eventual Tremendous Bowl runner-up.
As discussed previous, the Cowboys take a seat on the peak of the department heading into Sunday, with a 63 p.c probability at successful the department. (That estimate is in line with 1,000 simulations of the rest of the season, the use of groups’ exact win charges, projected win charges in line with general issues scored and allowed and a regressed win charge that accounts for having performed not up to a complete season of video games.) The Eagles have the next-best probability at 37 p.c and the Washington Redskins, in spite of a Three-Nine document, are nonetheless mathematically alive within the divisional race.
The rest recreation that would swing this outlook essentially the most is the Week 16 matchup between the Cowboys and Eagles. In step with the New York Instances Playoff Image, an Eagles win in that recreation would reinforce their playoff possibilities from 33 to 60 p.c, whilst a loss would shrink their playoff possibilities to a trifling 4 p.c. That’s without reference to every other consequence over the following couple of weeks. If the Eagles organize to win their subsequent two video games (vs. the Giants after which at Washington), Dallas Week turns into a lot more necessary. A win in that situation would push Philadelphia’s playoff possibilities from 50 to 87 p.c, whilst a loss would cut back them from 50 to 10 p.c.
If the Cowboys beat the Los Angeles Rams in Week 15, then they may just about clinch the department towards the Eagles the next week. Beating the Rams may additionally, no less than marginally, bolster the department’s sagging recognition.