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Philadelphia Eagles

Finalized NFC Playoff Picture

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The 2017 NFL regular season is in the books and the playoffs are now set in stone after a wild weekend. The Philadelphia Eagles fell to 13-3, losing an ugly 6-0 game to the Dallas Cowboys, but still remain the one seed with home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Home field advantage is important for an Eagles team whose defense ranks 2nd in points allowed differential in regard to home/away splits, giving up 9.1 less points at home. I broke down the Eagles splits further on the 12.28.17 Locked On Eagles.

How did the rest of the NFC playoff picture shake out?

The NFC North Champion Minnesota Vikings clinched the two seed with a 23-10 win over the Chicago Bears, improving their record to 13-3. This is big for the Vikings. Coming into this week their vaunted defense allowed 6 less points per game at home, averaged 1.7 more sacks, and a allowed whopping 53 less yards on the ground.

They won’t have to worry about a road game unless they meet the Eagles in the NFC Conference Championship Game.

In the first wild card match-up, the third seed Los Angeles Rams will be at home against the six seed Atlanta Falcons. The Rams sat most of their starters in Week 17 and ended up dropping a home game to the San Francisco 49ers, 34-13, but got help to help them clinch the third seed.

In the other wild card round, the four seed NFC South Champion New Orleans Saints will be at home against the five seed Carolina Panthers. The Saints lost in a 31-24 heart-pounder against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as Jameis Winston hit rookie WR Chris Godwin (#HIVE) on a 39 yard go-ahead touchdown. It wasn’t all bad for the Saints, as Drew Brees set an NFL all-time record for single-season completion percentage (72.0).

Cam Newton had a shaky performance against the Atlanta Falcons, throwing a late 4th quarter interception to Keanu Neal to essentially seal their 22-10 loss.

Gut reaction way-too-early predictions: Saints over Panthers, Rams over Falcons. This would pit the Eagles at home against the Saints and the Rams would travel to Minnesota in the NFC Divisional Round

Michael is an NFL Draft enthusiast, aspiring scout, and grandson of longtime East Stroudsburg (Pa.) HS football coach John P. Kist. He hosts Locked On Eagles and writes for Inside the Pylon & Breaking Football.

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