Ranking possible playoff opponents for the Eagles from easiest to hardest (1/7/22)

One week remains of the NFL regular season, and the Eagles have officially clinched a playoff spot for the fourth time over the last five years.

The only uncertainty that remains is who the Eagles will play in the wild card round.

Here are my rankings from easiest to hardest Wild Card matchups for the Eagles based on matchups, style of play, etc.

1. Arizona Cardinals

While this is a highly unlikely matchup for the Eagles due to the number of things that would have to happen for it to work, but this is easily the most preferable matchup for the Eagles.

The Cardinals are floundering at the moment. They have lost three of their last four games, including an eighteen-point loss to the worst team in the NFC, the Detroit Lions.

Arguably the best wide receiver in the league, DeAndre Hopkins, is likely out for the season depending on how far they go into the playoffs.

Without his top receiver, Kyler Murray’s play has dipped drastically.

Under Vance Joesph, the defense has been one of the best all season, as they only managed to allow 20.5 points per game, which is 5th best in the league.

But the Eagles have managed to put points on the board against some of the league’s top defenses.

They put up 30 points against the Broncos who are 3rd in the league in points allowed per game. The Eagles scored 40 points against a Saints defense that has allowed the fourth-fewest points per game.

2. Los Angeles Rams

Matt Stafford has only played in three playoff games throughout his 12-year career. His lack of experience in the playoffs will probably result in anxiousness or jitters.

Stafford throughout his career has been known as a turnover machine. In ten of his twelve seasons, he has thrown ten or more interceptions, and this season is no different, as he has thrown 15 interceptions with one game left of the regular season.

The Rams have one of the best passing attacks in the league with Stafford’s elite passing ability and the NFL’s best wide receiver in Cooper Kupp, but their running game has been suspect.

They have are 24th in rushing. Their top running back, Darell Henderson, is out for 3–5 weeks with an MCL sprain, and they have Sony Michel who could not be relied upon to be the team’s number one back.

They also have Cam Akers in the fold now, but he’s been out for the entire season and will likely show signs of rust.

Their defense features two of the NFL’s best players in Jalen Ramsey and Aaron Donald, but they are still middle of the pack in terms of passing defense and points allowed per game.

Add in the fact that Sean McVay has an 0–2 record against the Eagles at home.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Yes, their whole squad is riddled with injuries, but Tom Brady is the best player to ever play the game of football, and you should never count out the G.O.A.T.

Even with their top wide receiver, Chris Godwin, out for the season with a Torn ACL, the recently let go, Antonio Brown, due to his bizarre antics, and running back, Leonard Fournette, missing the last few weeks with a hamstring injury, this team is still primed for a playoff run.

They still have an elite receiver in Mike Evans, a tight end in Rob Gronkowski who is still performing at a high level, and Fournette is expected back in time for the playoffs.

The heart and soul of the Bucs defense, linebacker Lavonte David, is expected to return in time for the playoffs.

Their defense’s biggest strength is their ability to stop the run. They are allowing the third-fewest rushing yards per game at only 91.4.

The Eagles biggest strength on offense is running the ball, as they lead the league in rushing yards, but if they can’t run the ball, then their offense has to rely on the arm of Jalen Hurts which still has room for improvement.

4. Dallas Cowboys

Earlier in the season, the Cowboys handled business fairly easily against the Eagles by a score of 41–21.

Dak Prescott has played like one of the best quarterbacks this season, and after a few games where he struggled because of an ankle injury that he had suffered during the season, it looks as though he is back to normal and getting back to playing at a high level.

Their offensive line is arguably the best in the league with Pro Bowl players in Zack Martin and Tyron Smith, and it will be incredibly difficult for an Eagles defensive line that has trouble getting to the quarterback.

Their offense is loaded with playmakers in running back Ezekiel Elliot, wide receivers in Ceedee Lamb and Amari Cooper, and tight end Dalton Schultz.

On the defensive side of the ball, they are led by rookie and arguably the best defensive player in the league in linebacker Micah Parsons and cornerback Trevon Diggs who leads the league in interceptions with eleven.

In Dan Quinn’s first season as defensive coordinator, he has completely turned around the defense.

Last season, the defense allowed the fifth-most points per game at 29.0. This season, there only allow 20.8 points per game, which is seventh-best in the league.

Because the Eagles are playing the Cowboys at home to wrap up the regular season, it wouldn’t help that they would have to play them twice in a row, but this time it would be in Dallas.

--

--

Temple University | WHIP Radio | Philly sports Phanatic | Work Hard Play Hard

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Miles Bailey

Temple University | WHIP Radio | Philly sports Phanatic | Work Hard Play Hard