PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Eagles fans are still reeling from the soul-crushing loss to the Saints Sunday, but the season is far from over. According to FiveThirtyEight, the Eagles are still very much alive for the NFC East title.
“They try to simulate the market 10,000 times and basically, they’ll play the season out 10,000 times and they’ll say ‘OK, out of those 10,000 times, how many times did the Philadelphia Eagles happen to win the division?'” Temple University Assistant Professor George Diemer said. “According to them, it’s 18 percent. How many times do they make the playoffs? Twenty-one percent of the time.”
Diemer says the odds are even more in the Birds’ favor after the Washington Redskins lost quarterback Alex Smith for the season in their loss to the Texans Sunday.
The Eagles have two remaining games against the Redskins, who lead the Birds by two games in the NFC East.
With six regular season games remaining — and four within the division — there is still plenty of hope in Philadelphia.
“It’s true that [the Eagles] have been doing poorly lately, but if we can assume that they get their act together — with the rest of the games they have coming up — they can really kind of control their own destiny,” Diemer said.
Diemer says the trick is to pay attention to the numbers and not fans’ emotions.
“Everybody else in the division has really been struggling,” he said. “They have a lot of serious injuries, and in addition to that, we still get to play them several times so it’s almost as if we can get our act together then we have a pretty good chance of turning the season around and maybe winning the division.”
Before Smith’s season-ending injury, FiveThirtyEight gave the Redskins a 42 percent chance at winning the NFC East, followed by the Cowboys at 39 percent.
The Eagles will try to start that turnaround with a home divisional game vs. the Giants on Sunday.