Here’s where things get much more unlikely, but it’s worth making a note of – and I’ll start with this:
The young and talented Raiders were an impressive 11-3 heading into Week 16 a year ago. Then-third-year quarterback Derek Carr looked like a franchise quarterback who might be ready to lead the Men in Black to the top of the NFL.
But Carr suffered leg injury against the Indianapolis Colts that would set the stage for disaster. The Raiders, badly needing a win to clinch both the AFC West and a first-round bye in the AFC playoff bracket, were almost shut out by the Denver Broncos on Week 17. The Raiders settled for the wild card birth at 12-4 and quietly bowed out following a loss on the road to the Houston Texan.
So close, but so far.
And how do you think the Green Bay Packers feel at this time? One minute they were rolling with quarterback Aaron Rodgers – and then boom.
My point is this: The NFL is a week-to-week league and there’s no such thing as predicting Super Bowl participants anymore. Things change overnight in professional football, both on and off the field, and this is why an Eagles loss to Seattle could be interesting.
I maintain that the Eagles are a good team that’s healthy and also playing one of the softer schedules we’ve seen in some time, which was by design given that the Iggles didn’t make the playoffs in 2016. Philly has beaten the Redskins (5-7) twice, the Los Angeles Chargers (0-4 at the time), the San Francisco 49ers (1-10), the Giants (2-9), the Arizona Cardinals (5-6), and the Denver Broncos (3-8).
Two other wins have come against the Cowboys, who were missing four Pro Bowl players at the time, and also the Chicago Bears (3-8).
The Eagles have played two well-matched games this season: At the Kansas City Chiefs and at the Carolina Panthers.
In those games the ”mighty” Eagles are 1-1.
Talk about a cake walk – this is the kind of garbage schedule that the New England Patriots have been cheating their way through for almost two decades.
What if the Eagles face sudden adversity, beginning on Sunday night? What if this three-game stretch on the road, starting in Seattle, brings about a true test of better opponents that are fully loaded and a bit more desperate?
If the Eagles should fall to Seattle, then Philly still faces road games against the Rams and Giants before wrapping up the regular season at home against Oakland and Dallas, the latter expecting those four Pro Bowl players back.
Could it get interesting?
Yes, but the question is exactly how.
This is why Seattle versus Philadelphia certainly qualifies as must-see TV on NBC Sunday Night Football.