With three weeks to go, we have a three-way tie for first (I use that term loosely) in the NFC (L)East.
And everyone has at least one divisional game remaining, which means this will be an exciting end to the season for all of us - well, other than the Cowboys, who are the only team who are pretty much out of it at this point (and it occurs to me that, even at 4-9, they may not be mathematically eliminated. Wait: is that possible? Yes, it is, at least as of Wednesday, December 16. Yikes.)
Two of the Birds' remaining games are against NFC East rivals: DC and, to end the season, the Giants. I also think it may be the case that, regardless of what happens this weekend, as long as the Eagles win both of those games, they win our sorry-ass division. Which, for those who are bad at math (or at least at counting), would be wining the division at 8-8. Which may happen.
So what do I think will happen this weekend, as the Eagles take on the Cards in prime time?
After beating the Pats, anything is possible.
But (say it with me) if I pick them to win, they lose, and if I pick them to lose, they win.
So I'm picking the Cardinals, and hoping for a 9-7 finish to spare us the shame of a .500 divisional winner.
(Hey, it's been working so far....)
In the other matchups:
Buccaneers at Rams: Bucs
Jets at Cowboys: Jets
Bears at Vikings: I think Vikings, but this one could go either way. The Bears have been playing better lately, and divisional games - who can tell?
Falcons at Jaguars: The Falcons have really fallen off a cliff after a hot start, but I just can't see them losing to the Jags. Then again, I didn't think the Colts would get beaten like a red-headed stepchild by the Jags last week, either, so who knows? But I am going with the Falcons, which may be a mistake.
Texans at Colts: Texans.
Panthers at Giants: The G-men have a history of getting hot late in the season, but I'm pretty sure they're about to run into an ice storm called Cam Newton/Luke Kuechly and slide right off the road (that metaphor ended up a mess, didn't it?). Panthers.
Titans at Patriots: Pats
Bills at DC: I've got the Bills, and not just because it would REALLY help out the Birds, although that, too.
Chiefs at Ravens: Chiefs
Browns at Seahawks: Seahawks
Packers at Raiders: Packers
Broncos at Steelers: Steelers
Dolphins at Chargers: This is another one that could go either way, and there's definitely more than a bit of "who cares?" to this matchup, but I'll go Dolphins.
Bengals at 49ers: Rough week last week, and Andy Dalton being out at least for a few weeks is a big problem. Can the Bengals rally without him? At least they have an easy one this week, where even if AJ McCarron (WHO????) has a tough time adjusting, their defense should be able to take care of business pretty much single-handedly. Bengals.
Lions at Saints: We're actually going to be in New Orleans for this game, and we thought pretty seriously about getting tickets, but then we realized we'd probably have more fun at a sports bar in the Vieux Carre. Plus, can't miss that street party when the Saints win!