FORGET MEANINGLESS 51-26 LOSS, EAGLES CAN MOVE UP TO NO. 6!

By Teddy Brenner

It’s the morning after a 51-26 beatdown by the Cowboys, who played their starters while the Eagles mostly benched theirs so that can heal for next week’s Wild Card.

Eagles coach Nick Sirianni reasoned that it made no sense to risk injuries to Jalen Hurts, Lane Johnson and Jordan Mailata, not to mention Darius Slay and Fletch Cox.

The Birds clinched the No. 7 seed, with a chance to move up to No. 6 today.

They are behind the No. 6 49ers, also 9-7, because they lost to them in Week 2.

Philadelphia, however, clinched a playoff spot ahead of San Francisco.

That’s because only one NFC team behind both teams — the Saints, who are 8-8 going into their Sunday afternoon game against the Falcons — can also get to nine wins. The 49ers will secure their No. 6 spot with a win over the Rams as road underogs, leaving the Eagles staying at No. 7, with no change from Week 17.

If the 49ers lose to the Rams and the Saints beat the Falcons, then the Eagles, 49ers and Saints all would be 9-8.

Because of better conference records, the Eagles and Saints, who both would be 7-5 in NFC play, would get in over the 49ers, who would be only 6-6. The Eagles would then move up to No. 6 to break their tie with the Saints because they beat them at home, 40-29 in Week 11.

With not much difference between No. 6 and No. 7, that’s why Sirianni and the Eagles don’t want to risk injuries to key players. The Eagles cannot move up to No. 5, because the Cardinals (11-5) and Rams (12-4), vying for the NFC West title, both have a multiple-game cushion in the standings.

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