The Eagles were upset by the Minnesota Vikings in a game that could end up hurting other NFC teams even more than the Eagles. For Philadelphia, it means that they’re locked into the #3 seed regardless of whether they win or lose next week against the Cowboys. The Eagles loss means the Bears clinch a first round bye and whoever ends up winning the NFC South will get the other.
So while the Eagles eliminated themselves from a shot at a first round bye, they could choose to give themselves a bye of sorts by resting some beat up starters next week against the Cowboys. As I said, a win or loss next will will have effect on their playoff seed.
The Eagles loss also means that the Bears could potentially take it a bit easier next week as well. They still have a shot at a #1 seed so it’s not like they have nothing to play for… but they’ll be on the road in Green Bay next week with a bye already locked up. If they get down in that game they may just decide that discretion is the better part of valor and not risk injuries to their important players For the Packers, it’s a win and they’re in game. So if they face a lesser Bears team and win, that means the Giants and Buccaneers would be eliminated.
The Giants would have wanted the Bears still playing for a bye next week.
The Eagles won’t be happy after a poor showing, but having the opportunity to give beat up guys like Michael Vick and Asante Samuel a week off is a big deal. The Eagles will be playing their 3rd game in 12 days when the playoffs begin.