Why Steve Kornacki thinks the Eagles are Washington's biggest playoff threat

Kevin Brown
·3 min read

Why Kornacki thinks the Eagles are Washington's biggest threat originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Ahead of a pivotal Week 15 for the Washigton Football Team's chances to make the playoffs, Steve Kornacki joined NBC Sports Washington's Kickoff Live show to break down the remaining schedule and probabilities. 

In doing so, when asked who Washington's biggest threat from the NFC East in making their playoff dreams a reality, Kornacki's answer was clear and without hesitation. 

"I'm gonna say Philly and I'll say it for two reasons," Kornacki said. No. 1, I think (Jalen) Hurts is now a wild card. His emergence changed something about Philadelphia, made them a better team, made the players around him better. He's a threat on the ground, at least he was last week as he gives them an added dimension here."

That added dimension was on full display in the Eagles' shock upset win over the New Orleans Saints, who were on a nine-game winning streak coming in to that contest. 

"You have to wonder does the Hurts emergence suddenly help Philadelphia? Could they get a win against Arizona this weekend?" Kornacki asked. "And the other reason I would say Philadelphia, is that you've got the final game of the year. Philly-Washington. And if Philly can get into that game within striking distance to where a win could give them the division, I think that's another factor where the Giants just won't have that."

RELATED: Steve Kornacki: What win vs. Seattle could do for Washington playoff odds

Having all the marbles on the line to see who gets that coveted fourth seed in NFC bracket would be quite the ending to a crazy 2020 NFL season. Hopefully for Washington fans, though, it doesn't get to that point.

"There's the possibility the Giants can lose these next two," Kornacki said. "Cleveland and Baltimore are the next two for the Giants, so it's very possible they can go 0-2 and you can see their 5-8 become 5-10. And if Washington can win this weekend and get to 7-7, they're staring at Carolina next weekend."

A win to get over .500 for the second time this season, the first coming after that season-opening win against the Eagles, against coach Ron Rivera's former team surely would go a long ways to helping the Burgundy and Gold win the NFC East. 

"So there's the possibility to put the Giants away on the spot," Kornacki said. "Same thing for Philadelphia. If Philadelphia can't get the win against Arizona and the 4-9-1, versus a 7-7 Washington, I don't know if it's an exact lock at that point but you're moving pretty close to certitude." 

While winning the rest of their final three games would be the only certain route for Washington to get a Wild Card spot should they fail to win the NFC East, Kornacki said it'd be more likely that Rivera's men would just win the division in that case. With Arizona already in that picture, a Philadelphia win with Hurts under center could actually help Washington's Wild Card cause as well. 

As NFC North rivals Chicago and Minnesota, two 6-7 teams, play for the chance to knock the other out of the playoff chase, Washington's Wild Card hopes will become much clearer on Monday morning.