It’s Week 18 and the team is going to escape rooms. Things don’t look good in South Philly, as the Eagles have gone 1-5 in their last six games. Some of us are out, whether that means “Jalen is washed” or we need to sell the team. Some of us are in, with varying degrees of anger and optimism. The “Run The Damn Ball” crowd is now chanting “Fire Brian Johnson,” the Dallas haters are more angry at Nick Sirianni than Mike McCarthy, and anyone who once loved Darius Slay or James Bradberry is (preposterously) daydreaming of Byron Maxwell.

As the regular season comes to an end, here is how every Eagles fan should be rooting from the couch:

FOR: Cardinals, Commanders

Why Kyler Murray wore a Sidney Crosby Penguins jersey
via Kevin Zimmerman, Arizona Sports

It’s been draft season for these squads, so the more they win the worse their draft pick gets. The Cardinals chose to dunk all over Philadelphia after stunning the Eagles last week, as Kyler Murray repped Sidney Crosby. The social media team didn’t let up, bringing NLCS heartbreak back into the mix. Needless to say, there are a lot of reasons to hate Arizona. That may sound like cause for booing, but the better this non-playoff team does, the worse its future draft pick gets (not to mention I’d love to NOT meet Seattle in the postseason)

As for Washington? There hasn’t been much to fear around the beltway for some time now, and the Commanders’ playoff hopes weren’t really a thing this year. That said, the Eagles’ narrow chance at the 2-seed runs through FedEx Field, as Philadelphia would need a shocking Cowboys loss and a win of its own. All hail the Commanders, I guess!

AGAINST: Brian Johnson

The 1st and 20 series will live in infamy. Brian Johnson is to Nick Sirianni what Juan Castillo was to Andy Reid and Chip Kelly was to… Chip Kelly. Nick Sirianni needs to get control of the gameplan, but the problems in execution lie chiefly upon the shoulders of his offensive coordinator.

After consecutive comeback wins vs. the Chiefs and Bills, Philadelphia was chastised for taking its success for granted as calls to fire Johnson had begun. What is lost when Eagles fans are seen as nothing but rowdy is the fanbase’s awareness of team issues – even when the team is winning. Six games later (wherein the team went 1-5), the questioning of Johnson’s play-calling ability seem as justifiable as ever. The sooner this man is out of Philadelphia, the sooner the team can once again be a Super Bowl contender.

FOR: Falcons lol

If you’re out on the Eagles, you aren’t alone. This team looks like it’s given up on itself. The coaching is in disarray. Star players are frustrated. There is little to suggest Eagles fans will have much to root for deep into January.

Deebo Samuel backs up the talk with three TDs in 49ers' statement win
via AP Photo/Chris Szagola

If you turn to the AFC for your rooting interests, you do you. As far as NFC competitors are concerned, it’s tough to pick:

  • 49ers: Currently our biggest non-division rival
  • Cowboys: HELL no
  • Lions: Dan Campbell was cool two years ago, but can we move on?
  • Rams: McVay must pay for his Coach of the Year award
  • Bucs: At this rate we’re facing them next
  • Seahawks: We haven’t beaten Seattle in 15 years
  • Packers: Oh, you like Green Bay? Is Meryl Streep your favorite actress? Is Shawshank your favorite movie? Grow up

There’s nothing inspiring about Art Smith and that poor-man’s-John-Candy looking mustache, but that’s precisely why we’re doubling up on the “go birds” this week. With a Bucs loss and Falcons win, Atlanta takes the NFC South and hosts Philadelphia in the Wild Card round. While neither matchup is particularly daunting, I’d rather face Desmond Ridder and a coach who hates talent over the sometimes-prophetic Baker Mayfield (emphasis on sometimes).

AGAINST: 49ers, Cowboys

The San Francisco offense is a sight to behold – any football nerd who says they hate watching it is lying to themselves. That said, there is something so deeply unlikeable about Deebo Samuel’s insecurity and his need to bring others down to put himself up. His unwillingness to acknowledge the talent on the 2022 Eagles roster inspired a rivalry between two franchises that could not be further apart. As such, it’s DOWN WITH SAN FRANCISCO – the whole city is just tech bros who fear visible class discrepancies anyway.

As for Dallas? Don’t make me write a whole paragraph…

FOR: Philly!

It is so easy to lose hope after losing to the Cardinals. Beatdowns from the league’s top teams hurt, but getting embarrassed by your wormy little rat of a former defensive coordinator? At home? Tough stuff.

But the personnel is there, and the team will only benefit from Darius Slay, Avonte Maddox, and Zach Cunningham getting back on the defensive side. If the Eagles are going to play football this bad, it’s best to do so in the regular season.

This team boasts one of the best offensive lines in the game, a 1,000+ yard running back, two 1,000+ yard receivers, a top-flight tight end, and a nearly identical defensive unit from last year’s, which finished top-10 in nearly every defensive category. For god’s sake, they were 6th best in the league in most categories in Week 12! Something is deeply, sorely wrong with the Eagles – but it’s not something this team can’t overcome.

We just have to believe.

Psyched Up: Inside the Weird Minds of Eagles Fans
via ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo

AGAINST: Philly?

Ok hear me out.

Philly has the chance to do the funniest thing imaginable. If the Cowboys are handing it to Washington and the NFC East title is out of reach, the Eagles will have nothing to play for. The 5th seed is locked up, their only other possible seeding would be No. 2 after usurping Dallas. Presuming Jerry Jones & Co. keep the streak of non-repeat NFC East winners alive, Philly could tank – and screw New York out of a better draft pick AGAIN.

Let’s not forget when the Eagles benched Jalen Hurts for Nate Sudfeld, supposedly “trying” to beat the Commanders. New York was not only denied a division title, but Philly went on to pluck DeVonta Smith out from in front of the East Rutherford rival.

If Coach Sirianni wants to preserve his image in a city of haters, pulling a Pederson just might piss off the right people.

Photo Credit: alex renninger (@renninger32) / X

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