Week 15 (December 16):
- Tentative game: Philadelphia @ LA Rams
- Prospects: 5-6 v. 11-1. The Eagles got off the schneid but this game is still worryingly lopsided (and now will mark Rams games in consecutive weeks).
- Likely protections (CBS protections confirmed): Patriots-Steelers (CBS) and Packers-Bears (FOX).
- Other possible games mentioned on last week’s Watch and their records: Cowboys (7-5)-Colts (6-6), Dolphins (6-6)-Vikings (6-5-1).
- Impact of Monday Night Football: The league would feel a lot better about this game keeping its spot if the Eagles can get back to .500 and in a tie a game back of the division lead and a half-game back of the wild card.
- Analysis: The Colts’ loss to the strug-ga-ling Jaguars takes a lot of the shine off that game, and while the Cowboys’ win is good for it given that the two teams entered the week with the same record, heading into the week I figured a Colts loss was the result Cowboys-Colts could least afford to suffer. I still don’t see Dolphins-Vikings getting flexed in over Cowboys-Colts, and the Cowboys’ win takes away a lot of what’s at stake for the Eagles tonight and (considering the opposition) makes them look like a potentially dangerous playoff team, but I still can’t shake the feeling Eagles-Rams would still be a game Fox would want to feature despite being in the late singleheader spot, especially given the Packers’ struggles. An Eagles loss might put them too far back in traffic and below .500 to really justify keeping that game, but a win might mean making Cowboys-Colts the featured singleheader game might be the best it can hope for under the circumstances.
- Final prediction: Dallas Cowboys @ Indianapolis Colts (if the Eagles lose tonight), Philadelphia Eagles @ Los Angeles Rams (no change) (if the Eagles win tonight).