This article is part of our NFL Reactions series.
One of last year's Super Bowl teams just about tied up a playoff spot with their win Sunday, while the other team is in a tailspin after squandering a 17-0 lead at home. It's not surprising that the Patriots sit at 5-2 in the former case, but it's quite unexpected to see the Eagles at 3-4 in the latter instance. It's particularly painful for Philadelphia that today's loss looked initially like it would be an easy win.
Cam Newton led the Panthers on a 21-0 run, however, and in the process he dealt a substantial blow to Philadelphia's playoff hopes. According to the New York Times' Playoff Machine, the Eagles now have a 30 percent shot of making the playoffs, behind both Washington (60 percent) and Dallas (32 percent). The good news is they play in the league's worst division. The bad news is they still have road games against the Saints and Rams.
As dire as Philadelphia's situation might be, it's nothing compared to the spectacular collapse occurring in Jacksonville. The Jaguars were supposed to build on last year's playoff berth, but they too find themselves at 3-4, and with much worse chances of bouncing back. Whereas Philadelphia has Carson Wentz to rally around, things have gotten so bad with Blake Bortles that the Jags turned to Cody Kessler against the Texans. Houston headed into the game with a pass defense ranked 18th by Pro Football Reference's expected points metric, but Bortles could complete only 6-of-12 passes for 61