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Has a team starting 9-0 ever missed the playoffs

The Philadelphia Eagles are at least a week or two away from clinching a playoff berth, but a win in Week 10 would put them in a strong position.

Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates with fans against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on November 3, 2022 in Houston, Texas. Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The NFC East is in the spotlight on Monday Night Football to close out Week 10. The Philadelphia Eagles host the Washington Commanders, with kickoff set for 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN.

The Eagles will be looking to complete the season sweep of Washington, having beaten them on the road in Week 3. Philadelphia dominated that game, running up a 24-0 lead in the second quarter and cruising to victory. It was not a shocking result at the time, and as the season has worn in, it looks more and more likely the super obvious result.

Philadelphia has kept on winning and now heads into this rematch with an 8-0 record. With a win they would improve to 9-0 and inch a little closer to clinching a playoff berth. They can’t clinch anything yet, but nine straight wins to open the season moves them into position to clinch a playoff berth as early as before November ends.

The NFL expanded to a 16-game schedule in 1978 and changed to a 12-team playoff format in 1990. In all that time, no team has started 9-0 and failed to make the playoffs. The last time a team started 9-0 and didn’t make the playoffs was the 49ers in 1948 when they were still part of the AAFC. The 1934 Lions also started 9-0 and failed to make the NFL Playoffs.

The Steelers were the last team to open the season 9-0, doing so in 2020. They finished the season 12-4 and lost in the Wild Card round. Prior to that, the Panthers and Patriots both won nine straight to open the 2015 season. The Patriots lost in the AFC title game while the Panthers lost Super Bowl 50 to the Broncos. 18 teams have started 9-0 since the schedule expansion in 1978 and six of those teams went on to win the Super Bowl.

The Eagles are a 10.5-point favorite against the Commanders at DraftKings Sportsbook. Philadelphia is -475 on the moneyline while Washington is a +380 underdog. The Eagles entered Sunday having been removed from the list of odds to make the playoffs after having been -10000 for several weeks in a row. Dallas losing in Green Bay did the trick there. Even though the Giants won, the Cowboys were viewed as a bigger threat to Philadelphia. Dallas is now 2.5 games back heading into the Eagles MNF game.