Good ol’ St. Nick did it again. Against all odds, the Eagles’ backup quarterback engineered yet another comeback scoring drive in the fourth quarter, slinging a sidearm out route to receiver Golden Tate to put Philadelphia ahead for good during a frigid game in the Windy City.
Of course, this being the Eagles, that wasn’t the end of the drama – Chicago kicker Cody Parkey missed had the Bears’ final field-goal attempt partially blocked. The ball sailed up into the Chicago night sky before clanging off the left post, as well as the crossbar, before falling harmlessly to the ground, and the Eagles advanced to the divisional round of these NFC playoffs, where they will take on the Saints in the Big Easy.
The debate rages as to whether the Eagles are lucky or good, but does it matter? Philly is by far the most entertaining team left in these playoffs, but the Eagles will need still more good fortune in order to advance past the Saints.
New Orleans ran roughshod over the rest of the NFL this season, compiling a 13-3 record and earning a first-round bye in the playoffs. Back in Week 11, the Saints also put the boots to the Eagles, running up the score in a lopsided 48-7 victory. Of course, those were the Old Eagles, and these are the new ones.
Most importantly, Philly hadn’t yet gone back to starting Nick Foles under center, where he has once again picked up the magic that sparked the Eagles to their first-ever Super Bowl win. Last season, the Birds wore canine Halloween masks to celebrate their status as underdogs in the playoffs. This year, it’s Robbin’ Season – so named for the Eagles’ knack for taking the ball away (and stealing games) from their opponents.
Last week, we doubted the magical powers of St. Nick. We won’t make that mistake again. Ski masks on, everyone. Eagles 27, Saints 24 is my prediction, but how does a hive-mind of NFL experts predict this game ending up?
To predict the result of this 2018 NFL post-season match-up, Unanimous A.I. used what’s known as swarm intelligence. A “swarm” of 30 NFL enthusiasts worked together as a hive mind to make their prediction, and as you can see in the animation below, each participant controlled a golden magnet and used it to drag the puck toward the result they thought was the most likely outcome. This is where it gets interesting: As a user sees the puck move toward a particular decision, it triggers a psychological response. They might readjust their thinking as the group builds toward a consensus. It’s an artificial intelligence, produced by human brains, working together as a swarm.
As the swarm replay above shows, a hive-mind of 30 NFL experts has low confidence that the New Orleans Saints will win against the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2019 NFL Divisional Playoffs.
The Eagles play at the Saints at 4:40 p.m. Eastern Sunday on Fox.
Here’s how Unanimous A.I. has predicted previous NFL games this season.
Unanimous A.I. has made some scarily accurate predictions in the past using swarm intelligence, as our this article explains. For instance, the swarm picked this year’s Oscar winners with 94 percent accuracy. Here’s Unanimous A.I. founder Louis Rosenberg explaining swarm intelligence at a recent TEDx Talk: