This is part TWO of the NFL Playoff Picture preview. You can find the full AFC playoff picture right here, but this blog focuses on the NFC.
The NFC East
The Eagles lost a TOUGH game on the ROAD against the Seahawks on Sunday Night, but that loss does not affect their chances of WINNING their division. The magic number for the Eagles clinching their division is at ONE, they will officially CLINCH the NFC East with their next WIN or a Cowboys’ loss. Their focus should be on making sure that they are at least a TWO seed in the NFC Playoffs and get a first round BYE. They are TIED with the Vikings for the TOP seed in the NFC Playoffs and just ONE game ahead of the Rams and the Saints for the TWO seed. The Rams and the Eagles play each other this weekend, so that game will go a long way in determining what team gets a first round BYE in the NFC Playoffs.
The Cowboys and the Redskins are still mathematically ALIVE for the Playoffs, but they would need A LOT of things to go on their favor to get there, so I am not going to bore you with what needs to happen in order for them to get the Playoffs.
The NFC North
The Vikings are in the SAME boat as the Eagles right now. Both teams have the SAME record and the magic number for both teams to clinch their respective divisions is ONE. The Vikings currently hold the tiebreaker over the Eagles and these two teams will be battling out for the TOP seed in the NFC Playoffs. IF the Vikings get the TOP seed in the NFC Playoffs, then they will not need to travel for the WHOLE postseason, as they are hosting the Super Bowl this year.
The Lions are still mathematically ALIVE but just like the Cowboys and the Redskins, A LOT of things would need to go in their favor. I fully do not understand the scenario in which they can get there, so I am not going to PRETEND that I know what I am talking about this one time.
The NFC South
The NFC South has THREE teams that are ALIVE for the Playoffs and each team controls its own destiny for the most part. The Saints lead the division and can clinch it with a win on Thursday Night against the Falcons AND if the Panthers lose this weekend to the Vikings. The Saints are MOST LIKELY going to win the division, so they should start focusing on their positioning for the NFC Playoffs. They are currently the FOUR seed in the Playoffs and do not have a tiebreaker over any of the teams that are ahead of them, so they very well could end up as the FOUR seed despite finishing the season, 13-3 or 12-4.
The Panthers are currently the FIFTH seed in the NFC Playoffs and hold the FIRST Wild Card. They control their own destiny to the Playoffs and are MOST LIKELY going to get there. Despite being still alive for the division, I think they should put all their FOCUS on the Wild Card and make sure that they get the FIVE seed in the NFC Playoffs.
The Falcons are currently the first team OUT in the NFC, but they still control their own destiny for the most part. They hold the tiebreaker over the SIX seed, the Seahawks, so all the Falcons NEED is ONE loss for the Seahawks and they BYPASS them in the standings. The Seahawks have some tough games remaining on their schedule, so IF the Falcons RUN the TABLE, then they will be IN the Playoffs.
The NFC West
This is another division that can possibly have TWO playoff teams, with both the Rams and the Seahawks IN the Playoffs IF the season today. The Rams currently hold a ONE game lead over the Seahawks but have a MUCH tougher schedule than them the rest of the way. As I said earlier, the Rams play the Eagles this week and travel to Seattle to face the Seahawks the week after, IF the Rams win both those games then they will CLINCH the division and start worrying about their seeding in the NFC Playoffs, however the Seahawks own the tiebreaker over the Rams so this division is from being over.
The Seahawks are ONE game BACK in the division and ONE game AHEAD for the last spot in the NFC Playoffs, so they control their own destiny in terms of which seed they will get in the NFC Playoffs. They have games left against the Jags, the Rams, and the Cowboys, so their schedule is not exactly easy, but I do think they will do enough to get a spot in the NFC Playoffs.
I am usually wrong at making predictions so I am going to predict that the SIX teams in the NFC are the Vikings, the Eagles, the Saints, the Rams, the Panthers, and the Seattle. I am sure AT LEAST ONE of these teams WILL NOT make the Playoffs thanks to the Mehtaphors’ curse.