NFC Playoff Picture: Coming Down the Home Stretch

Updated: November 22, 2017

NFC Playoff Picture:  Coming Down the Home Stretch

Last week we looked at the AFC playoff picture.  This week we move to the big boys and take a look at how the NFC is lining up as the season winds down.

While the AFC is going to put 1, maybe 2 pretty mediocre teams in the playoff the NFC is stacked with 8 and maybe 9 teams vying for only 6 available spots. Let’s take a look at the divisions and see who is looking good and who is booking Super Bowl weekend vacations.

NFC East: Philadelphia has Bigger Plans

The Eagles win over the Cowboys in week #11 gave them a four-game lead over the division and only a monumental collapse would give them anything less than the NFC East. At this point, they are playing for the number 1 seed overall and the home field advantage throughout the playoffs that comes along with it. Carson Wentz’s MVP campaign will truck on as Philly fans revel in the dominance that is this team so far this season.

The Cowboys (+3800) fell to 5-5 and will really need to finish strong versus a relatively tough schedule going forward to have any chance of finishing in the postseason. The Redskins are currently 4-6 and it appears it will take 10 wins to get into the postseason as a wild card this year so the Skins postseason starts now.  Lose again and they are all but eliminated. The Giants are relegated to playing the draft seeding game as they currently sit at 2-8.

NFC North: The Case Keenum Show

Count me among the group that thought the Vikings were finished when Keenum lined up under center. The Vikings(-700) are 8-2 and are large favorites to take down the NFC North. They will need to keep winning to keep pace with the Saints and Eagles in hopes of getting a first-round bye and possibly home-field advantage.

The Lions(+300) are in the thick of the playoff race also at 6-4 thanks largely to a 4-1 mark on the road thus far this season. They currently sit on the outside but are tied with the current #6 seed Falcons and Seahawks at 6-4. Green Bay is still technically in the hunt at 5-5 but it appears to most that their season ended with the injury to Aaron Rodgers.

NFC South: Who Dat Leading What May Be the Best Division in Football

The Saints(-275) are currently leading what many consider this year’s strongest division in football. They hold a 1 game lead over the Panthers as well as currently holding the head to head tiebreaker with their victory over the Panthers in week #3. The Saints started 0-2 on the season but have not lost since that week 3 victory over the Panthers.

The Panthers (+125) currently sit at 7-3 and have a one-game lead over the pack chasing the wild card that sits at 6-4. Carolina will be many peoples darkhorse team as they have a strong defense, ground game and former league MVP Cam Newton leading the offense.

Rounding out this division is the current #6 seed Atlanta Falcons(+400). Atlanta sits 6-4 currently which is the same record they had last year before catching fire and winning the NFC before falling short in one of the most epic Super Bowl meltdowns we may ever see. While the Falcons get four of their final six games at home they will have to show up as the schedule is lined with playoff contenders. They get the Vikings,  Saints twice, and finish the season with what could be a huge showdown versus the Panthers.

NFC West: New Kid on the Block

This space is normally led off talking about the Seahawks chances but a 7-3 start by the Rams and a plethora of injuries to the Legion of Boom and it’s the Rams that everyone is talking about now. The Rams(-200) have a high powered offense paired with a bend but don’t break defense that has put them atop the West rankings. 3 at home and 3 on the road round out the year with key contests starting this week against the Saints and include the Eagles and Seahawks.

Seattle (-225) was bumped to the outside looking in after their Monday night loss to the Falcons on Monday Night Football. Injuries to key members of their vaunted defense with both Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor out for the season have left the Seahawks fighting an uphill battle. However, this team is still led by Russell Wilson at quarterback and as long as he is under center they will always have at least a punchers chance.