NFC playoff picture: Meet the new bosses, same as the old bosses

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Heading into Week 12, the NFC playoff picture saw the Eagles, Vikings, Saints, Rams, Panthers and Falcons at the front of the pack.

It will look the same heading into Week 13. The Rams beat the Saints to earn a key tiebreaker for seeding purposes and the other four teams won their games to ensure that the same six teams fill the top six slots.

That may not remain the case next week, however. The Vikings will be in Atlanta, the Panthers will head to New Orleans and the Eagles will hit the road for a date with the Seahawks in three games that could lead to a different picture with four games left on the docket.

LEADERS
1. Eagles (10-1): The view hasn’t changed for the Eagles in a while, but road games against the Seahawks and Rams could shake things up for the NFC East leaders.

2. Vikings (9-2): Their win on Thanksgiving made it seven in a row and kept Minnesota in striking distance of the No. 1 seed.

3. Rams (8-3): In addition to getting a leg up on the Saints, the Rams ensured they still have an edge on the Seahawks in the NFC West.

4. Saints (8-3): Their eight-game win streak is over and now they’ll try to hold onto their NFC South lead.

5. Panthers (8-3): The Panthers can leapfrog the Saints with a win, but a Week 14 date with the Vikings looms as another test.

6. Falcons (7-4): Atlanta has tiebreakers over Seattle and Detroit, which helps in the Wild Card race even as they vie for a division crown

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
7. Seahawks (7-4): Beating the 49ers means a Week 15 date with the Rams still looks like it will decide the division title.

8. Lions (6-5): The Lions need a winning streak while the teams in front of them beat each other up.

9. Packers (5-6): They put up a good fight on Sunday night, but they need victories more than encouraging signs.

10. Cowboys (5-6): A loss on Thursday night will leave them at the end of their rope.

11. Washington (5-6): See Cowboys and repeat.

12. Cardinals (5-6): A win over the Rams next Sunday might help the Seahawks more than it will help Arizona’s faint hopes.

13. Buccaneers (4-7): The Fitzmagic of a two-game winning streak came to an end against the Falcons.

14. Bears (3-8): The John Fox watch takes the place of any playoff watch in Chicago.

15. Giants (2-9): The Giants haven’t been in the playoff picture for some time.

16. 49ers (1-10): Jimmy Garoppolo played! And threw a touchdown pass!

44 responses to “NFC playoff picture: Meet the new bosses, same as the old bosses

  1. Lions fans know how this will play out. They’ll beat up the bad teams on their schedule sneak in as the 6th seed and get blown out by the Rams/Saints.

    Caldwell is not a good coach. 4-24 against teams with winning records. He’s the Marvin Lewis of the NFC, not good enough to win anything but not bad enough to get fired.

  2. .
    When the Rams and Philadelphia acquired Goff and Wentz, I thought they paid a king’s ransom. As it turns out, it was a bargain. The original holders of those top two picks were the Titans and the Browns. Tennessee would have been better served dealing Mariota away and drafting Goff. Cleveland fans are going to spend the next decade wincing ever time the Eagles play on TV because Wentz is the real McCoy now, and it seems his ceiling is unlimited.
    .

  3. If the “Rams are for real”, as written on another article, then there’s no question the Vikings are the team to beat in the NFC. The Eagles certainly can’t be, with their soft schedule.

  4. Not only are the eagles the best team in the NFC, they also can beat the patriots. I used to think it could be an all Pennsylvania super bowl but after last night, the Steelers are clearly weak in their secondary and don’t stand a chance against the patriots.

    Patriots-eagles super bowl. It’s all but a certainty now barring injuries.

  5. Redskins simply are not going to the playoffs this year. They’re too far behind. But the fact that they’ve still been fairly competitive every week despite so many injuries speaks to their potential next season. I’ll be thrilled if they can defeat Dallas at least.

  6. taintedsaints2009 says:
    November 27, 2017 at 9:17 am
    Not only are the eagles the best team in the NFC, they also can beat the patriots. I used to think it could be an all Pennsylvania super bowl but after last night, the Steelers are clearly weak in their secondary and don’t stand a chance against the patriots.

    Patriots-eagles super bowl. It’s all but a certainty now barring injuries.

    I want to agree but a lot can happen in 6 weeks, or in one playoff game. Certainly both cans can get there but a couple of others may have a say. Then again, there are always the zebras.

  7. Before I can say the Eagles are the best, I need to see them beat some good teams. It is not their fault their schedule is easy, but in comparison to the Vikings schedule, it is not even close.

  8. Why do vikings fans keep bringing up strength of schedule? They play in the NFL north with the the lions, bears and rodgers-less packers. They played the saints week 1 when saints couldn’t do anything right the first couple weeks and then lost to the steelers the next week. And they lost to the lions. I admit the vikings look like a legit contender, but there’s no way you can say they’re Better than Philly right now. And to say the vikings have a better all around team? Eagles lead league in td passes, have top 2 or 3 run game and #1 run D and a secondary that’s gotten better each week. Eagles are one of the top defenses in sacks and takeaways as well.

  9. As much as you fans are on the eagles bandwagon, it ain’t happening, especially a second year qb going to Super Bowl is very unlikely.

  10. Eagles can burry Seattle by halftime. Wilson and the Seahawks think games don’t start til the 2nd half, so with that high precision offense Wentz is running…I’m gonna cover my eyes and pray it’s close after 30 minutes.

  11. And by the way this is the same vikings defense that went up against philly last yr and was undefeated and lost to rookie qb wentz who had no offensive weapons.

  12. bird2urmother says:

    November 27, 2017 at 9:28 am

    Why do vikings fans keep bringing up strength of schedule? They play in the NFL north with the the lions, bears and rodgers-less packers. They played the saints week 1 when saints couldn’t do anything right the first couple weeks and then lost to the steelers the next week. And they lost to the lions. I admit the vikings look like a legit contender, but there’s no way you can say they’re Better than Philly right now. And to say the vikings have a better all around team? Eagles lead league in td passes, have top 2 or 3 run game and #1 run D and a secondary that’s gotten better each week. Eagles are one of the top defenses in sacks and takeaways as well.

    ————

    We lost to the Lions in a weird game where we lost our starting RB for the year. We also lost in a weird game to the Steelers where our backup QB found out 2 min before the game he was starting. We also lost to the Lions 14-7, which is not a terrible lost.

    We beat the Lions on Thanksgiving. Yes we beat the Saints who have been playing better lately, but we also embarrassed the Rams, who is the “Highest Scoring offense” and limited them to 7 points. The Rams beat the Saints yesterday. I agree there isn’t anything to say the Vikings are better than the Eagles, but the strength of schedule suggests the Vikings are a battle tested unit that could challenge the eagles. Yes they have the highest TD’s passes the league, but the Rams were the highest scoring offense and we limited them to 7 points. Wentz has not faced a defense better than ours yet. The Eagles defense has the best Run defense, but the secondary is questionable. It has been playing well against terrible offenses. I’d say if these two teams met, it would be a 50/50 game.

  13. How is GB that high? Just because they surprisingly played a good game last night, they still lost. They have won 1 game since Erin went down, 1. They should be lower than all the other 5-6 teams.

  14. Who cares, the Vikings have an inexperienced nobody at QB. They’ll choke just like the first 56 years.

  15. I would understand where eagles doubters are coming from if the eagles were barely squeezing out wins vs lesser opponents, but theyre not. They are DOMINATING them, as the better team should. When the eagles whooped on the bears yesterday my wife was wondering whyy I wasn’t happy. I told her we’re supposed to beat teams like that. Its not like all of us eagles fans are celebrating because we beat the bears, we are just happy because we know we have a good team and nobody can doubt that. Well, at least they can’t realistically doubt that. Vikings fans should be happy with their team too but i think theyre getting a little carried away with all the trolling vs eagles fans.

  16. ARod(in his collarbone), why do you still care about the Packers? They are an afterthought now, so move on already! You have a lot of other teams to worry about much more in the NFC, including my Lions.

  17. Vikings are certainly a good team, but to argue that they are the class of the NFC just because the Eagles were dealt a more favorable schedule is to ignore the manner in which the Eagles *and* Vikings have been winning.

    Eagles have allowed one touchdown in their last three games, a garbage time touchdown to the Broncos after many of the starters were resting. They have won each of their last three games by more than 20 points. The held the Bears, top 5 in rushing in the league, to 6 rushing yards as a team, with a negative total when you remove a late Trubisky scramble. The Eagles are not just beating bad teams, they are steamrolling them. Even in their only loss, to a Chiefs team they would almost certainly beat today, they were in it until the very last play. They’re taking care of business and not leaving any doubt.

    The Vikings play very solid defense, have had unimaginable play from Keenum, and have salvaged a running game after losing Cook. One of the best in the NFC for sure. But they don’t control their games like the Eagles do. They let opponents creep back in and hang around. Beat Chicago by 3, Baltimore by 8, Washington by 8, and Detroit by 7. If they can’t start putting teams away at the end, they won’t be able to hold off every comeback attempt. And that’s what makes the Eagles a better team.

  18. usdcoyotesfan says:
    November 27, 2017 at 10:26 am
    Who cares, the Vikings have an inexperienced nobody at QB. They’ll choke just like the first 56 years.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Sloter ain’t playing, Keenum is. He has experience in this league. Talking of choking, your team wouldn’t even exist if they didn’t go crawling to George Halas and beg him to give them a loan to stay in the league.

    That inexperienced QB beat your team, and he will do it again in a few short weeks. Have a nice day.

  19. theyearofthecat1 says:
    November 27, 2017 at 10:51 am
    ARod(in his collarbone), why do you still care about the Packers? They are an afterthought now, so move on already! You have a lot of other teams to worry about much more in the NFC, including my Lions.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    A few teams yes, but the Lions aren’t in that category by any means. The team you suggested would beat us by at least 3 scores? Had the officials not kept you in the game, it would have been the putty cats that got beat by 3 scores. Don’t hurt your neck looking up at the Vikes. Have a nice day.

  20. Here is the danger with the Vikings and the Eagles: the Eagles are @ Seattle and @ Rams in the next two weeks. That’s a tall order. They will likely lose 1, which is no knock on them at all. I believe both Min and Phi end up 14-2. Both teams are very good and would most likely win that game at home. Who has the tie breaker for home field.

  21. bird2urmother says:
    November 27, 2017 at 10:36 a
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I haven’t seen any Vikes fans personally doubt the Eagles. If they did, they are naive. The Eagles are a very good team, and personally think that they are the biggest threat to the Vikes.

    Viking fans should feel good playing the Eagles as our defense completely shut down the Rams offense, just as much as Eagles fans should feel good about playing the Vikings because of their offense.

  22. richardmswartz says:
    November 27, 2017 at 11:05 am
    Here is the danger with the Vikings and the Eagles: the Eagles are @ Seattle and @ Rams in the next two weeks. That’s a tall order. They will likely lose 1, which is no knock on them at all. I believe both Min and Phi end up 14-2. Both teams are very good and would most likely win that game at home. Who has the tie breaker for home field.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I think if the Eagles lose to any of the teams you mentioned, it will be the Rams. Only because Seattle’s defense is depleted right now and don’t think they could stop the Eagles offense. The Rams always have a great shot at putting points up, so that’s my pick.

    As far as the tie breaker, it will depend I believe on common opponents. If the Rams beat the Eagles, then the Vikes have at least that in their favor.

  23. usdcoyotesfan says:

    November 27, 2017 at 10:26 am

    Who cares, the Vikings have an inexperienced nobody at QB. They’ll choke just like the first 56 years.

    ———

    Actually Case has been in the league 5 years. Inexperienced is not true at all. He played on teams with terrible offensive lines. A nobody? Oh most definitely, he is not a famous QB, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t good. Last time I checked Kurt Warner was a nobody. That ended pretty well? The Vikings are winning by scoring and playing good defense, and despite your negative remarks you can’t deny that.

  24. I’m not sure where the Vikings fans are getting these strength of schedule stats, but at the beginning of the season directly from the NFL and CBS Sports the Eagles have the 10th toughest schedule and the Vikings are tied for 27th.

    This shows that this BS stat is just that, BS. You can only play the team on your schedule. Injuries this year are devastating. Funny though how people discount the loss of Jason Peters, Jordan Hicks, Maragos, Zack Ertz for 2 games, Darren Sproles, Ronald Darby fornhalf the season etc.

  25. The Vikings have a good team and the Eagles have a good team. What’s the point in arguing which team is better? They each have proven themselves as legit. If they play each other in the playoffs, it should be a great game.

  26. jph_gsg says:
    November 27, 2017 at 10:55 am

    The Vikings play very solid defense, have had unimaginable play from Keenum, and have salvaged a running game after losing Cook. One of the best in the NFC for sure. But they don’t control their games like the Eagles do. They let opponents creep back in and hang around. Beat Chicago by 3, Baltimore by 8, Washington by 8, and Detroit by 7. If they can’t start putting teams away at the end, they won’t be able to hold off every comeback attempt. And that’s what makes the Eagles a better team.
    __________

    I agree that the Eagles have been destroying teams they should beat and the Vikings have allowed potential blowouts to be closer at the end. That said, I would like to point out that the Bears game was close because Bradford played for a half when he couldn’t even walk. The Ravens game was not as close as the final score indicated because the Ravens scored a TD with 3 seconds left against a prevent defense. The Lions game got close because the of the officials, which sounds like whining but everybody saw it.

    These next two weeks will tell us a lot about where each of these teams is because they each play playoff contenders. It’s one thing to beat also-rans by a big score, but what you do against the kind of team you’ll see in the playoffs is what matters.

  27. This Vikings fan certainly isn’t sure if his favorite team is better than the Eagles, but I do know at least two things: (1) the next two games vs the Falcons and the Panthers on the road will tell us more about the Vikes than the last three games did; and (2) this may be the first time in a while that the teams in the Vikings rear window like the Pack and Lions (and those objects are not closer than they appear) will actually be forced to hope for Vikings’ victories to have a chance to make the playoffs.

  28. Arguing whether the Eagles or Vikings are better is irrelevant. Put them on the same field, let them play for 60 minutes (and OT if necessary) and the team that wins is the better team. Until that happens, the Eagles and Vikings can only play the teams on their respective schedules and hope to meet in the playoffs.

  29. I don’t expect the Lions to make the playoffs. I think a coaching change is long overdue. The team also needs to admit that having two receiving RBs doesn’t get the job done in short yardage situations. They need to decide who to keep (Abdullah or Riddick), and then hire a serious north-south runner. They also need a run stopper. Too many needs to be a serious contender.

  30. Here is my prediction. The Falcons will beat the Vikings at home. The Eagles will pounce the Sea Gulls on the road. At least that is what I wish for. LOL.

  31. Don’t forget that offseason moves, shoring up the O-line and the receving corps, have helped make Goff look good this year. It also helps that Todd Gurley dedicated his off season to improving his game.

  32. The Eagles, Vikings, Rams, Falcons, Saints are very good teams this year. Sometimes the Panthers, Seattle, Lions play like good teams too. (Whereas the AFC only has the Pats sometimes the Steelers and sometimes the Jaguars.) Here is hoping that Phili drops at least 1 NFC game and the Vikings go 5-0 so that the Vikings can have the huge homefield advantage. Wentz is the real deal.

  33. bird2urmother says:
    November 27, 2017 at 10:36 am
    I would understand where eagles doubters are coming from if the eagles were barely squeezing out wins vs lesser opponents, but theyre not. They are DOMINATING them, as the better team should.
    //////////////
    That’s what they said about the Rams. And then, they played the Vikings…

  34. The way I see it, any of the top 7 teams here could beat any other on any given day. The next few weeks will be more telling for all of these top teams than all the previous games up until now. The Eagles and Vikings have both had cake schedules, but have tougher games in the next couple weeks. It all comes down to injuries and who gets hot at the right time. Being the best team in week 5 or week 10 or even 15 doesn’t matter nearly as much as being the best team in week 18.

  35. Clearly Philadelphia is the best team in the NFC. They are annihilating teams.

    Minnesota and L.A. are a notch below even though I think Vikings oppose the biggest threat to the EAGLES.

    Carolina at New Orleans is huge.
    Then N.O. at Atlanta will tell a lot about the South.

    And don’t ever count out Russell Wilson.

  36. I’m hoping for a Saints vs. Patriots Super Bowl. Two students of Bill Parcells coaching against each other. Two all time great QB’s, and we saw Brees vs Manning, so Brees vs. Brady would be a great storyline.

    Plus, wild parties in New Orleans iust for getting there!

  37. NFL is not going to let a host team be in the SB. Mark my words, the fake bountygate crippled what was a great Saints team to prevent a host being in their own SB. Sorry, Minny, something will happen that will force your team to be host only. Its not economically beneficial to the NFL. Just think about that.

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