NFC playoff picture: Everybody wins

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There was a new quarterback in Philly, a trip to Seattle for the Rams and a visit from Aaron Rodgers for the Panthers, but all three teams wound up as winners in Week 15.

That was the case for the other three teams that entered the week in playoff position as well, which means that the meaningful part of the snapshot looks exactly the same as it did at this time last week.

With the Saints hosting the Falcons on Sunday, everyone can’t win again next week but Atlanta’s tiebreaker edge over its closest competitors means that the picture won’t be changing much.

LEADERS
1. Eagles (12-2): They clinched a bye and can wrap up the top spot by beating the Raiders this week.

2. Vikings (11-3): A division championship is guaranteed and there’s a path to securing a bye in Week 16.

3. Rams (10-4): Sunday’s slaughter of the Seahawks felt like a passing of the torch, but the NFC West hasn’t been clinched yet.

4. Saints (10-4): They hold the tiebreaker over the Panthers so winning out gives them the division.

5. Panthers (10-4): Their chances at a division title would increase if the Falcons can beat the Saints this week.

6. Falcons (9-5): Monday night’s win was a big help to the defending NFC champions as they try to return to the postseason.

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN

7. Lions (8-6): They have the tiebreaker edge on the 8-6 teams, but their loss to the Falcons may make that moot.

8. Seahawks (8-6): A loss to the Cowboys this weekend will end the Seahawks’ run of playoff appearances.

9. Cowboys (8-6): They remained alive long enough for Ezekiel Elliott‘s return, but just winning out isn’t enough for the Cowboys.

10. Packers (7-7): There will be no fairy tale ending for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.

11. Redskins (6-8): They held off the Cardinals, but it’s too little too late.

12. Cardinals (6-8): Finishing with a .500 record is the only upside left in Arizona.

13. Buccaneers (4-10): Did Monday’s loss push them closer to a coaching change?

14. 49ers (4-10): Thanks to Jimmy Garoppolo, the Niners are feeling better about being a four-win team than most in recent memory.

15. Bears (4-10): Mitch Trubisky’s future looks good, but those four wins don’t feel so good in Chicago.

16. Giants (2-12): Their offense showed up against the Eagles, so the defense and special teams did their part to make sure the Giants keep losing.

52 responses to “NFC playoff picture: Everybody wins

  1. .
    I can’t remember a season where the top six teams have been so tightly bunched. I could make a strong case why each will win the NFC. However, a similarly strong case could be made why they’ll come up short.
    .

  2. I don’t see the Panthers or Saints losing their Buc games, but they each also have the Falcons which is no sure thing. But even if they both win out…. they would both be 12-4, and the Saints win the division.

    The vikings would need only one win to be at least 12-4, and they hold tiebreakers over the Saints and Rams but not the Panthers.

    However, if both the Saints and Panthers finish 12-4…. I believe the NFC South resolves first, the Saints win that tiebreaker for the division then the tiebreakers apply for them vs the Vikings and Rams, both of which they lose on head to head.

    The Rams would win any tiebreaker over the Saints. Not sure where they would stand with the Panthers.

    Probably a Strength of Victory tiebreaker in there somewhere.

    Assuming Philly takes care of business.

  3. Bummer about my pack. Really feel like if we started Huntley week 1 and kept playing him we would have made the playoffs. Rogers is hurting the team at this point in his career. Trade him while he has value and get some D. Go pack go

  4. The Packers’ four-man bobsled touchdown celebration demonstration in the endzone was the best of any in the league this season. At least they had that goin’ for ’em.

  5. Fire Fox and would be great if old lady McCaskey would sell the franchise to an owner that cares. I know this would make Halas turn in his grave, but his daughter and her family are already doing that in their management of the franchise.

  6. This is was a terrible season for football. Reminds me of last year. Raiders were the only exciting team and once they got the QB hurt it just deflated the playoffs. We all know Patriots are winning the Superbowl. It’s easy to see. They are still cheating and they will pull it all out in the Playoffs and Superbowl..

  7. The Lions making the playoffs is very possible, since they have two easy games (Bengals and Packers) left. The Falcons have to face their top division rivals (Panthers and Saints) which they could easily lose. With the way they looked at Tampa Bay last night, I wouldn’t feel too good if I were a dirty bird fan.

    The Lions getting in would be the Vikings worst nightmare! Can we say undefeated at their new stadium?

    THE YEAR OF THE CAT IS ALIVE AND **ROARING**!!!!!

  8. theyearofthecat1 says:

    The Lions making the playoffs is very possible, since they have two easy games (Bengals and Packers) left. The Falcons have to face their top division rivals (Panthers and Saints) which they could easily lose. With the way they looked at Tampa Bay last night, I wouldn’t feel too good if I were a dirty bird fan.

    The Lions getting in would be the Vikings worst nightmare! Can we say undefeated at their new stadium?

    THE YEAR OF THE CAT IS ALIVE AND **ROARING**!!!!!

    _________________________________________________________________________________________

    There is not a team in the NFC playoff hunt that anyone would want to play more than the Lions. Falcons, Saints, Panthers, Cowboys (with Zeke), Seahawks, Rams, Eagles, and Vikings are all much better teams.

  9. theyearofthecat1 says:

    December 19, 2017 at 9:02 am

    The Lions making the playoffs is very possible, since they have two easy games (Bengals and Packers) left. The Falcons have to face their top division rivals (Panthers and Saints) which they could easily lose. With the way they looked at Tampa Bay last night, I wouldn’t feel too good if I were a dirty bird fan.

    The Lions getting in would be the Vikings worst nightmare! Can we say undefeated at their new stadium?

    THE YEAR OF THE CAT IS ALIVE AND **ROARING**!!!!!

    ——————–

    If Rodgers plays I wouldn’t call the Packers an easy game. In all likelihood they should bench him, they are dead in the water, but he may play for Pride. The Packers could win that last game.

    As a Vikings game I hope the Lions make the playoffs. The Lions don’t scare us compared to the Seahawks if they make, Rams, Saints, Carolina.

  10. Trash or Smash says:

    December 19, 2017 at 8:56 am

    This is was a terrible season for football. Reminds me of last year. Raiders were the only exciting team and once they got the QB hurt it just deflated the playoffs. We all know Patriots are winning the Superbowl. It’s easy to see. They are still cheating and they will pull it all out in the Playoffs and Superbowl..

    ————–

    Honestly I think the Jaguars are the best bet of stopping the Patriots. Their defense is INSANE. Brady will struggle. Also the Jag’s offense is playing very well as of late, and the Patriots defense scares nobody. Stop Pats offense and you most likely win and I think the Jags have the defense to do so.

  11. theyearofthecat1 says:
    December 19, 2017 at 9:02 am

    The Lions getting in would be the Vikings worst nightmare! Can we say undefeated at their new stadium?

    THE YEAR OF THE CAT IS ALIVE AND **ROARING**!!!!!

    4 2 Rate This
    ————————-
    C’mon, Man!

  12. codylaws says:
    December 19, 2017 at 7:22 am
    Let’s hope iggles lose 1 or 2 games, so Vikings take top seed.
    —————————————-
    The Eagles must lose week 17 to the Cowboys for the Vikings to have a shot at the #1 seed. Conference tie breaker. The Raider game this week is meaningless in the quest for the #1 seed.

  13. MOSSistheGOAT says:
    December 19, 2017 at 9:10 am

    There is not a team in the NFC playoff hunt that anyone would want to play more than the Lions. Falcons, Saints, Panthers, Cowboys (with Zeke), Seahawks, Rams, Eagles, and Vikings are all much better teams.
    ………..
    Obviously Detroit isnt about winning playoff games, but common sense tells the best team on paper doesnt always win, bud. Moss’s best season he was a Patriot, so there goes that

  14. Signing Brian Hoyer was a mistake. Handing the job to him despite an awful preseason was yet another mistake. He couldn’t get a single win. Even the rookie outperformed him and got the first win for the team.

  15. I think all of the unnecessary brouhaha surrounding Mr. Richardson, plus Davis being suspended will affect the Panthers. Just my take…Since it would take a Christmas miracle for my Cowboys to get in, I will be cheering on the Jags and my Tom Coughlin 🙂 That would show Mara just what a fool he is, with zero integrity!!! TC’s revenge would be sweet…..

  16. mazenblue says:
    December 19, 2017 at 9:18 am
    MOSSistheGOAT says:
    December 19, 2017 at 9:10 am

    There is not a team in the NFC playoff hunt that anyone would want to play more than the Lions. Falcons, Saints, Panthers, Cowboys (with Zeke), Seahawks, Rams, Eagles, and Vikings are all much better teams.
    ………..
    Obviously Detroit isnt about winning playoff games, but common sense tells the best team on paper doesnt always win, bud. Moss’s best season he was a Patriot, so there goes that

    _______________________________________________________________

    Your entire response was irrelevant to the conversation.

    Are the Lions better than any of the teams I listed? No. Are any of those teams scared of the Lions coming to town in the playoffs? No. Are all of those teams hoping they get to play the Lions instead of anyone else? Yes. Does that fact that Moss’s greatest statistical season came as a Patriot change any of those answers? No. Is Moss the greatest of all time? Yes (chill out 9ers fans, just making a point). Will he go into the Hall this year as a Viking? Yes.

  17. Interesting season for the Packers. Clearly a playoff caliber team with a healthy Rodgers but again, the injuries and deficiencies on defense likely would have made it difficult to go all the way. Id prefer they play Hundley the last two games, if we win – his development and trade value goes up, if we lose, our draft position improves. Perhaps we bring in some fresh vision to lead the defense, add some talent to the secondary and the pass rush, speed to the receiving corps, depth to the offensive line and we’ll be ready for 2018. Go Pack Go.

  18. Packers mark murphey predicted a Super Bowl championship in the Vikings stadium and how sweet it would be…all the way back in the summer. Sometimes it’s better to keep your mouth shut so people like me don’t call you out on it! Packers miss the playoffs! Terrible TEAM.

  19. Packers were the last hurdle for the Vikes. I’m calling Super Bowl. Anything less than a Super Bowl win will be considered failure. This is the best opportunity they will have. Great teams take advantage of the opportunities presented to them.

  20. “Yes, we lost Rogers. But also we had a lot of calls go against us this year. If we had a fair set of refs, we’d still be in the hunt.”
    ————————————————————————————————————-
    Am I reading this right?! The team who historically gets away with holding and other favorable calls more than any other as their duo of HOF QBs make them desirable for the NFL to have in the playoffs, is now complaining about unfair refs. Doh-K! Bwahaha!

  21. They are still cheating and they will pull it all out in the Playoffs and Superbowl..
    ———
    How are they cheating? Please explain how?

    Or do you just have a case of sour grapes?

  22. I was rooting for TB last night, I wanted the Pack to stay alive so the Vikings could go into Lambeau and crush a Rodgers lead team in front of their home crowd putting to rest any glimmer of hope they have of resurrecting the dumpster fire in the near future.

  23. Crazy year. All six of the top teams in the NFC are legit. Not a year where there’s 2-3 teams that are genuinely in contention for the SB. I could see any of those six teams getting hot and going to the big game.

  24. screamingyellowzonkers says:

    December 19, 2017 at 9:17 am

    codylaws says:
    December 19, 2017 at 7:22 am
    Let’s hope iggles lose 1 or 2 games, so Vikings take top seed.
    —————————————-
    The Eagles must lose week 17 to the Cowboys for the Vikings to have a shot at the #1 seed. Conference tie breaker. The Raider game this week is meaningless in the quest for the #1 seed.

    ________________

    You would be wrong the Raiders game is not meaningless. Why? Because if the Eagles and Vikings both end up 13-3 the tiebreaker still going to the Eagles for the better record against common opponents. The Eagles need to lose 2 for the Vikings can have a shot at the 1st seed.

  25. A lot of big talkers from the Vikings here today. The only thing worse than a sore loser is a sore winner.

  26. thepackerpoet says:
    December 19, 2017 at 8:02 am
    Yes, we lost Rogers. But also we had a lot of calls go against us this year. If we had a fair set of refs, we’d still be in the hunt
    ——————————

    A Packer fan complaining about fair officiating is the funniest thing I’ve heard all week. The next thing you’ll probably say is that Erin is a humble guy who never makes excuses.

  27. taintedsaints2009 says:
    December 19, 2017 at 10:18 am
    Packers mark murphey predicted a Super Bowl championship in the Vikings stadium and how sweet it would be…all the way back in the summer. Sometimes it’s better to keep your mouth shut so people like me don’t call you out on it! Packers miss the playoffs! Terrible TEAM.
    —————————————————————————————–
    Im sure Mark Murphy is losing sleep over the fact that his team didnt go to the super bowl after the franchise quarterback went down for half the season with an injury and more importantly, Im sure he’ll think twice about what he says in the future because he is so terribly concerned with what people like you might have to say about it.

  28. Man the Viking fans here are an insecure lot…..The NFC is wide open and should make for some excellent NFL playoff games. Let’s see these coaches separate themselves in the postseason.

  29. The NFC field is basically a dead heat, and may come down to something as simple as home field advantage. And what the hell is the deal with all this Packer obsession? Other than this weekend’s game, that team is in the rear view mirror.

  30. @purpleguy

    And yet, our brethren can’t see fit to not make everything about them. I’m with you, stop it and focus on our own team.

  31. purpleguy says:

    December 19, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    The NFC field is basically a dead heat, and may come down to something as simple as home field advantage. And what the hell is the deal with all this Packer obsession? Other than this weekend’s game, that team is in the rear view mirror.
    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

    don’t ever forget that the Packers went 40 years without scoring a TD in the playoffs….let that sink in!!

  32. Purple People Eaters says:
    December 19, 2017 at 10:19 am
    Packers were the last hurdle for the Vikes. I’m calling Super Bowl. Anything less than a Super Bowl win will be considered failure. This is the best opportunity they will have. Great teams take advantage of the opportunities presented to them.
    ————-
    Hi Stella.
    You’ve been saying this for six weeks.
    Happy offseason

  33. stellarperformance says:
    December 19, 2017 at 11:37 am
    A lot of big talkers from the Vikings here today. The only thing worse than a sore loser is a sore winner.
    ———-
    And obviously you know both ends.
    Currently sore loser.

  34. Why are Lions’ fans excited? Stafford doesn’t win play off games, especially on the road. C’mon. Pencil them out. Along with Seattle. If Dallas sneaks in, game over folks. They are getting healthier and dangerous.

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