NFC playoff picture: Rams are in first, despite a loss

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The Rams remain the top team in the NFC playoff race, even after losing to the Saints.

Although the Saints now own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Rams, L.A. is on top because it has played and won one more game than New Orleans has. So the Rams are the favorites to earn home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs, just not the overwhelming favorites they would have been if they had beaten the Saints.

Here’s how the playoff picture looks heading into Week 10:

LEADERS
1. L.A. Rams (8-1): A loss in New Orleans doesn’t change the fact that the Rams are the class of the conference.

2. New Orleans (7-1): The good news for the Saints is they just have to keep winning.

3. Chicago (5-3): Owns the tiebreaker with Washington based on better record in NFC games.

4. Washington (5-3): The leader in a weak NFC East.

5. Carolina (6-2): Has the wild card lead heading into Week 10.

6. Minnesota (5-3-1): Half a game behind The Bears in the NFC North.

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
7. Atlanta (4-4): Owns the three-way tiebreaker over Philadelphia and Seattle thanks to its 4-2 NFC record. Because it’s a three-way tie, Philadelphia’s head-to-head victory over Atlanta doesn’t come into play.

8. Seattle (4-4): Owns the tiebreaker over Philadelphia thanks to its 3-2 NFC record.

9. Philadelphia (4-4): The 2-3 conference record hurts in the tiebreaker calculations.

10. Green Bay (3-4-1): The Packers are still in the playoff race, but it’ll be an uphill climb from here.

11. Dallas (3-5): Owns the common games tiebreaker over Tampa Bay.

12. Tampa Bay (3-5): Owns the tiebreaker with Detroit based on NFC record.

13. Detroit (3-5): Jim Caldwell was fired after back-to-back 9-7 seasons. Matt Patricia looks unlikely to do better.

14. Arizona (2-6): At least they’re not in last place in the NFC West.

15. San Francisco (2-7): They’re in last place in the NFC West.

16. N.Y. Giants (1-7): Eli Manning is guiding them toward having the first overall pick to draft his replacement.

54 responses to “NFC playoff picture: Rams are in first, despite a loss

  1. .
    The Rams have four games left vs competitive teams:

    Seattle
    Kansas City
    @Chicago
    Philadelphia
    .

    The Saints have five:

    @Cincinnati
    Philadelphia
    @Carolina
    Pittsburgh
    Carolina
    .

  2. Does conference record really come into play before head to head record for tiebreakers? I always assumed it was the other way around, since that seems to make the most sense.

  3. Drew Brees is playing so good right now, it’s hard not to pick them as the super bowl winner. Lots of awesome QB play this year. The second half is going to be awesome. Every year the NFL breaks its own revenue records, and this year should be the best by far.

  4. What makes you think Gettleman will draft a QB? He said back in April that Eli has several good years remaining.

  5. Actually it does make sense. If three teams are tied they do not use head to head matchups as the first tie breaker. For example, if three teams are tied and they each played one another during the season they do not use these matchups in tie breaker scenario. They move on to the next tie breaker situation.

  6. Rams are the “class of the conference” because they haven’t had a bye week and the Saints have? Yeah that makes a lot of sense.

  7. Why doesn’t Chicago say “the leader in a weak NFC North”? The only obvious difference between NFCN & NFCE is that the Giants suck worse than the Lions. Otherwise, the top three teams in the two conferences are comparable. Skins & Bears = identical records; Packers & Cowboys both have 3 wins; Vikings have one more win than Eagles, but have played one more game.

    Chicago 5-3
    Redskins 5-3

    Vikings 5-3-1
    Eagles 4-4

    Green Bay 3-4-1
    Dallas 3-5

    Detroit 3-5
    Giants 1-7

  8. Go through each team and take away one player from each team.

    How will that team fare in the playoffs without that player?

    Rams lose Goff, Bears lose Mack, Saints lose Brees, Panthers lose Newton, Washington loses Smith and the Vikings lose Cousins.

    Rams, Saints, Chicago all one and done.

    Washington can’t win in any event.

    Championship game between Cam-less Panthers and Cousin-less Vikings.

    NFC Champion — Minnesota Vikings.

    This is why defense wins championships.

  9. Cowboys go undefeated the rest of the way. Dak/Garrett/Scott/Moore was just goofing is all. Now they are going to really open it up and lay it down on everyone. They just wanted to give the division a head start. Yep now just sit back all is good.
    R E L A X .

  10. Relax…The picture will become clearer after week 12 when everyone has had their bye.

    And remember, head to head only works (mostly) when there are only two teams involved (See: the Ravens/Titans/Chargers/Bills 9-7 logjam last season that allowed the Bills to sneak in)

  11. Sounds obvious to shout out the favorites but a Pats-Chiefs AFC Championship and a Saints-Rams NFC championship sounds awesome. Any combo of that would make for an amazing Superbowl!

  12. Eagles @ Rams in NFC Championship

    Steelers @ Chefs in AFC Championship

    Eagles / Steelers in Feb.

  13. Eagles are not making the playoffs. Not hating just being REAL. Saints Rams are legit contenders. Dez has a qb who can throw him open and Dez will be a good little boy and keep his bucket mouth shut.
    Chicago Minnesota and Carolina are all better then the Eagles and Redskins. Im guessing a Saints VS Patriots Super Bowl.
    But it could very well be Chiefs VS Rams.
    Or Cowboys VS Browns. Crazier things have happened!

  14. wiltmellow says:
    November 8, 2018 at 9:06 am
    Go through each team and take away one player from each team.

    How will that team fare in the playoffs without that player?

    Rams lose Goff, Bears lose Mack, Saints lose Brees, Panthers lose Newton, Washington loses Smith and the Vikings lose Cousins.

    Interesting take. Foles for Wentz worked out well, so losing one player isn’t a death sentence. With that said, Gurley and Donald are more important than Goff, Trubisky equal because of his position, Kamara over Brees, agree about Cam, Peterson in Washington, Thielen in Minny.

  15. wiltmellow says:
    November 8, 2018 at 9:06 am
    NFC Champion — Minnesota Vikings.
    This is why defense wins championships.
    //////////////////////////

    Last years’ Viking defense was vaunted.

    We all saw what happened.

  16. Just a couple of quibbles. First, the Rams lost to the Saints so they aren’t the class of the conference anymore. After the bye weeks have been completed, they will probably have the same record but the Saints have the tie-breaker.

    Second, the Vikings are not half a game behind the Bears. 5-4 is half a game behind 5-3. That annoying tie makes it impossible to compare the records in terms of games behind until they’ve played the same number of games. Right now the Bears have a winning percentage of .625 and the Vikings have a winning percentage of .611, so the Bears are in first place. If the Bears win this week while the Vikings are off, they will be a half game ahead.

  17. Rams remaining schedule looks a bit easier than the Saints. Looking ahead it’s tough to see the Saints winning every one of those games.

    Surprisingly mediocre conference this season. Rams, Saints, Panthers, possibly Vikings, and pretty much junk after that.

  18. How can the Packers be 10th WITH Aaron Rodgers? I was assured all off season that not was their roster not garbage but that it was great! Man, those cheese eaters were lying to me.

  19. Sometimes I just wonder if you guys ever actually read over what you write before you post it. So the Rams who were decisively beaten by two scores are the class of the NFC just because they’ve played 1 more game than the Saints only because of the bye week. I mean really come on now.

  20. cheeseisfattening says:
    November 8, 2018 at 11:37 am
    How can the Packers be 10th WITH Aaron Rodgers? I was assured all off season that not was their roster not garbage but that it was great! Man, those cheese eaters were lying to me.
    **************
    Interesting, if the Packers beat the Dolphins on Sunday, (Packers -10) they’re only one game in back of the Vikings.
    What does that really say about the Vikings, if they’re only one game up on a team who’s roster is filled with garbage?

  21. I am going out on a limb and predict that the Eagles and Packers will make the playoffs but Chicago and Washington won’t. Win-loss records do not tell the whole story because a team may have a good record but it simply played mostly bad teams. For example, the Ravens last season fooled many people into thinking that they were a playoff team, until somebody pointed out that they did not beat a single team that made the playoffs in 2017 all season. Seattle, even though it is 4-4 and ranked 8th, has only beaten teams that currently are below .500 in winning percentage. Seattle will be facing the LAmbs and Panthers, both with above .500 records shortly. The other opponent it will face after the LAmbs is the Packers, which has dominated Seattle in recent years, after losing a heartbreaker in the NFC Championship game to Seattle in the 2014 season. The picture will be clearer in about a month as to which team is headed to the playoffs.

  22. In the NFCN the Bears and Pack have easier remaining schedules than the Vikes — the division race will be close till the end of the season.

  23. hawksfanpete says:
    November 8, 2018 at 9:33 am
    Sounds obvious to shout out the favorites but a Pats-Chiefs AFC Championship and a Saints-Rams NFC championship sounds awesome. Any combo of that would make for an amazing Superbowl!

    —————————————————–
    Call me old fashioned but I’d prefer to see a couple teams with a Defense have a shot at a title. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that most the teams built around defenses struggled out of the gate as they adapted to the new roughing the passer rules, now that those calls have calmed down and some teams have adjusted I anticipate some of those teams to show their dominance down the stretch.

  24. numba1wiscosportsfan says:
    November 8, 2018 at 8:16 am
    Lets get serious pack nation. Time too tank and draft for the future and build in the draft. Go dolphins. There, I said it.

    ———————————————————
    Here’s to hoping the packers make a push for the playoffs, as this Vikings fan wants to keep McCarthy the coach over there!

  25. bobsaget92 says:
    November 8, 2018 at 8:11 am

    How does ATL hold the tiebreaker over philly .. We beat them in the opener !!

    *********************************
    Because you have to think of something OTHER than the tie-breaker for just TWO teams?
    That’s why it’s not the primary tie-breaker.
    Say you have three Teams:
    Team A beat Team B, but lost to Team C
    Team C but Team B but lost to Team A
    So… who wins the Tie-breaker among the THREE when it a three way tie, based on “head to head”?

  26. JerryT00N says:
    November 8, 2018 at 11:50 am
    cheeseisfattening says:
    November 8, 2018 at 11:37 am
    How can the Packers be 10th WITH Aaron Rodgers? I was assured all off season that not was their roster not garbage but that it was great! Man, those cheese eaters were lying to me.
    **************
    Interesting, if the Packers beat the Dolphins on Sunday, (Packers -10) they’re only one game in back of the Vikings.
    What does that really say about the Vikings, if they’re only one game up on a team who’s roster is filled with garbage?

    ———————————-
    It says that in a offense and pass happy league (because you basically aren’t allowed to tackle anymore)if you have a good QB you can still be competitive even if the rest of your team isn’t NFL quality. It also says the packers D is a little better than last year, but that wasn’t that hard to do as there was no where to go but up with that unit.

  27. getadealdonealready says:
    November 8, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    Here’s to hoping the packers make a push for the playoffs, as this Vikings fan wants to keep McCarthy the coach over there!

    —————————————

    As a Lions fan, I agree with you!

    Even though I live right on the border of Bears Country, and they are one of the Lions’ main rivals, it is kind of fun to see Chicago back in the thick of it. Anybody but Green Bay and Minnesota is refreshing.

  28. getadealdonealready says:
    November 8, 2018 at 12:37 pm
    numba1wiscosportsfan says:
    November 8, 2018 at 8:16 am
    Lets get serious pack nation. Time too tank and draft for the future and build in the draft. Go dolphins. There, I said it.

    ———————————————————
    Here’s to hoping the packers make a push for the playoffs, as this Vikings fan wants to keep McCarthy the coach over there!
    _________________

    I always find it hilarious that Barney fans ridicule Mike McCarthy, especially since he’s had so much more success than any Viking coach in their entire history.
    Regular season and postseason, and that includes Hall of Famer Bud Grant.

    Yes, Green Bay may just decide to move on from McCarthy after this season’s through, but still, let it sink in for a moment, a coach that you all think is terrible, has been superior to any coach that’s ever called the shots in 57 years of Viking football.
    It’s laughable.

  29. JerryT00N says:

    Interesting, if the Packers beat the Dolphins on Sunday, (Packers -10) they’re only one game in back of the Vikings.
    ###

    Two letters:

    IF…

  30. numba1wiscosportsfan says:
    November 8, 2018 at 8:16 am
    Lets get serious pack nation. Time too tank and draft for the future and build in the draft. Go dolphins. There, I said it.
    __________________________

    Tanking doesn’t really work in the NFL… remember the “suck for luck” hoopla? Well one time got Luck and the other got a chance to snag RG3….

    This isn’t the NBA where you can tank for 65 games, and hope to hit on once in a generation player. Besides talent wise the NFLs first 3 rounds is equivalent to picking a late lottery selection.

  31. Here’s to hoping the packers make a push for the playoffs, as this Vikings fan wants to keep McCarthy the coach over there!
    ________________________

    Hes 16-8-2 vs. the Vikings, while it may be time for a change similar to the one the Eagles did when they were sick of Andy Reid, they need to bring in someone better, he needs to be better, it can’t just be a “big name” though we saw what happened in Oakland with that.

  32. getadealdonealready says:
    November 8, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    I’d prefer to see a couple teams with a Defense have a shot at a title.

    +++++

    Vikings are 14th in points allowed per game, I would have thought you’d root for them.

  33. wafflestomp says:
    November 8, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    I always find it hilarious that Barney fans ridicule Mike McCarthy, especially since he’s had so much more success than any Viking coach in their entire history.
    Regular season and postseason, and that includes Hall of Famer Bud Grant.

    Yes, Green Bay may just decide to move on from McCarthy after this season’s through, but still, let it sink in for a moment, a coach that you all think is terrible, has been superior to any coach that’s ever called the shots in 57 years of Viking football.
    It’s laughable.
    ________

    Mike McCarthy has had “so much more success” than Bud Grant? I don’t think that’s as easy to quantify as you think. McCarthy won one Super Bowl, Bud didn’t win one. Congratulations, you can’t take that game away from him.

    Looking at other numbers, Bud went to four Super Bowls, McCarthy went to one.

    Bud had a winning percentage of .622. McCarthy’s is .625 but will have to finish the season 5-3 to stay ahead.

    Bud won 11 division championships in 18 years (61%). McCarthy won six division championships in 12 years (50%) and it will probably be six in 13 years soon enough.

    Bud had a 10-12 playoff record, McCarthy has a 10-8 playoff record. Congratulations.

    McCarthy has coached 12 full season. If you compare Bud’s first 12 years to McCarthy’s first 12 years, things tip even further in his favor. Bud was 115-50-5 (.691) with 10 division championships (.833), a playoff record of 9-10 (.474), and four Super Bowls. McCarthy was 121-70-1 (.633) with six division championships (.500), a playoff record of 10-8 (.556), and one Super Bowl.

    Two other things: Bud Grant was never fired and he is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Let me know when Mike McCarthy is in the Hall of Fame.

  34. Rob Brzezinski is a Magician says:
    November 8, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    I might add that Bud Grant had a Hall of Fame quarterback for seven of his 18 seasons. McCarthy has had a Hall of Fame quarterback every single year.
    ++++++

    Aaron Rodgers isn’t in the Hall of Fame. presumptious.

  35. 10. Green Bay (3-4-1): The Packers are still in the playoff race, but it’ll be an uphill climb from here.
    ——————————————
    Not really, they still play 2 teams ahead of them who have been very lucky this year.

    Seahawks – Arguably the least talented and softest roster in the league, their luck has run out andthey likely won’t win again this year.

    Vikings – Would be 5-4 and Packers 4-4 if the refs hadn’t wiped out a game ending INT with a total joke of a roughing the passer call on Clay Matthews.

    Packers will at least get a wild card, more likely to win the NFCN

  36. “Lets get serious pack nation. Time too tank and draft for the future and build in the draft” That’s been their mantra for the last 8 years or so. How’s that worked out? The only answer is for the Murph and McFatty to go. Two more wasted years for AR at the very least. At least he’s laughing all the way to the bank.

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