Week 14 in the NFC did not disappoint football fans. The Packer game was exciting, thanks to our horrid special teams. Josh Allen forced a game into overtime against Tom Brady. Lastly, Matthew Stafford outdueled Kyler Murray on Monday Night Football to catapult Green Bay to the #1 seed. Here’s a look at the current playoff matchups after the conclusion of all games this week, as well as some teams in the hunt.
#1 Packers – Bye
#2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs #7 Washington Football Team
#3 Arizona Cardinals vs. #6 San Francisco 49ers
#4 Dallas Cowboys vs. #5 Los Angeles Rams
What does this mean for the Packers?
It goes without saying that the word “bye” behind your team name is never a bad thing, especially for the Packers. However, if Green Bay wants to keep the word “bye” after their name, they must win out their remaining schedule. The Packers will look to get some help from All-Pro players, Jaire Alexander and David Bakhtiari, as they are close to making their return. If Green Bay can manage to keep the one seed, the extra practice time is something each player could benefit from. In addition to those players, a week off for Aaron Rodgers pinky toe wouldn’t be the worst, either.
It goes without saying that rest is important for our players but knowing that the “NFC will go through Green Bay” could quite possibly be the most important part of being the one seed. Football in January is tough. Football in January at Lambeau, that gives the advantage to Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay every time. Factor in that five of the six teams come from much warmer areas of the country, that’s an added bonus for the Packers.
Who still has a chance to make the playoffs?
In my first write up after week 12, I highlighted a few teams that had a shot to get into the playoffs. Let’s take a look at a few teams who still have a chance to make a playoff push. Percentages are from playoffstatus.com.
Minnesota Vikings 6-7
The Vikings almost did something only the Vikings could do, and that’s blow a massive lead to lose a game. Dalvin Cook came back from his shoulder injury and looked phenomenal. He ran all over the Steelers defense. The Vikings currently have an 8% chance to get the six seed and a 14% chance at the seven seed. Their remaining schedule is at Chicago, vs LA Rams, at Green Bay, and vs Chicago. It’s likely they will go 2-2.
Philadelphia Eagles 6-7
Philadelphia has found its groove lately. The Eagles have leaned heavily on their offensive line and the run game and it’s paid dividends, regardless who is in at running back. Philadelphia currently has an 11% chance as the six seed and a 17% chance at the seven seed. The Eagles remaining schedule is vs WFT, vs NYG, at WFT, and vs Dallas. It’s likely that they could go 3-1 but 2-2 is not out of the question with playing the WFT two times in three weeks.
Atlanta Falcons 6-7
Shockingly enough, Atlanta still has a chance to make the playoffs. Cordarrelle Patterson has finally found a home with the Falcons who have unlocked his unique talents. First year head coach, Arthur Smith will look to keep inspiring his players to perform above expectation. Atlanta has a 10% chance at the six seed and 13% chance at the seven seed. Their remaining schedule is at San Francisco, vs Detroit, at Buffalo, vs New Orleans. I would predict the Falcons to go 1-3.
New Orleans Saints 6-7
Sean Payton and Taysom Hill will try to make it to the playoffs at all costs. The return of Alvin Kamara also proved to be a much needed lift for the Saints offense. Their chances at the six seed is 10% with 15% being their chances at the seven seed. The Saints remaining schedule is at Tampa Bay, vs Miami, vs Carolina and at Atlanta. It’s quite possible that New Orleans goes 3-1 and sneaks in. Miami is the toss up game.
So who gets the 6 and 7 seed?
I believe San Francisco will remain in the six seed. Kyle Shanahan seems to be in a groove lately as a play caller. He’s used Deebo Samuel as both a running back and receiver. The 49ers have two very winnable games against Atlanta and Houston. They will look to try and get one final win against either Tennessee or LA Rams.
The seven seed is a complete toss up. With five teams all having the same record of 6-7, one bad quarter could result in your team not making the playoffs. With that being said, I’m going to guess that the Philadelphia Eagles overtake the WFT for the seventh and final seed in the playoffs. Regardless, buckle your seatbelt, the last four weeks in the NFC are going to be wild.
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