Monday, November 14, 2011

NFC Playoff Picture

Each team has about seven games to play, which is a ton of football; however, the playoff picture is surprisingly shaping up in the NFC. There are just a ton of teams that have played themselves out of the playoffs in just nine games, as 7 of the 16 teams have 6 or more losses. None of those teams really have a shot at the playoffs now, but football is a crazy sport and anything is possible. I have ranked all 16 NFC teams based on the likelihood they make the playoffs.

1. Packers (8-0) - No surprise here. The Packers play tonight, but the Vikings stand no threat to the undefeated Packers.

Chance of Making Playoffs: 100%

3 Toughest Games: @DET, @NYG, CHI

2. 49ers (8-1) - San Francisco has won 7 straight after losing in overtime to the Cowboys in Week 2. The NFC West contains three of the worst teams in football, so this race is over. The Niners are in the playoffs and will look to lock up a bye in the first round of the playoffs.

Chance of Making Playoffs: 100%

3 Toughest Games: @BAL, PIT, @SEA

3. Saints (7-3) - With the Falcons deciding to go for it on 4th and inches from the NO 30 yard line in overtime yesterday, the Saints control their own destiny. The Saints are destined for another postseason, even though the Falcons have just 4 losses.

Chance of Making Playoffs: 95%

3 Toughest Games: NYG, DET, ATL

4. Bears (6-3) - Chicago looks unstoppable right now, as they demolished the Lions in a huge game yesterday. The remaining schedule is favorable, but more importantly, the Bear defense isn't allowing anything to opponents. The Bears won't be able to catch the Packers, but the Wild Card spot is definitely attainable and they should be playing in the postseason.

Chance of Making Playoffs: 85%

3 Toughest Games: SD, @OAK, @GB

5. Giants (6-3) - Despite losing to the Niners, the Giants are still in control of the NFC East. They have a tough schedule ahead of them, but they have something the Cowboys don't have: a proven, clutch QB. The Giants are the favorites to win the NFC East, but it won't come easy.

Chance of Making Playoffs: 65%

3 Toughest Games: @NO, GB, @DAL, @NYJ (I had to put the Cowboys in there, due to the magnitude of the game)

6. Lions (6-3) - The Lions better get Stafford healthy and start scoring some points or they'll be watching the postseason on their couches. The Lions got off to a hot start, but haven't been able to maintain that streak. The Lions will obviously have to get into the postseason via the Wild Card, but it'll be very difficult to do so.

Chance of Making Playoffs: 50%

3 Toughest Games: GB, @NO, @GB

7. Cowboys (5-4) - The Cowboys are starting to put together some W's, but still remain an underdog to get into the postseason. The best shot they have is through the NFC East Division Title, because there are just too many teams fighting for those Wild Card spots. They pulled within one game of the Giants yesterday after demolishing Buffalo. The Cowboys do control their destiny somewhat, as they have 2 games against the Giants later in the season.

Chance of Making Playoffs: 50%

3 Toughest Games: NYG, PHI, @NYG

8. Atlanta (5-4) - The Falcons needed to beat the Saints yesterday, but they at least are in position to make a late season run. The next few weeks pose winnable games, but they do have an uphill battle towards the postseason. The Falcons must beat New Orleans in Week 16 if they want to win the division, but it's much more realistic that the Falcons get the Wild Card.

Chance of Making Playoffs: 40%

3 Toughest Games: @HOU, @NO, TB

9. Buccaneers (4-5)- The Bucs keep digging themselves in holes, losing three straight games to quality football teams. The good news in Tampa Bay is that they have four games of the remaining seven that they should win. The other three will be very tough games and realistically the Buccaneers must go 6-1 at the worst in order to make the playoffs. That will be extremely tough to do.

Chance of Making Playoffs: 14%

3 Toughest Games: @GB, DAL, @ATL

Those nine teams are the contenders for the playoffs as we speak. Green Bay and San Francisco are locks for their divisions in my mind, with the Saints very likely to win the NFC South.

Here are the remaing teams in order of their "likelihood" they make the playoffs.

10. Eagles (1%) - The Eagles can win the division still, but it ain't gonna happen.
11. Washington
12. Seattle
13. Arizona
14. Minnesota
15. Carolina
16. St. Louis


Anonymous said...

Cowboys are poised to take the lead by the Giants-Cowboys first meeting. The Giants play Philly, NO, GB while the Boys get the Skins, Dolphins, and Cardinals. The division will probably be decided in the last couple weeks, with the head2heads playing a huge role.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, def have the BOYS ahead of the Lions to make the playoff. Cowboys are on fire this past two weeks, while the Bills, well...they are not

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