While the football weekend isn’t finished yet, the NFC playoff picture is starting to take shape. The biggest matchup with playoff implications was the Panthers-Saints game. Both teams came into the game with 9-3 records with the divisional lead and the number two seed on the line. The Saints took advantage of some home cooking to get the win.
The Seahawks are in the drivers seat for the number one seed and the NFC West Division Championship. If they had beaten the San Francisco 49ers today, they would have clinched the division. The 49ers cannot afford a loss over the next three games if they want to take the division. Arizona can’t win the division but they can get into the playoffs as a wild card.
Seattle (11-2): At New York Giants, vs Arizona Cardinals and St Louis Rams.
San Francisco (9-4): At Tampa Bay Bucaneers, vs Atlanta Falcons, at Arizona Cardinals
Arizona (8-5): At Tennessee Titans and Seattle Seahawks, vs San Francisco 49ers
The St Louis Rams (5-8) have been eliminated from playoff contention
The NFC North is currently up for grabs after the Lions fumbled away a win against the Philadelphia Eagles earlier today. The Lions do have the advantage with a 4-1 division record and beat the Bears both times. They split their regular season series with the Green Bay Packers. The loss opened the door for both the Packers and Bears.
Detroit (7-6): vs Baltimore Ravens and New York Giants, at Minnesota
Chicago (6-6): vs Dallas Cowboys, at Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles, vs Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers (6-6-1): at Dallas Cowboys, vs Pittsburgh Steelers, at Chicago Bears
The Minnesota Vikings (3-9-1) have been eliminated from playoff contention.
The NFC East is on schedule for yet another win or go home Week 17 matchup. This time it involves the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles. Currently the Eagles sit on top of the division but the Cowboys control their destiny in terms of the tiebreakers. Dallas is 4-0 in the division while the Eagles are 3-2. The Cowboys beat the Eagles in their first matchup 17-3.
Philadelphia (8-5): at Minnesota Vikings, vs Chicago Bears and at Dallas Cowboys.
Dallas (7-5): at Chicago Bears, vs Green Bay Packers, at Washington Redskins and vs Philadelphia Eagles.
The Washington Redskins (3-10) and New York Giants (5-8) have been eliminated from playoff contention.
With their win tonight the Saints now have the advantage in chasing the number two seed and a bye. The Panthers will have to finish one game better than the Saints in order to steal the division from them. They will meet again in two weeks in which could decide the division.
New Orleans Saints (10-3): at St Louis Rams and Carolina Panthers, vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Carolina Panthers (9-4): vs New York Jets and New Orleans Saints, at Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons (3-10) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-9) have been eliminated from playoff contention.
Playoff Matchups Projection
Wild Card: Panthers (5) vs Lions (4)
Wild Card: 49ers (6) vs Cowboys (3)