Week 13 NFC Playoff Picture
The NFL is back in action today and the fate of a number of teams hangs in the balance. In the spirit of giving I'm giving the 4 wins teams a chance to make the playoffs so here's the breakdown in the NFC:
In Need Of A Festivus Miracle
Chicago Bears (4-7) It's pretty simple, the Bears need to run the table and everybody else needs to collapse.
Seattle Seahawks (4-7) See above.
Carolina Panthers (4-7) Despite having the same record as Chicago and Seattle the Panthers are in a slightly better position due to their conference record. At 4-4 in the NFC the Panthers would need to run the table but in doing so they would have a solid conference record.
In Need Of Help
San Francisco 49ers (5-6) Just two games behind Arizona in the NFC West, the 49ers can make things interesting if they beat Seattle today and then defeat the Cardinals next Monday night. After that San Francisco faces Philadelphia on the road. Should the 49ers navigate through that stretch they will be a factor in the playoff race.
Atlanta Falcons (6-5) The Falcons are hurting with Matt Ryan and Michael Turner banged up but Atlanta plays Philadelphia at home today and then turn around and face New Orleans at home next week. The Falcons would have a 7-4 NFC record if they win those two games. That's significant because after Week 14 the Falcons have a soft schedule that would allow them to play their way into a wild card spot.
New York Giants (6-5) After a 5-0 start the Giants have fallen backwards sharply. Injuries on both sides have been a problem but more so on the defensive side where the Giants don't look anything like the tough, physical team they were in 2007 & 2008. The next three weeks are make-or-break for New York as the G Men face all three NFC East opponents.
Controlling Their Destiny
Green Bay Packers (7-4) Thanks to a three game winning streak the Packers are not only in the thick of it but now control their own destiny as December football begins. At 6-3 in the NFC the Packers are in a good position with winnable games against Chicago, Seattle and Arizona.
Philadelphia Eagles (7-4) Philly not only has their sights set on the wild card but on the NFC East crown as well. The Eagles are just one game behind Dallas and will face the Cowboys in Week 17. But before they get there the Eagles must face Atlanta and the Giants on the road and San Francisco and Denver at home.
Arizona Cardinals (7-4) Arizona has a brutal two game stretch with Minnesota tonight and San Francisco next Monday. The Cardinals will either have the clamps down on another West title or will be in a dogfight with the 49ers.
Dallas Cowboys (8-3) Dallas got back on track against Oakland on Thanksgiving but now it's December and traditionally this is where the Cowboys fold. The schedule is not favorable as the Cowboys play the Giants, Saints and Redskins on the road to go with home games against San Diego and Philadelphia.
Minnesota Vikings (10-1) We're going to learn a lot about Minnesota as the Vikings face division leaders Arizona and Cincinnati in back-to-back weeks however one Minnesota win or one Green Bay loss gives the North crown to the Vikings.
New Orleans Saints (11-0) Like the Vikings the Saints have a magic number of one so a win or an Atlanta loss gives the NFC South tittle to New Orleans.