Sizing Up the NFC Playoff Picture

Greg G.Correspondent IDecember 4, 2008

I won't predict the playoff results but this is how I see the NFC Playoff picture shaping up….



No. 1 Panthers (13-3)


4-0 down the stretch including a surprising upset at NYG to give them the tie breaker for No. 1 seed



No. 2 Giants (13-3)


Finish 2-2 after dealing with loss and media orgy over Plax. Lose at Dallas and they finish 13-3, win at Dallas and they knock Dallas out of the playoffs and finish 14-2 for No. 1 seed. I think Dallas wins at home



No. 3 Cardinals (10-6)


Finish 3-1 with easy Division wins over Rams and Seahawks, a huge win in Minnesota and a loss to the Patriots @ Foxboro. It may be to the Cardinals advantage to lose that game in Minnesota and take the No. 4 seed to play the Bucs instead of the Cowboys in the Wild Card Round.



No. 4 Vikings (9-7)


2-2 down the stretch with wins over Detroit and Atlanta and help from Chicago losing to Green Bay. If Minnesota beats Arizona at home (I think the Cards pull that off) then they flip flop the Nos. 3 and 4 seeds with Arizona and finish 10-6.



No. 5 Buccaneers (11-5)


2-2 finish with a key loss to Carolina this week and an upset by San Diego cost them the NFC South title and a No. 2 seed



No. 6 Cowboys (10-6)


2-2 finish with huge win over Giants and Eagles (trap game) but losses to the Steelers and Baltimore. Win at Baltimore and they finish as the No. 5 seed at 11-5 with tiebreakers over Tampa Bay. Lose and they’re in danger of missing playoffs all together depending on tie breakers with Washington.



Outside Shot


Washington (10-6)


I think Washington can go 3-1 down the stretch with an easy schedule but will lose tie breakers with a 3-3 NFC East record to Dallas’ 4-2. Dallas MUST WIN at home vs. the Giants or the Redskins take they’re spot at the No. 6 seed if they win three of four (@ BAL, @ CIN, PHI, @ SF—very possible).



Atlanta (9-7)


I don’t think this team is for real and they drop three straight Conference games to the Saints, Bucs, and Vikings. Win one of those games and they finish 10-6. All four of their remaining games are conference games but they’re a game behind Dallas and Washington and would need both of those teams to lose at least 2 games to NFC teams to win a playoff spot.



Chicago (8-8)


Has a relatively easy schedule down the stretch but sits a game back of Minnesota and I see upsets at home by New Orleans and Green Bay on the horizon. Win three of their four remaining games and they take the NFC North title at 9-7 (very possible).