The NFL Playoff scenarios are becoming much clearer for the top teams in each conference, but the wildcard spots are still pretty much up for grabs in the NFC. The Steelers and Falcons were the only teams to clinch this weekend. The Eagles virtually locked up the NFC East, which the Bears can also do with a win tonight.
Let’s start with the NFC where the Falcons, Bears, & Eagles are the top three seeds. The Bears hold a head to head tiebreaker over the Eagles, so Philly would need to finish a game ahead of the Bears to secure a #2 seed. The leader of the NFC worst is the Rams by default. Every team in the division lost weekend and they assured themselves of not having a single team with a winning record. With two weeks to go, it seems very likely that the winner of this division will be at best 7-9. The Rams and Seahawks play each other in the final week of the season, which will likely decide the #4 seed in the NFC.
The wildcard contenders in the NFC pretty much all lost. The Saints, Giants, Packers & Buccaneers could have all asserted themselves and didn’t this weekend. The Saints are still in line for the #5 seed at 10-4 and the Giants lead the rest of the pack at 9-5. The Buccaneers blew a game at home to the Lions for their 6th loss and the Packers lost a road game to the Patriots.
The Packers are actually in pretty good position. They’ll get Aaron Rodgers back next week and they host the Giants in Green Bay. If they win that game they pull ahead of the Giants by virtue of the head to head tiebreaker.
In the AFC, the Patriots and Steelers have clinched and the Colts overtook the Jaguars to take the lead in the AFC South. The Chiefs won on the road in St. Louis to keep pace atop the NFC West.
The Ravens got a big win over the Saints this weekend to pull even with the Steelers, who lost to the Jets. They remain behind the Steelers due to tiebreakers, but could still end up taking the AFC North and possibly get a first round bye. The aforementioned Jets stopped their freefall in a big way with a road win in Pittsburgh, which really solidified their shot at a wildcard. The other AFC wildcard seems destined to be the runner up in the AFC North.
If the Colts win out, they win the AFC South. Ditto for the Kansas City Chiefs and the AFC West. The Jaguars and Chargers need those teams to drop a game to have a shot.