The NFC playoff picture started to take shape after key results in Week 11. The Vikings slowed down the Rams to maintain their lead the NFC North. The Eagles dominated the Cowboys to pretty much wrap up their division and put Dallas’ playoff hopes on life support. The Falcons scored a huge win in Seattle and the banged-up Seahawks look to have a challenging path to even making the postseason. Just like I did with the AFC yesterday, here is how I would rate 16 NFC teams.
As you can see the top half of this conference is far better than the top of the AFC. Out of the top eight teams in the whole league, six of them play in the NFC. A playoffs involving the Eagles, Saints, Rams, Vikings, Panthers are Falcons would be extremely fun. I think all six teams have a case to make the Super Bowl, unlike the AFC where I only see two contenders. We’ll get potential playoff previews in the last six weeks of the regular season as many of the top NFC teams still play each other.
The Cowboys and Seahawks were recently in the top part of my power ratings but multiple losses of star players forces me to downgrade both teams. At this point, I would be shocked if Dallas made the playoffs and the Seahawks look like they need to win the NFC West to be playing in January.
The Redskins have two less losses than the Lions but I think that Washington is a better team. The Redskins are coming off a stretch of games where they played the Eagles, Cowboys, Seahawks, Vikings and Saints. They went 1-4 in that stretch but three of those games were on the road, including the win in Seattle. Washington was also without key offensive lineman and their most consistent receivers for part of this brutal stretch. Their playoff hopes have greatly dwindled but I still would make them a favorite on a neutral field over the Lions.
The Lions are not as good as their record indicates but they could find themselves right back in the division race if they beat the Vikings on Thanksgiving. They would own the tiebreaker over Minnesota so it’s a must-win game for Detroit. They are still a team I will look to fade in the last six weeks of the season.
There’s a pretty big drop off between the Lions and the last six teams in my NFC rankings. The Buccaneers, Bears, Cardinals, Packers, 49ers and Giants are all below average. The Packers are 5-5 but are a completely different team when Aaron Rodgers is out. If Rodgers was healthy then the NFC would’ve been even more loaded.