The season has officially reached its halfway point, and with that, we have a clearer picture of the playoff teams in the NFC. Which teams have the best shot of playing into the postseason in the NFC?
NFC East: Philidelphia Eagles
Next game: November 15th at Giants
Philidelphia is not a very good team, but who in the NFC East can challenge them? Dallas is down to their third-string quarterback, Washington is rebuilding, and New York has a first-year coach and a decent (at best) quarterback. As long as the Eagles can eke out a few more wins, they can make the playoffs, maybe even with a losing record. Don’t expect them to get much farther than that, though.
NFC North: Green Bay Packers
Next game: November 5th at 49ers
The Packers are currently first, but they are not out of the clear yet, due to their recent loss at the hands of a bad Vikings team. That being said, they also do not have much competition in their division, outside of the 5-3 Chicago Bears. However, even if the Packers lose their division, the play of Aaron Rodgers should be more than enough to get them to a Wild Card spot, barring an unforeseen collapse.
NFC South: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Next game: November 8th vs. Saints
The Bucs squeaked out a Monday Night Football win against the one-win Giants, but their real test lies next week against the New Orleans Saints, a team sitting only half a game behind them, at 5-2. It will be interesting to see which team prevails, as whoever wins will take the lead in the NFC South.
NFC West: Seattle Seahawks
Next game: November 8th at Bills
Despite a surprising loss to the Arizona Cardinals, Seattle is still in control of its own destiny when it comes to the playoffs. Russell Wilson is still playing at an MVP level and the receiving tandem of Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf is beginning to look rather deadly. The Seahawks’ closest division competitor is the Arizona Cardinals at 5-2, and as long as Seattle can come close to the success they have had in the first eight weeks, they should be just fine for the playoffs.
In The Hunt
Chicago Bears (5-3)
Chicago may not be leading their division, but they are still a perfectly capable team and one that should make a Wild Card spot, especially with the new playoff expansion into seven teams. If there was one thing to be concerned about, it would be their schedule; within the next three weeks, they play the Tennessee Titans and Packers, two potential Super Bowl contenders.
Arizona Cardinals (5-2)
In coach Kliff Kingsbury‘s second year, the Cardinals have improved dramatically, already matching their win total from last year. DeAndre Hopkins is a welcome addition to the team, and Kyler Murray looks like a very good dual-threat quarterback. A jump from a single-digit pick in last year’s NFL draft to a playoff spot this year will certainly be hard, but it is attainable.
New Orleans Saints (5-2)
The Saints are not the leaders in their division, but that could all change on November 8th, when they play the Buccaneers in Tampa. It will be interesting to see the battle between two Hall of Fame quarterbacks, Tom Brady and Drew Brees. Until then, however, the Saints will occupy the first Wild Card spot in the playoffs.
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