The NFC Playoff Picture & Predictions

Joe Caporoso breaks down the NFC playoff race and gives predictions for how it will pan out, along with week 14 NFL picks…

Last week we looked at the AFC playoff picture right here and offered our predictions for how the race would play out. This week, let’s shift our focus to the NFC and give our week 14 picks…

1. Dallas Cowboys (11-1), Remaining Opponents: at Giants, vs. Tampa, vs. Lions, at Eagles: Dallas is in cruise control for the NFC’s #1 seed despite a difficult finish to their schedule, that will likely yield 1 or maybe 2 more losses. Look for a Tony Romo trade audition in week 17 vs. the Eagles. Projected Final Record: 14-2.

2. Seattle Seahawks (8-3-1), Remaining Opponents: at Packers, vs. Rams, vs. Cardinals, at 49ers: Seattle will need more offensively going forward with Earl Thomas out for the year but they remain in prime position to still get a bye week, thanks to a soft close to their schedule. Despite being the #2 seed, probably the favorite to come out of the NFC. Projected Final Record: 11-3-1

3. Detroit Lions (8-4), Remaining Opponents: vs. Bears, at Giants, at Cowboys, vs. Packers: The Lions keep finding a way as one of the league’s most surprising teams. They likely have built a big enough cushion where they can weather a few late season losses and still win the NFC North. Projected Final Record: 10-6

4. Atlanta Falcons (7-5), Remaining Opponents: at Rams, vs. 49ers, at Panthers, vs. Saints: Despite trending in the wrong direction, the schedule plays well for the Falcons to finish strong and get back into the playoffs. This would be an epic choke by them to miss out with games against four teams who are all out of playoff contention already. Projected Final Record: 10-6

5. New York Giants (8-4), Remaining Opponents: vs. Cowboys, vs. Lions, at Eagles, at Redskins: After coasting against a collection of cellar dwellers, the Giants schedule difficulty picks up. If they can’t upset the Cowboys, the Lions game may ultimately be make or break for their playoff hopes, as two road trips against NFC East rivals isn’t the easiest way to finish the schedule. Projected Final Record: 9-7

6. Tampa Bay Bucs (7-5), Remaining Opponents: vs. Saints, at Cowboys, at Saints, vs. Panthers: The upstart Bucs are in the driver’s seat for wild card spot, if they can handle business against the Saints down the stretch, who they play twice. Projected Final Record: 10-6

7. Washington Redskins (6-5-1), Remaining Opponents: vs. Eagles, vs. Panthers, at Bears, vs. Giants: Last week’s loss to the Cardinals could be a killer but if they handle their business, they will be in position to win a wild card spot at home against the Giants in week 17. Projected Final Record: 9-6-1

8. Minnesota Vikings (6-6), Remaining Opponents: at Jaguars, vs. Colts, at Packers, vs. Bears: This season has melted down around the Vikings but they have a closing slate that may keep them relevant until week 17. Projected Final Record: 9-7

9. Green Bay Packers (6-6), Remaining Opponents: vs. Seahawks, at Bears, vs. Vikings, at Lions: Too many teams to jump for the Packers to make any noise, unless the Lions go into a free fall or the Vikings get upset in the next two weeks. Projected Final Record: 8-8

Projected Final NFC Playoffs

  1. Dallas
  2. Seattle
  3. Detroit
  4. Atlanta
  5. Tampa Bay
  6. Washington

Week 14 Picks 

  • Oakland (+3.5) vs. Kansas City
  • Cincinnati (-5.5) vs. Cleveland
  • Denver (+1.5) vs. Tennessee
  • Houston (+6.5) vs. Indianapolis
  • Pittsburgh (-1.5) vs. Buffalo
  • Carolina (-0.5) vs. San Diego
  • Minnesota (-3.5) vs. Jacksonville
  • Washington (+0.5) vs. Philadelphia
  • Arizona (+0.5) vs. Miami
  • Detroit (-8.5) vs. Chicago
  • San Francisco (-1.5) vs. Jets
  • Tampa (-2.5) vs. Saints
  • Atlanta (-5.5) vs. Rams
  • Seattle (-2.5) vs. Green Bay
  • Dallas (-3.5) vs. Giants
  • Baltimore (+7.5) vs. New England

Photo Credit; NFL.com 

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the VP of Social Media at Whistle Sports