With less than three weeks to go until the final NFL playoff matchups are set, the NFC is highly competitive. As things stand now, it is hard to imagine a team with less than 10 wins making the playoffs on the NFC side of the bracket.
Here is a look at the top tiebreaker scenarios for teams tied within the same division per the NFL.
1. Head-to-head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games between the clubs).
2. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the division.
3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games.
4. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
For teams in the same conference here is how the NFL lays out the first few tiebreaker scenarios.
1. Head-to-head, if applicable.
2. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games, minimum of four.
4. Strength of victory.
5. Strength of schedule.
The big matchup of Week 15 for the NFC features the Seahawks hosting the Rams. The game has massive NFC West implications, but will also have a ripple effect throughout the conference’s playoff standings.
Here’s a look at the NFC standings, current playoff matchups and our postseason predictions heading into Week 15. We will be updating this page throughout the day as games go final.
Here’s a look at the current NFC standings. The first six teams would make the playoffs, and the Eagles have already won the NFC East. The Vikings have clinched the NFC North division title.
|1. Philadelphia Eagles||12||2|
|2. Minnesota Vikings||11||3|
|3. L.A. Rams||10||4|
|4. New Orleans Saints||10||4|
|5. Carolina Panthers||10||4|
|6. Atlanta Falcons||9||5|
|7. Detroit Lions||8||6|
|8. Seattle Seahawks||8||6|
|9. Dallas Cowboys||8||6|
|10. Green Bay Packers||7||7|
|11. Arizona Cardinals||6||8|
|12. Washington Redskins||6||8|
|13. Tampa Bay Bucs||4||10|
|14. Chicago Bears||4||10|
|15. San Francisco 49ers||4||10|
|16. N.Y. Giants||2||12|
NFC Playoff Picture: Matchups If Season Ended Today
No. 1 Philadelphia Eagles (Bye)
No. 2 Minnesota Vikings (Bye)
No. 3 L.A. Rams vs. No. 6 Atlanta Falcons
This would be a matchup featuring last year’s hottest NFL offense (Falcons) against this year’s red-hot unit (Rams). Los Angeles has the advantage of looking like one of the best teams in the NFL, while Atlanta has years of playoff experience, including last year’s Super Bowl run.
No. 4 New Orleans Saints vs. No. 5 Carolina Panthers
A matchup featuring two NFC South foes, and the Saints won both regular season matchups. Both teams have gotten this far with a balanced attack featuring two potent running games.
NFC Playoff Predictions
Here’s our playoff predictions heading into Week 15.
No. 1 Minnesota Vikings (13-3)
No. 2 Philadelphia Eagles (13-3)
No. 3 Atlanta Falcons (11-5)
No. 4 L.A. Rams (11-5)
No. 5 New Orleans Saints (11-5)
No. 6 Dallas Cowboys (10-6)
Just Miss Out
No. 7 Seattle Seahawks (10-6)
No. 8 Carolina Panthers (10-6)
No. 9 Detroit Lions (9-7)
No. 10 Green Bay Packers (9-7)
Our projections have the Eagles and Vikings with identical records at the end of the season. This tie would lead to a deep dive into the NFL tiebreaker scenarios. Based on our projections, things would go all the way down to the fifth tiebreaker, which is strength of schedule. According to TeamRankings.com, the Vikings schedule ranks fourth while the Eagles sit at ninth. This gives the nod to the Vikings for the top seed in an extremely close race down the stretch.
The NFC South could make up as many as half of the six playoff teams. With the way the Falcons are playing over the last month, we like their chances of winning the division, but there is a good chance we will see some form of a tiebreaker come into play.
Finally, the Week 16 matchup between the Cowboys and Seahawks will likely give the winning team the upper hand in grabbing the final playoff spot. This would change if the Cowboys lose any of their remaining three games.