NFC playoffs analysis… Can the niners or vikings make it? Who will win the nfc east?

While reading this keep in mind these are projections and what if scenarios for the Niners, Vikings and NFC East teams.

Current NFC Standings:

  1. Saints (9-2)
  2. Packers (8-3)
  3. Rams (7-4)
  4. Seahawks (7-3)
  5. Buccaneers (7-5)
  6. Cardinals (6-5)
  7. Giants (4-7)

In the Hunt:

  1. Niners (5-6)
  2. Vikings (5-6)
  3. Bears (5-6)
  4. Falcons (4-7)
  5. Washington Football Team (4-7)
  6. Lions (4-7)

Let’s look at the top 3 teams in the hunt and their next three matchups.

Niners: The next 3 matchups are: The Bills, Washington and the Cowboys. Looking at record only the Niners need to beat Washington and the Cowboys. Ideally go 2-1 in the next 3 weeks.

Vikings: The next 3 matchups are: The Jaguars, the Buccaneers and the Bears. They need to be able to go 2-1 losing only to the Buccaneers.

Bears: The next 3 matchups are: The Lions, the Texans and the Vikings. The way the Texans and Vikings are playing and how Bears have been struggling at the QB position they are likely to go 1-2. They need to go at least 2-1 to stay in the hunt.

The Cardinals have an easy schedule for the next 3 weeks and should be able to go 3-0 and be a lock. The Rams play The Cardinals, the Patriots and the Jets, the Patriots are a wildcard team that could take down the Rams but it is likely that the Rams go 2-1 in the next 3 weeks. The Rams need to go 1-2 for the Vikings or Niners to have a true shot.

Projected NFC standings going into week 16:

  1. Saints (11-3)
  2. Packers (11-3)
  3. Seahawks (11-3)
  4. Buccaneers (9-5)
  5. Cardinals (9-5)—- Next two opponents The Niners and The Rams
  6. Rams (8-6)—- Next two opponents The Seahawks and The Cardinals
  7. Giants (4-10)(all NFC East teams will be 4-10 except the Eagles at 3-9-1)—-Next two opponents The Ravens and The Cowboys

In the Hunt:

  1. Niners (7-7)—- Next two opponents The Cardinals and The Seahawks
  2. Vikings (7-7)—-Next two opponents The Saints and The Lions
  3. Bears (6-8)—- Next two opponents The Jaguars and The Packers (likely eliminated)
  4. Cowboys (4-10)—-Next two opponents The Eagles and The Giants
  5. Washington Football Team (4-10)—-Next two opponents The Panthers and The Eagles

What needs to happen for Niners to make it:

Niners are likely to get Jimmy Garoppolo and Pro Bowl TE George Kittle for week 15 and 16 and they need to hope everyone on the roster stays healthy. With that team they can take down the Cardinals and the Seahawks and go 2-0 from weeks 15-16. They also need the Rams to lose at least one game out of the Seahawks and the Cardinals which is likely as both are high powered teams. This would put the Rams and the Niners at 9-7 each and the Niners would go ahead and take their spot since they swept the Rams.

What needs to happen for Vikings to make it:

The Rams need to 0-2 and the Niners need to go 0-2 or 1-1 while the Vikings go 2-0 against the Saints and the Lions. They are likely to lose to the Saints however as they are the best team in the NFC currently. But if they clutch the 2-0 they can take the Rams spot in the playoffs.

How will the NFC East shape out?

Out of the Cowboys, the Giants and the Football Team the Football Team or the Giants have the best shot. At the end of the day however, which ever team can have the best record in these two weeks will take that spot and this team will have to go 2-0.

Projected NFC playoff record:

  1. Saints (13-3)
  2. Packers (12-4)
  3. Seahawks (12-4)
  4. Buccaneers (10-6)
  5. Cardinals (9-7)*
  6. Niners (9-7)
  7. Giants (6-10)

*If the Cardinals lose to the Rams week 13 and week 17 they could get replaced by the Rams in the playoffs.

Special scenario… 8 playoff teams?

If any game were to be canceled and their was a week 18 added due to COVID reasons (Ravens VS Steelers for example) 8 teams from the NFC and the AFC could make it and that would mean all 4 NFC West teams have a chance which would be the first time in history. This would also give the Bears and the Falcons a shot at making an attempt.

If you want to see the AFC projections comment below!

Author: Hamza Naqvi

College Graduate. Football Analyst.

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