NFC Playoff Picture Predictor


Even with the Falcons losing in overtime to the Saints, the NFC playoff picture still is pretty murky. At the top Green Bay and San Francisco are running away with their respective divisions, and barring any major issues both should secure the #1 and #2 seeds in the NFC. Giving them both a first round bye to boot.

After that however the situation is less clear, the way the race is shaping up, there will be 6 teams competing for the final 4 spots in the NFC playoffs. Those teams (with divisions) are the Giants (East), Cowboys (East), Lions (North), Bears (North), Saints (South) & Falcons (South).

Below is the remaining schedule for each teams in this race. For fun, I have also predicted the outcome for each game remaining. If the game is in Bold, I think the playoff competing team will win that game. Given my predictions, we can also see who would make the playoffs, in the summary at the bottom, given this scenario.

  • Atlanta Falcons (South) (Currently 5-4) – vs Titans, vs Vikings, @Texans, @Panthers, vs Jaguars, @Saints, vs Bucs.

Prediction – 11-5. Whilst I have predicted 11 wins for the Falcons, i do think the Falcons will likely a drop another game in that mix to give them only 10 wins as both Carolina and New Orleans are tough places to go.

  • New Orleans Saints (South) (Currently 7-3) – vs Giants, vs Lions, @Titans, @Vikings, vs Falcons, vs Panthers.

Prediction – 11-5. I say the Saints lose at home to the Giants (along with a loss to the ATL in week 16), even though they could win that game, but lose to Detroit or Tennessee. 11 wins seems like a realistic prediction given their schedule.

  • New York Giants (East) (Currently 6-3) – vs Eagles, @Saints, vs Packers, @Cowboys, vs Redskins, @Jets, vs Cowboys.

Prediction – 9-7. Not sure why but I fancy Philly to beat NY next week. The tough schedule continues throughout, I think they match up well with the Saints and could well knock off Brees and company. A split with the Cowboys seems likely and further losses to Green Bay and the Jets, send the Giants into a second half slump.

  • Dallas Cowboys (East) (Currently 5-4) – @Redskins, vs Dolphins, @Cardinals, vs Giants, @Bucs, vs Eagles, @Giants.

Prediction – 10-6. Cowboys have a nice ending to their schedule and could possibly finish with 11 wins, depending on how Tampa, Philly and New York are playing down the stretch.

  • Detroit Lions (North) (Currently 6-3) – vs Panthers, vs Packers, @Saints, vs Vikings, @Raiders, vs Chargers, @Packers.

Prediction – 9-7. Another team that has a second half slump. If they continue like they did against Chicago, things look tough for the Lions down the stretch.

  • Chicago Bears (North) (Currently 6-3) – vs Chargers, @Raiders, vs Chiefs, @Broncos, vs Seahawks, @Packers, @Vikings.

Prediction – 11-5. I have the Bears dropping to the Raiders, as I think their speed will cause their defense problems. I also have the Bears beating the Packers in week 16. I am figuring that the Packers will possibly rest some players, having already wrapped up the division.

  • Given all my predictions. Here is what the seeds for the NFC playoffs would be.

1. Green Bay Packers (14-2, 15-1?)

2. San Francisco 49ers (13-3, 14-2?)

3. New Orleans Saints (11-5)

4. Dallas Cowboys (10-6)

5. Chicago Bears (11-5)

6. Atlanta Falcons (11-5)

Given these predictions, the Saints would take the division, on the basis of record against common opponents. The only result where it differs is the Falcons lost to the Bears, and the Saints beat them, giving the Saints the better record.

Chicago also beats Atlanta on a tie breaker for the 5th seed, due to the Bears week 1 victory over the Falcons.

In this scenario, the Falcons would face the Saints for the 3rd time in the superdome, during the wild card round of the playoffs.

What do you guys think? Where did I go wrong?