NFC Playoff Breakdown: Fresh Faces Continue to Emerge as Big Name Teams Falter

NFC Playoff Breakdown: Fresh Faces Continue to Emerge as Big Name Teams Falter

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NFC Playoff Breakdown: Fresh Faces Continue to Emerge as Big Name Teams Falter

The NFC Playoffs should be a wild affair, and there’s a pretty good chance that most of the recent royalty in the NFC could be sitting this one out. Dallas, possessors of the largest fanbase and biggest media draw, have imploded since Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension went official. They’ve scored 22 points and have a showdown elimination game with Washington Thursday. Green Bay provided a better effort last night, but it wasn’t enough in Aaron Rodgers’ absence, and the margin for the Packers has all but disappeared. Even Seattle is on the precipice of elimination.

Meanwhile, the NFC is being dominated by new faces, young stars emerging, and surprise performances. Carson Wentz has the Eagles at 10-1. Case Keenum is having the season of his life for the Vikings, along with Adam Thielen. Jared Goff and the new look Rams are right there, along with the newly emerging rookie of the year candidate Alvin Kamara for the Saints.

Here are my projected win totals for the contenders:

  1. Philadelphia: 13.5 wins
  2. Minnesota: 12.3 wins
  3. New Orleans: 11.7 wins
  4. Los Angeles Rams: 11.3 wins
  5. Carolina: 10.9 wins
  6. Atlanta: 9.4 wins
  7. Seattle: 9.3 wins
  8. Detroit: 9.1 wins
  9. Washington: 7.9 wins
  10. Dallas: 7.6 wins
  11. Arizona: 7.1 wins
  12. Green Bay: 6.8 wins

Philadelphia is in control of the #1 seed, and the next two weeks, with road games at Seattle and LA, will determine whether they slam that door shut. New Orleans and Carolina are locked in a battle for the NFC South, and the race for the 2 to 4 seeds is wide open.

That final wildcard slot is very close, though Atlanta has the tiebreaker edge over both Seattle and Detroit if they got there, based on head-to-head wins. Seattle is going to need help, and it starts this week against the Eagles. Detroit has the easiest schedule but has to make up a game, and needs to win a key swing contest this week at Baltimore. It would basically take winning out for any of the others to get into the race.

 

 

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