NFC Playoff Prediction (Week 17)

With only a single week left in the NFL regular season, there are still uncertainties in the NFC playoff seedings.

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There are nine teams (Falcons, 49ers, Packers, Cowboys, Washington, Chicago, Minnesota, Giants and Seahawks), and only six spots. Who will land the final spots? Read more for my seeding predictions…

(Playoff odds percentages are from http://www.playoffstatus.com/nfl/nfcstandings.html)

#1 Seed: Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons have officially clinched the first seed and home field advantage throughout the playoffs after beating the Lions Saturday night. They can now focus on getting prepared to play in the playoffs after a strong regular season.
(100% chance of being #1 seed, 100% chance of making playoffs)

#2 Seed: Green Bay Packers
After a dominating 55-7 win against the Titans and gaining the #2 seed, I believe the Packers will win next week against the Vikings and have a first week bye. The Pack seem to be back to the team that we saw last year, and with a Packers win, they will have the #2 seed.
(54% of being #2 seed, 46% chance of being #3 seed, 100% chance of making playoffs)

#3 Seed: San Francisco 49ers
A loss to the Seattle Seahawks have put the 49ers in a tough situation. They now need a loss from the Packers and a win this week against the 5-10 Cardinals. To make matter worse, if the 49ers lose to the Cardinals and the Seahawks win against the 7-7-1 Rams (which is very possible) the 49ers would not win the NFC West and move to the #5 seed. However, I believe the 49ers will win along with a Packers win which will keep the 49ers at the #3 seed.
(48% chance of being #3 seed, 42% chance of being #2 seed, 10% chance of being #5 seed, 100% chance of making playoffs)

#4 Seed: Dallas Cowboys
Although the Cowboys lost to the Saints in overtime, it does not change their playoff odds of winning the NfC East. This weeks game against the Washington Redskins decides whether or not the Cowboys make it to the playoffs. The only spot the can now receive is the #4 seed and I believe they will do so. I do believe the Redskins are a great team, but I believe experience is the the best talent of all. This is a do or die game for both teams. (34% chance of being #4 seed, 34% chance of making playoffs.)

#5 Seed: Seattle Seahawks
Many would have not imagined the Seahawks playing this well this season. After a rocky start and much controversy, Russell Wilson has carried his team to the playoffs. I do believe that the Seahawks will win against the 7-7-1 Rams, but a 49ers win will cause them to keep their wildcard spot of the #5 seed instead of the #3 seed.
(90% chance of being #5 seed, 5% chance of being #3 seed, 5% chance of being #2 seed, 100% chance of making playoffs)

#6 Seed: Chicago Bears
As much a it may hurt for a Bears player to say (especially Brandon Marshall) the Bears NEED the Packers to win against the Vikings this weekend. The Packers vs Vikings game is more important to them than their game against 4-11 Detroit. Packers win, Bears go to playoffs. Vikings win, Vikings go to playoffs.I have the Packers defeating the Vikings, so the Bears will steal the #6 seed over the Vikings. (35% chance of being #6 seed, 35% chance of making playoffs)

Non-Seeding Teams

New York Giants
It seems almost unimaginable for the defending Super Bowl Champs to make the playoffs this year. They need a Bears loss, Vikings loss and Redskins loss. Adding to the problems is that the Giants play against the Eagles who always seem to play their best against the Giants. Michael Vick will most likely play his best ball in hopes that he can be a starter next year in the NFL. They blew their playoff hopes by losing to the Ravens. There is just too much against the Giants, and it seems there will be no repeat. (9% chance of making playoffs)

Washington Redskins
The Redskins will have to face an extremely motivated Cowboys team who are desperate for a win. Dez Bryant played outstanding and it seems that Tony Romo is back to playing Dallas football. This will be a challenge for a rookie QB and I don’t believe they will win the division, or a wildcard spot.
(72% chance of making playoffs)

Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings will be playing in a playoff type game against the Green Bay Packers that may not end well. Although Adrian Peterson may come away with the rushing record, I don’t believe the Vikings will have enough to win. (49% chance of making playoffs.)

Important Games To Watch

12/30 (7:20) Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins
This is it. The winner is the NFC East divisional winner and holds the #4 seed. The loser may not get the chance to play in the playoffs. Practically a playoff game and is important in deciding who is in and out of the playoffs.

12/30 (3:30pm) Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings
If the Packers win, it causes for the Packers to remain the #2 seed and the Chicago Bears to be the #6 seed. A Vikings win could result in the 49ers being the #2 seed along with eliminating the Bears from the playoffs and giving the Vikings the #6 seed.

These are my predictions and many may have different thoughts. Comment on your NFC seeding predictions!

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