With the Seattle Seahawks and the Los Angeles Rams set to battle it out for the NFC West, it is never too early to take a peek at the NFC playoff picture.
While the Arizona Cardinals sit only one game back of the NFC West-leading Seahawks and Rams, they haven’t looked threatening at all and only have wins against the Indianapolis Colts and the San Fransisco 49ers. If the 3-2 Seahawks and Rams can continue to beat up on the division, there is a good chance we will see two NFC West teams in the playoffs.
The NFC North is crowded at the top. The Aaron Rodgers led Green Bay Packers, who beat the Seahawks in Week 1, are rolling after a Week 2 loss in Atlanta and seem poised to win the North. There are, however, two other teams to watch for – the Minnesota Vikings and the Detroit Lions.
The Lions started hot, winning their first three before losing in heartbreaking style due to a 10-second runoff with the ball at the half-yard line against the Atlanta Falcons. Detroit has committed to the run to take some stress off their quarterback and has a formidable defense.
The Vikings have a similar defense to the Lions, which should keep them in most games but have questions at quarterback, as Sam Bradford was injured in Week 1 and their offense has been inconsistent since.
The Carolina Panthers are looking like a bounce-back team after a disappointing 2016 season and the Falcons look just as dangerous as they did last season. The real surprise has come from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who many thought would take the next step and become a playoff team. Jameis Winston has been both very good and very bad at times, which doesn’t bode well in a stacked division where the last place team has Drew Brees at the helm.
The NFC East may be the hardest division to make sense of. It is a three-team race between the underwhelming Dallas Cowboys, the quickly developing Philadelphia Eagles and the mediocre Washington Redskins.
With two teams at .500 or worse, it would seem that the Eagles at 4-1 should walk away with the division and neither the Cowboys or Redskins would make the Wild Card round, but its hard to discount the experience of the Redskins and the young talent of the Cowboys.
If you are a Seahawks fan you will surely want to win the division. There is, however a chance that Seattle will be fighting for a Wild Card spot in the deep NFC pool.
Here are the games you can watch with interest in Week 6.
Thursday 5:30 p.m. PT: Eagles at Panthers. Seahawks fans will want an Eagles victory because the Eagles are more likely to win their division and a loss for the Panthers would hurt them in a potential wild-card race.
Sunday 10:05 a.m. PT: Packers at Vikings. Packers will be a playoff team this year and the rest of the NFC, outside of the north, will hope that’s because they win the division. A Vikings loss benefits a potential Seahawks wild-card.
Sunday 10:05 p.m. PT: 49ers at Redskins. Go 49ers? Yep, the 49ers won’t threaten the Seahawks and the Redskins could be a fringe wild-card team.
Sunday 1:05 p.m. PT: Rams at Jaguars. This one is pretty easy to figure out – when any NFC team is playing an AFC team, root for the AFC team, especially if your division foe is the NFC team.
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