NFC South: playoff picture

Updated NFC playoff picture

December, 19, 2010
Now, that the New England Patriots have defeated the Green Bay Packers in Sunday night’s game, let’s run through the NFC playoff picture as it currently stands, courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information.

The 12-4 Atlanta Falcons are No. 1 and the 10-4 New Orleans Saints would hold the No. 5 seed. The Eagles would be the No. 2 seed, followed by the Chicago Bears and St. Louis Rams as the other two division champions.

The 9-5 New York Giants would get the final wild-card berth behind the Saints. The Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers each are 8-6, but the Packers would be No. 7 (one spot out of the playoffs and one spot ahead of the Buccaneers right now). Green Bay presently has the lead on Tampa Bay because the Packers presently rank ahead of the Bucs in strength of victory.

But the Rams, and the rest of the NFC West, aren’t certainties. Although the Rams currently lead the division race, Seattle and San Francisco are still mathematically in the division race, but the Seahawks and 49ers are not in any contention for a wild-card spot.

Looking at NFC South playoff picture

December, 13, 2010
The NFC South would have two teams in the playoffs if the season ended today.

The Atlanta Falcons (11-2) lead the division and the race for the No. 1 overall seed. Chicago would be the No. 2 seed with Philadelphia No. 3. The St. Louis Rams would be the No. 4 seed and the NFC West champions.

The 10-3 New Orleans Saints would be the No. 5 seed and the New York Giants (8-4) would be the NFC’s final playoff team.

But there are three more weeks in the season. Actually, you could say there are a little more than three weeks left in the regular season. There still is an NFC game on Monday night that could have an impact on the current situation.

The Giants will play the Vikings in Detroit on Monday night and the 8-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be watching that one closely. As of right now, ESPN Stats & Information says the Bucs are No. 7 in seeding for the six-team playoff field. Although they have the same record as the Green Bay Packers, the Bucs hold the edge on Green Bay due to a better conference record. That means the Packers currently would be No. 8.

The 6-7 Seahawks are sitting at No. 9. St. Louis currently holds the lead in the NFC West due to a head-to-head victory against the Seahawks. But those teams play again in the final week of the regular season. Minnesota (5-7) rounds out the top 10 in the NFC playoff picture.

Falcons close, but no clinch yet

December, 12, 2010
The Atlanta Falcons are 11-2, but have yet to clinch a playoff berth, despite a close call Sunday night.

The Falcons could have clinched if the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in Sunday night’s game. It didn’t happen as the Eagles won. But Atlanta still could clinch a playoff berth Monday night if the New York Giants lose to the Minnesota Vikings, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

The Falcons also lead the race for the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs. I’ll have more on the playoff picture for NFC South teams on Monday morning. But I’ll give you a little hint. Right now, the Falcons would be in as the top seed and the 10-3 New Orleans Saints would be the No. 5 seed. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5) would not be in if the season ended today. But they’re very much in the picture.

At 8-5, the Bucs currently stand as the No. 7 team in a playoff scenario in which six teams will go to the postseason.

Looking at the playoff picture

December, 5, 2010
If the season ended today, the NFC South would have two teams in the playoffs.

The Atlanta Falcons, 10-2, would be the No. 1 seed. The 9-3 New Orleans Saints would be the No. 5 seed and join the 8-4 New York Giants as a wild card team.

The Chicago Bears would be the No. 2 seed. Philadelphia (8-4) would be No. 3 and St. Louis (6-6) No. 4. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the next two teams beyond the playoff cutoff would be the 8-4 Packers and the 7-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

It might be tough for the Bucs to make up the ground. But the possibility of three NFC South teams in the playoffs still exists.

NFL playoff picture

December, 28, 2009
Here is a look at the AFC and NFC playoff picture if the postseason started today, as well as a list of playoff scenarios.

NFC South playoff picture pretty clear

December, 14, 2009
Just arrived back home in Tampa, where the temperature at least on my car thermometer, starts with an eight. That’s five digits higher than it was when I left Atlanta this morning.

Anyway, I’m jumping back into things and plan several posts this afternoon. Let’s start off with a look at the league-wide playoff picture. From the NFC South perspective, this is pretty much all about the Saints, but the Falcons still are listed as being in the hunt. That’s a long shot, but the Saints are a sure-thing for a first-round bye, and they’ve got a two-game lead on the Vikings for the home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.

Take a look here to see how the current playoff breakdown stands.