It is officially crunch time. What do we see happening? Who do we predict is going to make the playoffs? Let’s take the NFC first.
NFC East. The game of the year is not the Cowboys at the Giants. The bigger game is this week, Philadelphia at Dallas. Here's why. The Giants will PROBABLY win at the Jets. If the Jets win that game and if Dallas beats the Eagles this week, Dallas clinches the division. If both of them win, THEN it is for all the marbles. But that requires those two things to happen. Neither are locks. Tthere is at least a possibility that the Jets beat the Giants, which would eliminate the Giants, then Big Blue will probably pack it in on New Years Day against the Boys. The door would be open for the Eagles to sneak into the playoffs. The prediction is going to be the Cowboys for one simple reason—the Cowboys basically have the easiest route to the division title. Any result here wouldn’t shock me.
Moving on to the NFC North. Obviously Green Bay is going to win this division. Everyone says the loss takes some pressure off of them and makes it even easier for them now— don’t know about that. We think they had momentum and desire to go undefeated and this may take a little bit of wind out of their sails. AND, their o-line is real banged up and could be a major roadblock for Rodgers and the offense.
Now to the competitive NFC South. New Orleans is the team there, the only thing they have to be afraid of is a trip to Candlestick or Lambeau in January. Maybe this year’s team will be different. Can they win in both places? Doubtful but we will see.
Let's take a look at a much better than expected NFC West. The 49ers have this one wrapped up and have two easy games to finish out the schedule but they are not done yet. THEY HAVE TO WIN OUT. They cannot go to New Orleans to try to win a game. They just cannot do it. But at home, on the turf, it’s a different animal. I think the Niners, coming off of the big win against the Steelers, run the table to make for an interesting playoffs.
The wild cards have been wrapped up more or less. Detroit is in and Atlanta is in. Atlanta actually is playing very well, they have a good formula. They’re a dangerous team. Just not sold on them particularly if they have to go to the northeast to play the Giants or the Eagles in round one. They should be hoping for a match-up with Dallas. As for Detroit—they could make some noise if they can just get a little bit of production on the ground. The NFC is so much stronger than the AFC this year in terms of the depth of their teams and of course with Green Bay at the top.