By the Numbers: The NFC Playoff Picture
#1 The number of NFC teams that have been eliminated from the 2008 NFL postseason race.
As of today the winless Detroit Lions are the only team that has no chance of making a post season appearance in 2008.
#2 The number of losses needed over the next six weeks by any team in the NFC West that isnt named the Arizona Cardinals to be eliminated from post season contention.
#2 The number of playoff spots that are still up for grabs in reality.
With just six games left its conceivable that no one will catch the New York Giants for the NFC East lead, the Arizona Cardinals will clinch the NFC West title with one more win and a lost or tie by both the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks. Of the teams not leading a division, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the best record at 7-3 and should get the 5th seed. Someone will go into the postseason has the NFC North Champs. This means the only playoff spots that are undetermined are the NFC North Division winner (the 4th seed) and the sixth and final spot.
#3 The number of teams fighting for the NFC North crown
The Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, and Minnesota Vikings are in a dead heat for the NFC North title, the winner will more than likely be the only team in the division to advance to the post season.
#6 The number of games remaining to be played by each team (Teams in contention for playoffs spots may need to win at least ten game to get in, nine may do it for some but it looks like 10 maybe even 11)
* The Washington Redskins are tied for second place in the East at 6-4 and still have: at Seattle, NY Giants, at Baltimore, at Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and at San Francisco to play.
* The New York Giants are 9-1 and three games up in the East, but they do not face a team with a losing record as they play out the season with: Arizona, at Washington, Philadelphia, at Texas Stadium, Carolina, and at Minnesota left on their schedule.
* The Carolina Panthers are 8-2 at the top of the South a one game lead over Tampa Bay and still have: at Atlanta, at Green Bay, Tampa Bay, Denver, at NY Giants, and at New Orleans to go.
* The Arizona Cardinals are 7-3 in a division where 8-8 may earn them the championship, and they must face the: New York Giants, at Philadelphia, St. Louis, Minnesota, at New England, and Seattle.
* The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 7-3 and undefeated at home but only have two home games left with: at Detroit, New Orleans, at Carolina, at Atlanta, San Diego, and Oakland left on their schedule.
* The Atlanta Falcons are 6-4 and close out the regular season with Carolina, at San Diego, at New Orleans, Tampa Bay, at Minnesota, and St. Louis
* That team in Texas is the last of the current playoff contenders with and win-loss record over .500 they still have: San Francisco, Seattle, at Pittsburgh, NY Giants, Baltimore, and at Philadelphia before the season ends.
* The Philadelphia Eagles are sitting at 5-4-1 and have a outside chance with: at Baltimore, Arizona, at NY Giants, Cleveland, at Washington, and finish at home against that team from Texas.
* At 5-5 the New Orleans Saints can play their way back into the picture with games against: Green Bay, at Tampa Bay, Atlanta, at Chicago, at Detroit, and Carolina still to be played
*The Green Bay Packers are also at 5-5 and only have one team with a winning record left to play with: at New Orleans, Carolina, Houston, at Jacksonville, at Chicago, and Detroit.
* The Chicago Bears are at .500 and still have: at St. Louis, at Minnesota, Jacksonville, New Orleans, Green Bay, and at Houston as they tried to win the North.
* The Minnesota Vikings like most of the NFC North are also 5-5 and finish out their schedule with: at Jacksonville, Chicago, at Detroit, at Arizona, Atlanta, and NY Giants
#6 The seed the Washington Redskins would have if the Playoffs started today
If the season had ended Sunday night the Redskins would face the Arizona Cardinals in the first wildcard game. The Cardinals and Buccaneers both currently have 7-3 records but Tampa Bay is leading their division so will have the higher seed as a division winner. Tampa Bay would be seeded 5th and would face the winner of the NFC North. Today that would be the Green Bay Packers based on head-to-head matchups over the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings.
The Redskins would earn the final playoff spot based on their record against common opponents when compared to the other team in the NFC East with the same record as Washington, the Redskins are 3-2 and that team in Texas is 2-3. The Redskins would also beat out Atlanta for the last seed based on conference records, the Redskins are 5-3 compared to the Falcons 4-3 record.
#10 The number of teams with .500 records or better in the NFC that do not currently lead their division
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are at 7-3 and a game behind the Carolina Panthers who are 8-2, then you have the Washington Redskins, Atlanta Falcons and That team in Texas are all at 6-4 while the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints each have five wins and five losses but trail the Philadelphia Eagles in the playoff picture because the Eagles also have five wins but only four losses at 5-4-1
This article was released on 2008-11-19.
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