Now that Week 14 has ended, the playoff picture looks even more clearer.
We’ll just look at the NFC for the sake of this article, and going with the ‘If the Playoffs Started Now’ scenario:
First Round Byes
#1 – Seattle (11-2) ***Clinched Playoff Berth***
#2 – New Orleans (10-3)
Wild Card Round
#3 – Philadelphia (8-5) vs. #6 – San Francisco (9-4)
#4 – Detroit (7-6) vs. #5 – Carolina (9-4)
In The Hunt
Arizona (8-5), Dallas (7-6), Chicago (7-6), Green Bay (6-6-1)
For starters, the Saints don’t have to beat Carolina to win the NFC South. They simply need to win two out of their last three games. Their first challenge is all about beating the Rams on the road.
The Panthers have a two game home stint, hosting the Jets and Saints, and close out the season facing the Falcons.
It’s pretty simple for the postseason, win and their in. There’s a million other different scenarios, but we’ll stay focused on the one that makes the most sense, and should be most achievable.
On another side note, the Seahawks can wrap up home field advantage throughout the playoffs. They’ll first need a win over the Giants on the road, and would need the 49ers and Saints to lose.