The 2019 NFL season enters week 15. With the regular season winding down, the playoff field will slowly get revealed to us. There is only one playoff spot that has been wrapped up through the first 14 weeks. The New Orleans Saints are NFC South division champions once again. With three weeks left in the regular season, there are five spots remaining in the NFC. Furthermore, all three remaining NFC division are still up for grabs. What teams will clinch to solidify a home playoff game? Which teams will slide into the wild card spots? Let the NFC Playoff push begin.
NFC Playoff Push (East)
The NFC East might be the division that sees a champion that has a negative record. In other words, this means you have less win than losses. The Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles are the two teams at the top. Both teams are 6-7, but Dallas has the tiebreaker.
The Cowboys defeated the Eagles 37-10 earlier this season. The two will meet on the gridiron in week 16. Dallas has games against the Rams and Redskins sandwiched around their matchup with Philadelphia. Meanwhile, the Eagles play the Redskins and Giants, in addition to their week 16 game, at home, against Dallas.
Looking at the schedule, together, the Cowboys and Eagles stand in good condition to win their week 15 matchups. The Rams will pose more of a threat, but Dallas can certainly win. With both teams winning, this will set up a winner take all game in week 16. Whoever wins that matchup, more than likely, will wrap up the division. The other games might play a role in deciding the division, but all focus is on week 16.
The NFC North division lead is separated by one game. The Green Bay Packers sit at 10-3, while the Minnesota Vikings hold a 9-4 record. Green Bay is virtually up two games, due to their week two victory over Minnesota. These two rivals will also meet in week 16. The Packers have all division games remaining with the Bears and Lions on the schedule too. The Vikings play the Chargers this week and then host the Bears in week 17.
This is another scenario where week 16 can determine the division champion. Both teams should be able to win this week to set up a winner take all game next week. Making the stage that much more significant, next week’s game is on Monday Night Football.
As of right now, both teams are in the playoffs. The loser of the division could fall to a wild card spot in January. We all know how important a home playoff game is in January. The winner of the NFC North hopes to carry the momentum from the regular season and transform that into a deep playoff run.
NFC Playoff Push (West)
The NFC West is the final division that could come down to week 17 before being decided. Currently, the San Francisco 49ers lead the division with a record of 11-2. The Seattle Seahawks are not too far behind holding a record of 10-3. Seattle defeated the 49ers in week 11 by a final score of 27-24. The Seahawks and 49ers will close out the 2019 season in Seattle in week 17.
On the contrary, the Rams could spoil the week 17 championship game. As stated above, the Rams play both the Cowboys and the 49ers. Los Angeles could not only knock the Cowboys out of the playoffs altogether, but they could also bump the 49ers down to a wild card spot. The NFC West appears to be the wildest division these last three weeks. All three teams mentioned could wind up in the postseason before it is all said and done.
Before that, the Seahawks will play the Panthers and the Cardinals. San Francisco must go through the Falcons and Rams before traveling to the pacific northwest. Collectively, these teams should enter week 17 off two wins. In this scenario, Seattle will control their own destiny. With a victory by the Seahawks, both teams will finish 13-3, and Seattle will own the tiebreaker. As a result, the Seahawks will clinch the division and a potential number one seed in the NFC playoffs.
The NFC Playoff Push is going to be tight to the end. All championships could be decided in week 17, at the latest. One mistake could be the difference in having a bye in the postseason or playing in wild card weekend.
Worst case scenario, your one mistake eliminates you from playoff contention altogether. It will be interesting to see what teams take advantage of the breaks they get. Whoever capitalizes on their opportunities will stand in proper positioning at the end of December. Since 2010, the AFC leads the Super Bowl victories 5-4. The NFC hopes 2019 will result in an even record after February 2nd. I cannot wait to see who makes the six-team field in the NFC.
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