NO. 1 Seed: Minnesota Vikings
With the Eagles losing last week in Seattle, the Minnesota Vikings are now the top team in the NFC. The Vikings control their own destiny with four weeks left in the season and have some pretty easy opponents in those games. They square up against the Panthers, Bengals, Packers and Bears, so they have a pretty good chance at ending the season with just their two losses. Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs have proven to be arguably the league’s best receiving duo and will help lead the team alongside their stout defense to the top seed in the NFC.
NO. 2 Seed: Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles have been great this year, with MVP candidate Carson Wentz leading the team. This Philadelphia team has shown great improvement defensively from previous years and has been exceptional against the run, allowing just 817 yards on the ground this season, a league low. Along with this very skilled defensive unit, the Eagles are currently tied in first place with the Rams for most points per game, averaging a pretty incredible 30.1 per game. Between this run-stuffing defense and high-poweredoffense, I would expect the Eagles to make some noise come playoff time.
NO. 3 Seed: New Orleans Saints
The Saints are currently tied with the Rams at 9-3, but have a slightly easier schedule to close out the season. This team has the most dynamic backfield in the league without question. Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara have dominated since around the time of their bye week, which is when the rookie Kamara really started getting involved. Kamara leads all running backs with 8.4 yards per carry, which is just unheard of at this point in the season, and a Saints team that has generally relied heavily on the passing game is now shifting towards being a run-first team. Marshon Lattimore has been another key reason for the success of the Saints thus far, and if he is healthy come playoff time, he makes this team very scary on both sides of the ball.
NO. 4 Seed: Los Angeles Rams
LA has been by far the most surprising team this year and has made a complete turnaround from just one year ago. With just four games to go, the Rams lead the Seattle Seahawks by one game and actually play them on the road in week 15 in what could end up being the deciding factor in who wins the NFC West. The trio in LA of Jared Goff, Todd Gurley and Sean McVay have been electric this season, and I’m sure all NFL fans will be interested to see what they can bring to the table come playoff time.
NO. 5 Seed: Seattle Seahawks
Despite losing a lot of key players to injury and still not really having any sort of run game, the Seattle Seahawks proved in last week’s home win against the Eagles that they are still among the league’s best and are once again serious title contenders. Russell Wilson has to be in MVP talks for this year because of his consistency and ability to beat anybody. Wilson hasn’t had a game with less than two touchdowns since week 5; that is seven straight multi-touchdown games, and he has just six turnovers in that span. Along with the elite quarterback play, the Seahawks still have one of the league’s better defenses, although they have been exposed at times. Look for this team to show up and perform as this season comes to a close, because that seems to be what this organization has done over and over in recent years.
NO. 6 Seed: Atlanta Falcons
Yes, I believe the surging Atlanta Falcons are going to overtake the Carolina Panthers for that last playoff spot in the NFC. Although their schedule isn’t easy, they do close out the year at home against the Panthers in what could be a win or go home game. Despite their mid-season funk, the Falcons have shown flashes of brilliance and have looked, at times, like last year’s Super Bowl team. This won’t be an easy hill to climb to reach the postseason, but I believe Dan Quinn and the rest of the team will get there for the second consecutive season.