With the NFL Playoffs rapidly approaching, Wild Bill discusses the NFC playoff hopefuls and labels them as Contenders or Pretenders.
Detroit Lions: Pretender
Plain and simple if someone says they knew that the Lions would be leading the NFC North the season after losing Calvin Johnson call that person liar. While the Lions have been one of the biggest surprises this season, I cannot take them as a serious contender because they are 2-2 in the NFC North. Couple that with the Packers starting to right the ship, the NFC North may come down to the wire.
Green Bay Packers: Contender
The Lords of the Lambeau Leap have to always be considered contenders, the early season struggles were magnified mostly because they were preseason favorites to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. I expect the Vikings to continue to fade and Detroit’s luck to run out. I by no means am telling Packers fans to “R-E-L-A-X” because this is far from over. I think the NFC North is going to be a fight that goes to the 12th round with the winner coming out black and blue, but with Rodgers on your side you have to like your odds.
Minnesota Vikings: Pretender
Let’s be clear this is by no means Sam Bradford’s fault, but this team is not the same team that started 5-0. Their offensive line is just that, offensive. They cannot run the ball effectively. They are going cold at the wrong time with the Packers figuring it out and the Lions still holding their own at the top of the NFC North.
Washington Redskins: Pretender
Kirk Cousins is playing some GREAT football but unfortunately for Washington it's not doing much for their playoff chances. Over their last 6 games the Redskins are 2-3-1 and with yesterday’s loss to the Cardinals, they gave up the wildcard control to the Buccaneers. In a division where they have the 10-1 Cowboys and the now 8-4 Giants, Washington needs a lot of help going forward. Personally I do not see them making the playoffs.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Contender
It’s hard not to like this team, they seem to be figuring it out at the right time. They have two of the most exciting young players to watch in Winston and Evans and each week they seem to get better and better. After Sundays win vs the Chargers, the Bucs are now tied with the Falcons record wise only behind them because the Falcons have the win over Tampa Bay. While their schedule the rest of the way is tough I really like their chances to get into the tournament.
The New York Football Giants: Contender
I see the GMEN as a contender to make the playoffs with a record of 8-4 with 4 games to go, 3 vs division opponents. The Giants need to win 2 out of the last 4, I have those games circled as the Detroit and Philadelphia both very winnable games. If the Giants can do that the 5 seed is theirs to lock up. The only thing that worries me right now is their weak offensive line, if they can iron out those issues they are a playoff team.
NFC PLAYOFF PICTURE:
- Dallas Cowboys (NFC East Champs)
- Seattle Seahawks (NFC West Champs)
- Atlanta Falcons (NFC South Champs)
- Green Bay Packers (NFC North Champs)
- New York Giants (Wild Card)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Wild Card)