NFC PLAYOFF PICTURE
Standings going into week 17:
1. Saints (12-3)
2. Cardinals (12-3)
3. Falcons (11-4)
4. Giants (10-4-1)
5. Cowboys (10-4-1)
6. Packers (10-5)
These 6 teams have already secured playoff berths, however the seedings are all in play this week based on who wins and loses. Here are the believed scenarios going into week 17 for each team.
Saints: On a 9 game win streak and lead by an overpowering receiver core of Rob Gronkowski (1,150 yards 6 TDs), Emmanuel Sanders (1,038 yards 6 TDs) and Dorial Green-Beckham (989 yards 11 TDs). They go into a week 17 matchup with division rival Falcons and there is a lot on the line. They control their own destiny, as they will secure home field advantage through the playoffs with a win.
Cardinals: The Cardinals high powered offense has several players that can get in the endzone. They have at least four players with 7+ TDs this season (Chris Ivory, 14), (Kevin White, 10), (Robert Woods, 8), and (Jeremy Langford, 7). The Cardinals take on the Rams this week where they can clinch a first round bye with a win. Furthermore, a win and a loss by the Saints will give the home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Falcons: The Falcons have a balanced offense in the air and on the ground. Tevin Coleman has racked up 1,157 yards and 13 TDs this season. Julio Jones has been even more dangerous in the air with 1,479 yards and 11 TDs. They are also getting it done on defense where Desmond Trufant leads the team with 9 INTs. They have a huge game week 17 against the Saints where they can determine their route through the playoffs. A win this week will put them in a tie with the Saints. The tiebreaker will then decide the seeding for the division and the first round bye. This team could also land on the road in the wildcard round if they loss and both the Giants and the Cowboys win week 17.
Giants: Currently on a 9 game win streak and powering their way into the NFC playoffs are the New York Giants. They take on a Redskins team in the final week of the season. This offense has been unstoppable as they are lead by Adrian Peterson (1,381 yards and 17 TDs) and Odell Beckham Jr (2,011 yards and 17 TDs). On defense, Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie has been an absolute ballhawk with 16 INTs. They are currently tied with the Cowboys for the division lead in the NFC East but they hold the tie breaker for the division crown. A win this week would secure that crown and give them a home game in the wildcard round.
Cowboys: Tony Romo has led the Cowboys to a playoff berth behind a season in which he has put up 4,482 yards and 33 TDs. His favorite target has been Marvin Jones Jr (1,228 yards and 11 TDs). On the ground, Lesean McCoy has racked up 1,381 yards and 16 TDs. They will head into week 17 with the hopes of defeating the Eagles and hoping for help so that they can win the NFC East. A win this week and a loss by the Giants will secure the division crown for New York as well as give them a home game in the wildcard round.
Packers: The Packers have a two headed running attack led by CJ Prosise (6 TDs) and Eddie Lacy (6 TDs). They can also air it out with surprise QB turned WR Terrell Pryor Sr (1,101 yards 9 TDs). On defense, they have been putting pressure on the QB, lead by Mike Daniels (11 sacks). They are currently sitting in the 6 spot but have a shot at moving up in the seeding. A win this week against the Lions plus losses by the Cowboys and the Giants could set up a home game at Lambeau Field for the Packers in the wildcard round.