Here’s a look at the updated NFC playoff picture now that NFL Week 13 is mostly over.
Top six seeds
1 - Minnesota Vikings: 10-2 overall, 8-1 conference (strength of victory tie-breaker over PHI)
2 - Philadelphia Eagles: 10-2 overall, 8-1 conference
3 - Los Angeles Rams: 9-3 overall, 6-3 conference (direct tie-breaker over NO)
4 - New Orleans Saints: 9-3 overall, 7-2 conference
5 - Seattle Seahawks: 8-4 overall, 6-3 conference
6 - Carolina Panthers: 8-4 overall, 4-4 conference
In the hunt
7 - Atlanta Falcons: 7-5 overall, 6-2 conference
8 - Detroit Lions: 6-6 overall, 5-4 conference (direct tie-breaker over GB, common games tie-breaker over DAL)
9 - Green Bay Packers: 6-6 overall, 5-4 conference (direct tie-breaker over DAL)
10 - Dallas Cowboys: 6-6 overall, 5-4 conference
Today really sucked for the Philadelphia Eagles. Not only did they lose, but they didn’t get help from anyone else, either. At all. Go look back at my “NFL Week 13 rooting guide for Eagles fans” from today. None of the desired outcomes took place!
The Eagles dropped out of the No. 1 seed after losing to Seattle. The reason why is that the Vikings have a strength of victory tie-breaker over them. (Read here for more info on playoff tie-breakers.) The Eagles could really use a Vikings loss in Carolina next week. If Minnesota wins out, the No. 1 seed is theirs. The Eagles need them to trip up.
The Rams are now only one game behind the Eagles. Philly plays in Los Angeles next Sunday in the battle of Carson Wentz versus Jared Goff. The Eagles really need a win because losing would only hurt their seeding even more. Having a head-to-head tie-breaker over L.A. would be nice for Philly.
The Saints beat the Panthers on Sunday. Both teams were 8-3, so someone had to win, but it would’ve been more preferable for the Eagles if Carolina had won. The Birds hold a head-to-head tie-breaker over the Panthers after defeating them earlier this season.
Seattle is still a dangerous team, especially at home. Russell Wilson is just so hard to defend. The Seahawks may have lost Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman but their defense is still respectable at worst.
The Panthers aren’t really all that intimidating. Especially after the Eagles beat them earlier this year.
The Falcons were looking hot; they were 4-1 in their last five games. They played the Vikings tough on Sunday but Dan Quinn’s soft late-game decision to kick a field goal instead of going for a first on fourth down ended up costing them the game.
Detroit lost again on Sunday. They got beat soundly by the Ravens.
It took overtime for the Packers to beat Tampa Bay, but they got the job done. Next up for Green Bay is a game against the winless Browns. The Packers could be 7-6 with Aaron Rodgers coming back soon. Scary thought. The silver lining of a potential Rodgers return is that he might be able to hand the Vikings a loss. That’d help the Eagles. But Philly sure wouldn’t want to face Rodgers in the playoffs.
The Cowboys’ playoffs hopes are still alive after beating Washington on Thursday night. If you’re looking for a silver lining to Sunday’s misery, it’s that the Eagles’ loss to the Seahawks actually hurt the Cowboys’ shot at a wild card spot. Of course, the Eagles’ loss also leaves the door open for the very unlikely possibility that Philly could lose out while Dallas wins out to clinch the NFC East ... but that’s probably not happening.