NFC playoff picture, Week 16: Seahawks control destiny

Nothing is crazier than the NFL in December, outside of perhaps March Madness and Courtney Love. Football is America’s pastime and it doesn’t appear it will disappoint its legions of fans this year, with chaos breaking out all over the nation.

In the NFC, nine teams are still in the mix for the playoffs, with only the Arizona Cardinals having clinched a spot. The others are still fighting for a position, with a few being able to clinch this week with a victory. It should be fun to watch the dominoes fall.

Here is the playoff picture heading into Week 16:

1. Arizona Cardinals (11-3)*
2. Detroit Lions (10-4)
3. Dallas Cowboys (10-4)
4. New Orleans Saints (6-8)
5. Seattle Seahawks (10-4)
6. Green Bay Packers (10-4)

*Clinched playoff berth

In the hunt

7. Philadelphia Eagles (9-5)
8. Carolina Panthers (5-8-1)
9. Atlanta Falcons (5-9)

For ARI to win NFC West:

  • Cardinals beat Seahawks (also earns home-field advantage)
  • Cardinals beat 49ers, Seahawks lose to Rams

For DET to make the postseason:

  • Lions beat Bears
  • Eagles loss

For DAL to make the postseason:

  • Cowboys beat Colts, Redskins
  • Cowboys beat Colts, Eagles lose
  • Cowboys beat Colts, Packers and Lions lose

For NO to make the postseason:

  • Saints beat Falcons and Panthers lose
  • Saints win out
  • Saints beat Buccaneers, Panthers beat Falcons but lose to Browns

For SEA to make the postseason:

  • Seahawks beat Cardinals, Eagles lose
  • Seahawks beat Cardinals, Packers lose
  • Seahawks beat Cardinals, Lions lose
  • Eagles lose, Cowboys win

For GB to make the postseason:

  • Packers beat Buccaneers, Eagles lose
  • Packers beat Buccaneers, Cowboys win
  • Eagles lose, Cowboys win

For PHI to make the postseason:

  • Eagles beat Redskins and Giants, Cowboys lose once
  • Eagles win out, and Lions, or Packers, or Seahawks lose out

This week, the games to watch are the Seahawks at Cardinals and Colts at Cowboys. It is probably safe to assume the Lions and Packers are going to take care of business against the Bears and Buccaneers respectively, despite both being on the road. Philadelphia should crush Washington as well, while the NFC South is to be avoided completely. Of course, the Saints hosting the Falcons does have major implications however.

Although Arizona is currently the top seed, expect a ton to change this weekend. Seattle is being installed as a 10-point favorite by some Vegas books and for good reason. Bruce Arians is a terrific coach, but it is hard to envision Ryan Lindley and Logan Thomas beating the Legion of Boom. Should Seattle win, it only needs to win out and avoid a two-way tie at 12-4 with the Cowboys to own home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Matt Verderame

About Matt Verderame

Matt Verderame, 26, is a New Yorker who went to school at the frozen tundra of SUNY Oswego. After graduating, Verderame has worked for Gannett and SB Nation among other ventures.