NFL Playoff Picture: Sizing Up The NFC Wildcard

All three NFC West teams still in playoff contention — Seattle, St. Louis and San Francisco — can only get in by winning the division. However, the NFC wildcard scenarios will have an impact on the NFC West as whoever makes the playoffs out of the division is assured the No. 4 seed and a date with the highest-seeded wildcard team.

As it stands right now, the New Orleans Saints and New York Giants hold the NFC wildcard berths. The Saints currently home a one-game lead for the No. 1 wildcard spot over the Giants. The Saints and Giants both demolished the Seattle Seahawks this year, with New Orleans beating Seattle at home and the Giants dropping the Hawks at Qwest Field.

Here’s how it could shake out.

New Orleans gets the No. 5 seed as the top wildcard:
Saints win one of their last two games OR Saints win remaining two games.

New Orleans gets the No. 6 seed as the second wildcard:
Giants win final two games AND Saints drop last two games.

New York gets the No. 5 seed as the top wildcard:
Giants win out and Saints drop both remaining games.

New York gets the No. 6 seed as second wildcard:
Giants beat Packers and lose to Washington in week 17.
Green Bay loses to NE, Giants lose to Green Bay in week 16 and beat Washington in week 17.

Green Bay gets into the wildcard:
Win over New England tonight, win over the Giants in week 16, loss to Chicago in week 17.
Lose to NE tonight, win final two games, including a week 16 game over the Giants.

Long story short, it’s looking highly likely the winner of the NFC West will face New Orleans in the first round of the playoffs. The good news? Whichever team walks away with the NFC West crown will host a playoff game in the first round, despite having a worse record, maybe as bad as four games worse, than the wildcard team. Expect to hear plenty of complaints and call for rule changes as a result.

Four teams are fighting for the NFC wildcard, though either Chicago or Green Bay will take the NFC North crown and playoff berth that goes along with it. That leaves either New Orleans, New York or Chicago/Green Bay for the wildcard, with the Saints and Giants in control as it stands now.

Good luck, NFC West.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation Seattle

You must be a member of SB Nation Seattle to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Seattle. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Seattle

You must be a member of SB Nation Seattle to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Seattle. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.