National Football Conference Playoff Predictions (East and North Divisions)

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National Football Conference Playoff Predictions (East and North Divisions)

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NFC East: RACE FOR PLAYOFF BERTH Dallas Cowboys = record 6-4 (4-0 division)

Philadelphia Eagles = record 5-5  (1-1 division)

“America’s Team” is currently hanging onto the top seed in the NFC East. Although the Dallas Cowboys are ranked first in total yards per game (YPG) averaging 437.4 YPG (according to NFL stats) they have not been able to come out with many wins. Disappointing losses against the 2-7 New York Jets in Week 6 and the Minnesota Vikings in Week 10 have made it difficult for the Cowboys to be considered a threat, even if they make the playoffs. There is no doubt that Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott have done well, but the execution isn’t always there. A receiver line up consisting of Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and the newly acquired Randall Cobb is a dream come true for any quarterback. Sources are speculating that head coach, Jason Garrett, may be the reason the Cowboys miss this seasons playoffs. Week 11’s win over the Detroit Lions helped bring Dallas inches closer to clinching the playoff berth.

The Philadelphia Eagles are coming for one of their many rivals, the Dallas Cowboys. The Eagles have only had one remarkable win this season, against the Green Bay Packers. The other wins come from weaker teams that aren’t even considered as playoff contenders. The Eagles still have a fighting chance to sneak the title for their division or become a wild card slot. Week 11’s game against the Patriots was the Eagles’ chance to show their strengths but instead fell short. Carson Wentz led his primarily second string offense to a 10-0 lead over the Patriots by the end of the first quarter. The talents of wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and running back Jordan Howard were unable to be added to the Eagles offense due to injury. The Eagles were not able to pull out a win despite many chances to take complete control of the game. The Cowboys win plus this Week 11 loss decreases the Eagles chance to make the playoffs.

NFC North: TRUE CONTENDER Green Bay Packers = record 8-2 (3-0 division) 

The Packers seem to be a steady team year after year, and this year is no different. Aaron Rodgers has been one of the most consistent quarterbacks this season by having 17 touchdowns accompanied by only two interceptions. Running back Aaron Jones has been one of the most explosive players to watch week after week. The offense is strong until you take a look at the underperforming wide receivers (excluding Devante Adams). Since Week 6 the Packers wide receivers have only caught 52% of their passes. Coming off of a much needed bye week the Packers take on the 9-1 San Francisco 49ers in Week 12. Minnesota is  determined to clinch the division title, the Packers have tough competition. The rest of their schedule is relatively easy, not including their Week 12 game and Week 16 game against Minnesota.

POSSIBLE CONTENDER Minnesota Vikings = 8-3 (1-2 division)

Running back, Dalvin Cook, has dominated the rushing game, leading the Minnesota Vikings to rank third place in rushing YPG. As of Week 11 the Vikings rank tenth in the NFC in passing yards but average 26.3 points per game; ranking fifth in the NFC. In Week 11 the Vikings took on the Denver Broncos, what was supposed to be an easy win quickly turned bad for Kirk Cousins and his offense. Minnesota was down 20 points going into the second half. Coach Mike Zimmer congratulated Cousins on an impressive performance. Despite a lack of rushing yards against the Broncos, the Vikings proved that a large point deficit doesn’t shatter their hopes of winning. The determination instilled within the Vikings will no doubt help them secure at least a wild card spot in the playoffs. Week’s 15 game against the Packers will be the final showdown between the NFC North playoff contenders.