Now is the time when we can really start to zoom in on the NFL playoff push, as every team in the league has enjoyed their bye week. For the next seven weeks, most teams will be fighting for a playoff berth, while the rest will be playing for next year. Here’s a quick gander at how each NFC division looks like as we hit the home stretch. Check out the AFC races here.
NFC East: Eagles (6-3), Giants (6-3), Redskins (4-5), Cowboys (2-7)
Michael Vick and Philly are currently the NFL’s Flavor of the Week, which makes some think they will crash and burn this weekend against New York. The two division leaders still have to play twice, meeting on Sunday, then four weeks later in the Meadowlands. Remember when the Giants had been left for dead? Tom Coughlin has extensive experience reviving his teams, much to the chagrin of New Yorkers. After a decent start, Washington is about as done as Mike Shanahan’s fake tan. No mention of Dallas in this post, as we protest the NFL Network continuing to extensively cover them despite their piss poor season.
NFC North: Bears (7-3), Packers (6-3), Vikings (3-6), Lions (2-7)
Chicago has a half-game lead on Green Bay after their Thursday night win in Miami, plus they beat the Pack earlier this year at Soldier Field. Still, no one can figure out if Mike Martz is a mad scientist, or just an old man who has gone off the deep end. Green Bay appears to be getting healthier, however, and will start their playoff push Sunday in Minnesota against Team Turmoil. If I see one more Favre press conference, I might puke. Speaking of puke, Detroit may be the first 2-7 team who can say they have enjoyed remarkable improvement over the previous year.
NFC South: Falcons (7-2), Saints (6-3), Bucs (6-3), Panthers (1-8)
Two of the league’s surprise teams reside in the South, where Atlanta and Tampa have kept pace with the defending Super Bowl champs. Drew Brees and company will be tough to beat down the stretch, however, with their running back stable starting to get healthy. ATL has already taken down New Orleans and Tampa this season, with the Bucs also losing to the Saints. Carolina appears to be a top candidate for the league’s #1 pick, giving them the honor of probably overpaying for a Pac-10 quarterback.
NFC West: Seahawks (5-4), Rams (4-5), 49ers (3-6), Cardinals (3-6)
Much like the AFC West, this division is the weakest in the conference. Nobody has shown anything resembling consistency, but Seattle has provided a little bit of sunshine to the always-gray Pacific Northwest. St. Louis has been a feel-good story, but it says a lot about how low your team has sunk when a 4-5 record is generating a buzz. San Fran is close behind Dallas as far as the league’s biggest bust, and the Cardinals are finding out how tough life can be without a consistent quarterback. It’s still anyone’s division, however, so let’s see who gets hot down the stretch.
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