Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints vie for NFC playoff bid

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With 11 weeks nearly in the books, the playoff picture is beginning to take shape. It appears that one of the tightest races will be for the final wild-card spot in the NFC, with the Seattle Seahawks (6-4), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-4), New Orleans Saints (5-5) and Dallas Cowboys (5-5) all jockeying for position. Which team do you like to nab the final NFC playoff spot?

  • Jason Smith
  • It'll all come together for the Cowboys

    This is going to come down to the final week of the regular season, because all of these teams are inconsistent.

    Their records will all be similar, but that doesn't mean we can't weed teams out. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers struggle against too many of the teams they should be able to easily put away, and they'll stumble at some point. The Seattle Seahawks' next two games are on the road (where they're 1-4) against the Miami Dolphins and Chicago Bears, and 6-4 could easily turn into 6-6. The Seahawks will be facing a must-win scenario in Week 17 in order to stay alive in the playoff chase, but it might not be enough.

    The big domino is going to fall in Week 16, when the New Orleans Saints face the Dallas Cowboys. The winner should put itself in a position where a Week 17 victory will send it to the postseason. Do I trust the Saints to take a must-win game on the road in December? I do not. Not with the Cowboys' secondary playing extremely well and receiver Dez Bryant turning into a monster. So yeah, I think what I thought at the beginning of the season: Dallas is going to the playoffs.
  • Dave Dameshek
  • It all adds up to a trip to the playoffs for the Seahawks

    As my elementary school teachers would tell you, I was never much for math. ... But let's see if we can use some here to figure out this NFC wild-card situation:

    Cowboys (5-5): WAS + PHI + @CIN + PIT + NO + @WAS = 9-7
    Saints (5-5): SF + @ATL + @NYG + TB + @DAL + CAR = 9-7
    Buccaneers (6-4): ATL + @DEN + PHI + @NO + STL + @ATL = 9-7
    Seahawks (6-4): @MIA + @CHI + AZ + @BUF + SF + STL = 10-6

    Congratulations, Seahawks, and congratulations to whoever gets to host Pete Carroll's only-scary-in-CenturyLink team in the first round of the playoffs.

    However, allow me to play Devil's Dameshek for a moment. We might be assuming too much by declaring that the current division leaders will hold on to their spots. After they face the San Francisco 49ers on Monday, the Chicago Bears have to play the Green Bay Packers (in all likelihood for the NFC North title). The Atlanta Falcons haven't played great lately, and must deal with the New York Giants and a trip to the Detroit Lions, along with the aforementioned divisional games. Speaking of the Giants, they've got a brutal road ahead, including the Packers, Cowboys, Falcons, Baltimore Ravens and a regular-season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles, who'd love to send Andy Reid off into the sunset on a happy note.

    In other words, let's not put anything in pen, at least until after the leftover turkey is gone.
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