The NFC playoff picture is starting to come into focus after the 11 weeks of the season. The New York Giants look like a lock in the NFC East. The Giants had the advantage of an easy schedule. The Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys, and the Philadelphia Eagles have had problems coming down the stretch after many experts felt they would at least challenge the 2008 Super Bowl champs.
The NFC North will only get one team in. The only team that will not be in play for the postseason will be the Detroit Lions. The Lions have been playing like a Division III school full of walk-ons and former high school stars living in the past. The Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, and the Minnesota Vikings are all tied at the top with average records. The Packers have a good young team that can be a no show sometimes. The Bears have been playing with a defense that may be too old for the Cover-2. The Vikings have a stellar defense and an All-World running back, but lack the quarterback to run a modern offense.
The Carolina Panthers are in the lead in the NFC South. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their incomprehensible offense that still manages to score more than 14 points a game somehow. The Bucs are not alone in the chase for the division lead. The Falcons are not too far behind. The team is young, but talented with the potential. The Falcons and the Bucs are both fighting it out for the division and a possible wild card spot. The Saints have proven they can pour on the points, but cannot stop anybody.
The Arizona Cardinals are apparently for real, at least for the NFC West. The San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, and the St. Louis Rams have no chance of challenging anybody but the Lions.
The NFC looks like it has three teams set for the playoffs, the Giants in the east, the Panthers as the wild card or the leader in the south, and the Cardinals in the west. The two other spots are there for the Redskins, the Cowboys, the Bucs, and the Falcons to take. Personally, I believe the Bucs are going because of their defense and Cowboys will make it by some sort of Madden-influenced turn of the schedule.
These next six weeks will interesting as always with every looking for Giants tickets no longer to see if the team is for real, but to see if they can catch a glimpse of one of the best teams in the NFL. The diehard fans will pin their hope on Cowboys tickets and the Carolinas will be searching for Panthers tickets to see a real playoff race down the stretch.