It's not as complex as it has been in some years past but there's still things to be aware of.
In examining the NFC playoff picture, let's start with the simple: the New Orleans Saints clinched home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
That will bring up the old 'should they rest?' or 'should they worry about rust?' debate and on that note there is no definitive word yet on whether or not the Saints will go all out this coming Sunday when they visit the Carolina Panthers.
It is doubtful that Drew Brees will play more than a half and if you see Jeremy Shockey, who is coming off of a slight turf toe injury, or Reggie Bush out there, then call their attorneys.
Saints coach Sean Payton is no dummy. He won’t sit by and risk a shot at the Super Bowl by trying to beat his old friend Carolina coach John Fox.
One thing is for certain, Payton and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams will rest those defensive players. It would be nice for the Saints to get their starting cornerbacks, linebackers and D-line healthy for the playoffs. Expect a huge game out of Carolina QB Matt Moore and if the BetUS odds makers release an NFL betting line on the game, think Panthers in that one.
Besides the good news for the New Orleans Saints a couple of other things are certain in the NFC. A big uncertainty is who will secure the 2nd seed in this year’s NFC Playoffs.
Let’s go over a lot of that huge question right now.
NFC Playoff Picture
1st Seed: New Orleans Saints
2nd Seed: ?
The 2nd seed in the NFC Playoffs could go to either one of the other four teams that have already secured a playoff berth: the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Arizona Cardinals, Minnesota Vikings. The Green Bay Packers can’t win the NFC North Division and have no way of getting out of the wildcard spot.
The Philadelphia Eagles are in the driver’s seat. If the Eagles beat the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, then they not only will win the NFC East Division but they will secure the 2nd seed in the NFC Playoffs.
If they lose and the Minnesota Vikings win, then Minnesota would get the 2nd seed. If the Eagles lose and the Vikings lose, then the Arizona Cardinals would get the 2nd seed if they were to beat the Green Bay Packers.
The Dallas Cowboys could get the 2nd seed in the playoffs if they were to beat the Philadelphia Eagles and the Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals were to lose.
Who will get the second seed in the NFC Playoffs?
My gut tells me that the Philadelphia Eagles will beat the Dallas Cowboys even though they face the Cowboys as 3 point underdogs on the road. The Minnesota Vikings will beat the New York Giants but it won’t matter because Philly will beat Dallas.
The Eagles will secure the second seed in the playoffs. They will get the 1st round bye along with the New Orleans Saints.
The Minnesota Vikings will end up playing the lowest seed, the six loss Dallas Cowboys next week in the Metrodome while the Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay Packers will go back to back in Glendale, AZ.
Check back Monday for the wildcard round NFC Playoff lines as well as articles in the BetUS Locker Room on Super Bowl 44 Expert picks!
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