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NFC Playoff Picture: Vikings remain entrenched as #2 seed

And their position might have just gotten even stronger

New York Jets v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

With only one game remaining in Week 13 of the 2022 NFL season, it’s time for us to once again take a look at the playoff picture in the NFC. It doesn’t look a whole lot different from last week’s playoff picture, but a few things have changed that might shape the dynamics of the race going forward.

Let’s take a look at where everyone sits as we start looking ahead to Week 14. As of this point, the Dallas/Indianapolis game is still in progress but Dallas now has a pretty commanding lead. If the Colts should mount a shocking comeback, we’ll update this accordingly.

#1 seed - Philadelphia Eagles (11-1, NFC East leader)

I thought that the Tennessee Titans might give the Eagles a tough time this past Sunday, and boy howdy was I wrong. The Eagles blew the Titans off the field, ensuring that they would stay two games clear of the field for the coveted top seed in the conference. The time that we’re going to have to wait for the Eagles to stumble is getting short, and it’s going to be pretty difficult to catch them at this point. But, stranger things have happened.

Week 14: at New York Giants, Sunday

#2 seed - Minnesota Vikings (10-2, NFC North leader)

The Vikings sure do seem to have a serious aversion to making things easy on themselves, don’t they? From being up 17 with a minute left in the first half to having to hold on for dear life, this team makes it interesting, the cardiac health of their fans be damned. They still have a pretty solid hold on the #2 seed, which would get them (potentially) two home playoff games. . .and a third if things were to break the right way. A win on Sunday in Detroit will wrap up the division for our guys.

Week 14: at Detroit Lions, Sunday

#3 seed - San Francisco 49ers (8-4, NFC West leader)

The Niners held off a very game Miami team on Sunday afternoon at Levi’s Stadium, but they now have a much bigger problem to deal with as starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a broken foot that will end his 2022 season. That means that Brock Purdy will be behind center the rest of the way for Kyle Shanahan’s team. They still have a stifling defense and a ton of offensive weapons, but not having Handsome Jimmy taking the snaps is going to make things a whole lot more difficult for them in the division and the postseason.

Week 14: vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday

#4 seed - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-6, NFC South leader)

Even if Tampa loses to New Orleans on Monday Night Football, they’ll still be sitting atop the NFC South. Man, what an awful division that is, isn’t it? At this point the NFC South still appears to be nothing more than four teams playing for the right to get their clocks cleaned by Dallas in front of their home fans. But, as I said, stranger things have happened. . .maybe Tom Brady has another miracle or two in him. I wouldn’t necessarily bet on that or anything, but you never know.

Weeks 13-14: vs New Orleans Saints, Monday night; at San Francisco 49ers, Sunday

#5 seed - Dallas Cowboys (9-3, NFC East #2)

The Cowboys had a tougher-than-expected time with the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night (a team that the Vikings will see in a couple of weeks), but they did enough to try to keep pace with Philadelphia in the NFC East. They still trail by what amounts to three games, but they still have another crack at the Eagles this season in an attempt to not be relegated to a Wild Card position.

Week 14: vs Houston Texans, Sunday

#6 seed - New York Giants (7-4-1, NFC East #3)

Yes, we had a tie, and it’s going to directly affect the playoff picture in the NFC, as you’ll see here shortly. The Giants got off to a slow start against their division rivals from Washington on Sunday, but got out to a lead late. . .only to allow the tying touchdown and then not get anything done in overtime. Another team that the Vikings will see before the end of the season, our team will get an opportunity to shape the bottom of the NFC playoff picture.

Week 14: vs Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday

#7 seed - Seattle Seahawks (7-5, NFC West #2)

Yes, because of the New York/Washington tie, the Seahawks are now back in the #7 spot in the NFC, because their .583 win percentage is slightly better than Washington’s .577 win percentage. See, I told you that tie was going to muck things up down here. Of course, the door for Seattle to win the division may have just opened a bit wider with the Garoppolo injury, and they face the Niners again in Week 15 (they’ve already lost to San Francisco once), so they have a chance to get out of the Wild Card mire as well.

Week 14: vs Carolina Panthers, Sunday

Outside Looking In

  • #8 seed - Washington Commanders (7-5-1, NFC East #4, bye in Week 14)
  • #9 seed - Detroit Lions (5-7, NFC North #2, vs Minnesota Vikings in Week 14)
  • #10 seed - Green Bay Packers (5-8, NFC North #3, bye in Week 14)
  • #11 seed - Atlanta Falcons (5-8, NFC South #3, behind Green Bay on common games tiebreaker, bye in Week 14)
  • #12 seed - Arizona Cardinals (4-8, NFC West #3, vs New England Patriots in Week 14)
  • #13 seed - Carolina Panthers (4-8, NFC South #3, behind Arizona on head-to-head tiebreaker, at Seattle Seahawks in Week 14)
  • #14 seed - New Orleans Saints (4-8, NFC South #4, behind Carolina on head-to-head tiebreaker, at Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night, bye in Week 14)
  • #15 seed - Los Angeles Rams (3-9, NFC West #4, vs Las Vegas Raiders in Week 14)
  • #16 seed - Chicago Bears (3-10, NFC North #4, bye in Week 14)

It’s worth noting that, at this point, the Bears are the only team in the NFC that has been eliminated from postseason contention. Everyone else has a pulse, however faint it might be.

That’s your up-to-date playoff picture in the NFC, folks. We’ll keep updating this after most of the games each week are in the books and see what changes.