Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Fighting for the bye

Week 17 in the NFL is on the horizon, and while the AFC playoff picture is a bit more convoluted, the NFC has four teams vying for the No. 2 seed and first-round bye. With Chicago's upset of Minnesota, the Eagles, Vikings, Cardinals and Cowboys all have a chance to earn an extra week off. Here's how and why:

The Eagles earn the No. 2 seed if:
Win and they're in

The Vikings earn the No. 2 seed if:
Win and the Eagles lose to the Cowboys

The Cardinals earn the No. 2 seed if:
Win and the Eagles and Vikings both lose

The Cowboys earn the No. 2 seed if:
Win and the Vikings and Cardinals both lose

Division LeadersW-LDivConf
New Orleans13-24-19-2
Philadelphia Eagles11-44-19-2
Minnesota Vikings11-45-18-3
Arizona Cardinals10-54-28-3
Wild Card TeamsW-LDivConf
Green Bay Packers10-54-28-3
Dallas Cowboys10-53-28-3


The Eagles have leapfrogged the Vikings because of a better conference record, so all they need to do is win to secure that No. 2 seed. That will also earn them the NFC East title with the division's best record of 12-4. If both the Eagles and Vikings win next week, Philly will be 10-2 against the NFC while Minnesota will be 9-3.

If the Eagles lose and the Vikings win, Minnesota will be 12-4 and have the second-best record in the conference regardless of what anyone else does. That 12-4 record is what will re-earn them a No. 2 seed and first round bye.

If the Eagles and Vikings both lose -- to the Cowboys and Giants respectively -- then the Arizona Cardinals need to simply beat the Packers in what could otherwise be a Wild Card preview. Arizona would then be 11-5 with the same record as Philadelphia and Minnesota. With all three teams tied at 11-5, the Cardinals win over the Vikings head-to-head in Week 13 doesn't matter because all three teams are tied, and one of the three either swept both or lost to both other teams.

As a result, Minnesota would then have a conference record of 8-4 compared to Arizona and Philadelphia each being 9-3, eliminating the Vikings from contention for the No. 2 seed. Because the Cardinals are a division winner and the Eagles would be a wild-card team (with Dallas winning the NFC East), Arizona would get the No. 2 seed. And it's lucky for the Cardinals that's where it ends. If not, the next step is common games between the Eagles and Cardinals.

Those (minimum four) common opponents are San Francisco, N.Y. Giants, Carolina and Chicago. Here are the records for the Eagles and Cardinals against these four common opponents:

Arizona CardinalsPhiladelphia Eagles
San Francisco - L, 20-16Carolina - W, 38-10
N.Y. Giants - W, 24-17N.Y. Giants - W, 40-14
Carolina - L, 34-21Chicago - W, 24-20
Chicago - W, 41-21N.Y. Giants - W, 45-38
San Francisco - L, 24-9San Francisco - W, 27-13
2-3 vs. Common Opp.5-0 vs. Common Opp.

So the Eagles, if they would be able to win their division and be tied with Arizona, they would earn a higher seed based on this tie-breaker, but because Dallas would be the NFC East winner, Philadelphia would be reduced to holding a wild card berth, giving the Cardinals the No. 2 seed and first-round bye.

If Dallas beats the Eagles for a season sweep to earn the NFC East title, and the Vikings and Cardinals both lose, the Cowboys would go from the No. 6 seed at the conclusion of Week 16 all the way up to No. 2 seed by the end of next week. Dallas would have a conference record of 9-3 while both Minnesota and Arizona would be 8-4.


Here is how the NFC playoff seedings and match ups would break down under each scenario taking into account the three games that will factor in. Those games are: PHI@DAL, NYG@MIN, and GB@ARI.

OUTCOME #1
Based on the following winners:
PHI @ DALPHI
NYG @ MINMIN
GB @ ARIARI

The NFC Playoff seedings would be:
1. New Orleans Saints (No. 1 seed)
2. Philadelphia Eagles (12-4)
3. Minnesota Vikings (12-4)
4. Arizona Cardinals (11-5)
5. Green Bay Packers (10-6)
6. Dallas Cowboys (10-6)

First round match ups would be:
Dallas Cowboys @ Minnesota Vikings
Green Bay Packers @ Arizona Cardinals

OUTCOME #2
Based on the following winners:
PHI @ DALDAL
NYG @ MINMIN
GB @ ARIARI

The NFC Playoff seedings would be:
1. New Orleans Saints (No. 1 seed)
2. Minnesota Vikings (12-4)
3. Arizona Cardinals (11-5)
4. Dallas Cowboys (11-5)
5. Philadelphia Eagles (11-5)
6. Green Bay Packers (10-6)

First round match ups would be:
Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys
Green Bay Packers @ Arizona Cardinals

OUTCOME #3
Based on the following winners:
PHI @ DALDAL
NYG @ MINNYG
GB @ ARIARI

The NFC Playoff seedings would be:
1. New Orleans Saints (No. 1 seed)
2. Arizona Cardinals (11-5)
3. Dallas Cowboys (11-5)
4. Minnesota Vikings (11-5)
5. Philadelphia Eagles (11-5)
6. Green Bay Packers (10-6)

First round match ups would be:
Philadelphia Eagles @ Minnesota Vikings
Green Bay Packers @ Dallas Cowboys

OUTCOME #4
Based on the following winners:
PHI @ DALDAL
NYG @ MINMIN
GB @ ARIGB

The NFC Playoff seedings would be:
1. New Orleans Saints (No. 1 seed)
2. Minnesota Vikings (12-4)
3. Dallas Cowboys (11-5)
4. Arizona Cardinals (11-5)
5. Green Bay Packers (11-5)
6. Philadelphia Eagles (11-5)

Packers earn the No. 5 over Eagles with better record against common opponents: Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco, Tampa Bay

First round match ups would be:
Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys
Green Bay Packers @ Arizona Cardinals

OUTCOME #5
Based on the following winners:
PHI @ DALDAL
NYG @ MINNYG
GB @ ARIGB

The NFC Playoff seedings would be:
1. New Orleans Saints (No. 1 seed)
2. Dallas Cowboys (11-5)
3. Minnesota Vikings (11-5)
4. Arizona Cardinals (10-6)
5. Green Bay Packers (11-5)
6. Philadelphia Eagles (11-5)

Packers earn the No. 5 over Eagles with better record against common opponents: Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco, Tampa Bay

First round match ups would be:
Philadelphia Eagles @ Minnesota Vikings
Green Bay Packers @ Arizona Cardinals

OUTCOME #6
Based on the following winners:
PHI @ DALPHI
NYG @ MINNYG
GB @ ARIARI

The NFC Playoff seedings would be:
1. New Orleans Saints (No. 1 seed)
2. Philadelphia Eagles (12-4)
3. Arizona Cardinals (11-5)
4. Minnesota Vikings (11-5)
5. Dallas Cowboys (11-5)
6. Green Bay Packers (10-6)

First round match ups would be:
Dallas Cowboys @ Minnesota Vikings
Green Bay Packers @ Arizona Cardinals

OUTCOME #7
Based on the following winners:
PHI @ DALPHI
NYG @ MINMIN
GB @ ARIGB

The NFC Playoff seedings would be:
1. New Orleans Saints (No. 1 seed)
2. Philadelphia Eagles (12-4)
3. Minnesota Vikings (12-4)
4. Arizona Cardinals (10-6)
5. Green Bay Packers (11-5)
6. Dallas Cowboys (10-6)

Packers earn the No. 5 over Eagles with better record against common opponents: Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco, Tampa Bay

First round match ups would be:
Dallas Cowboys @ Minnesota Vikings
Green Bay Packers @ Arizona Cardinals

OUTCOME #8
Based on the following winners:
PHI @ DALPHI
NYG @ MINNYG
GB @ ARIGB

The NFC Playoff seedings would be:
1. New Orleans Saints (No. 1 seed)
2. Philadelphia Eagles (12-4)
3. Minnesota Vikings (11-5)
4. Arizona Cardinals (10-6)
5. Green Bay Packers (11-5)
6. Dallas Cowboys (10-6)

Packers earn the No. 5 over Eagles with better record against common opponents: Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco, Tampa Bay

First round match ups would be:
Dallas Cowboys @ Minnesota Vikings
Green Bay Packers @ Arizona Cardinals

1 comment:

roykarl81 said...

Hi, this is a comment.
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