NFC Playoff Picture After Week 16

Written by: Nate Wyrsch

Player Updates

Amon Ra St. Brown taking the field.

After the end of Week 16, here is how the NFC Playoffs currently look:

1 Seed: San Francisco 49ers-z

The Niners have clinched the NFC West and sit at 11-4. They are coming off a loss against Baltimore on Christmas Night, but are still one of the top teams in football. Their offense has weapons everywhere and if they can stay healthy they will be the team to beat in the NFC. The Niners are barely holding on to the top overall seed, while the Eagles and Lions breathe right down their neck waiting for a slip-up. San Francisco will play a lackluster Washington Commanders team in Week 17 and should win easily.

2 Seed: Detroit Lions-z

The Lions have also clinched their division, the NFC North, and hold a record of 11-4. This is the first time since 1993 that the Lions have been crowned champions of their division, and they do not plan to stop here. Detroit is a very explosive team and has played very good football all year. They are still very much alive in the running to get the potential top seed in the NFC. Detroit still has a huge game left, though, in which they travel to Dallas, a game that can potentially decide who gets the top spot. Detroit will hope to stay healthy and keep getting Jahmyr Gibbs involved in play, and potentially make a Super Bowl run in the playoffs.

3 Seed: Philadelphia Eagles-x

The Eagles lead the Cowboys by a game in the NFC East, but they have not yet clinched. The Eagles won a close game against the Giants on Monday, stopping their losing streak. Jalen Hurts and company will look to build off this and get back to their winning ways going into the postseason. The Eagles close their season with two very winnable games, the Cardinals and the Giants, and should be able to close out the season as NFC East champions. They may also be able to gain the top spot in the NFC back, but they will be hoping for a San Francisco loss.

4 Seed: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay sits on top of the NFC South holding a 8-7 record. They are coming off a huge blowout victory against the Jaguars on Sunday and have now won four straight games. Rachaad White has been playing exceptionally well and Baker Mayfield has been throwing the ball efficiently all season. With a win against the New Orleans Saints in Week 17, the Buccaneers would clinch a playoff berth and win the division. If they lose, however, they will be leaving the door wide open for teams such as the Falcons to come in and potentially take the playoff spot. If the Buccaneers can keep playing how they have been, they will have no trouble making the playoffs and are even set up for a potential deep run.

5 Seed: Dallas Cowboys-x

The Cowboys have clinched a playoff spot already, but are still disappointed with their loss against Miami. They lost control over the NFC East and now do not control their own destiny. Dallas is still a top team in the league and will give any other team problems, but they need to learn to do it both on the road and at home. Dallas is perfect at home, but on the road have struggled and sit at 3-5. If they cannot claw their way back and get a home game, they might have a short playoff appearance even though they have been a top team all season. Dallas plays a game with massive implications this weekend, in which they host the Lions. A win can turn their fortunes around and potentially help them take back control of the NFC East.

6 Seed: Los Angeles Rams

Matthew Stafford and the Rams have been playing better football than almost every other team in the league recently. They have won five of their last six games and have gotten themselves in a very good position to get into the playoffs. The Rams can clinch a playoff spot if they can beat the New York Giants, and the Steelers beat the Seahawks. If that does not happen though, they will face a very tough 49ers team in Week 18 which could ruin their playoff hopes if everything goes against them. As of right now, the Rams look like they will be in the playoffs and can even cause damage with the weapons they have, both offensively and defensively.

7 Seed: Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks currently hold the last playoff spot available in the NFC. They sat at 8-7 and were barely able to sneak by the Titans. The Seahawks have a very winnable rest of the schedule, playing the Steelers and the Cardinals. If they can take care of business, they will be in the playoffs without any troubles. If they can’t win both games, they will need help in order to lock up the final spot. Seattle has had a very up-and-down season, but they are a team that you may need to keep an eye on. They have explosive playmakers, such as DK Metcalf and Kenneth Walker, and if they can get fully healthy, they can give these top teams a run for their money.


The NFC race is very tight, just like the AFC. There are tons of teams still competing for the top seed and home field, and many still fighting for a chance to be in. There will be many must-watch games down the stretch and the playoffs will not be decided until the final week of the season. There is no one team that far and away deserves the top spot, and the battle to get it will be very fun to watch as the season comes to a close.

*X=Clinched playoff

*Z=Clinched Division