Before the season started, I predicted how the NFC playoff picture would come together and unfold. Now in Week 10, it seems like a good time to see where I was right and wrong in that forecast. Check out my article where I made these predictions at https://thesportswave.net/2018/08/02/predicting-the-nfc-playoff-picture-and-how-it-will-unfold/.
1 Seed: Los Angeles Rams (13-3)
2 Seed: Minnesota Vikings (13-3)
3 Seed: Atlanta Falcons (12-4
4 Seed: Philadelphia Eagles (11-5)
5 Seed: New Orleans Saints (11-5)
6 Seed: Chicago Bears (11-5)
Standings as of Sunday, November 11th, 2018:
1 Seed: Los Angeles Rams (9-1)
2 Seed: New Orleans Saints (8-1)
3 Seed: Chicago Bears (6-3)
4 Seed: Washington Redskins (6-3)
5 Seed: Carolina Panthers (6-3)
6 Seed: Minnesota Vikings (5-3-1)
Where I was Right…
The Rams. I predicted the Rams to be the top seed, and here we are at Week 10, and they are at the top of the conference. However, I did not expect the Rams to be this good. Yes, they did get torched by the New Orleans Saints, who will come up shortly, but they are still arguably the best team in the NFC.
I was also sort of right on the Saints, who I projected to be the 5th seed. They are currently 8-1, and have their toughest game (vs. Rams) out of the way. They are on pace for about 13.5 wins. As you can see, I thought they would win 11 games, which looks to be just a couple games short of where they will end up. This is the National Football League, though, and a couple wins can make a huge difference.
Where I was Wrong…
Unfortunately for me, I was wrong in most cases in my predictions. Although my projected 2 seed Minnesota Vikings are currently treading water at the 6th spot, they have been on an uptick as of late, and it certainly helps that they are getting standout defensive end Everson Griffen back. Even though they look far apart in the rankings, the Vikes and Chicago Bears are very close to each other. Their Week 12 game at Soldier Field in Chicago was recently flexed to Sunday Night Football, and we will learn a lot about who owns this division then.
Atlanta Falcons. Like the Vikings, they struggled early on but seem to have found their mojo in the past few weeks. Atlanta will not reach my projected win total, even if they win out. I do not see them making the playoffs, as they are the third best team in their division, and that won’t cut in in a tough NFC.
I underestimated the Washington Redskins. I do think their win total is a bit deceiving because of their extremely weak division, but hey, they’re winning games and are in control of the NFC East.
The Chicago Bears could win the NFC North. As it currently stands, they are in control of the division, but they have a huge game coming, a game in which the entire country will watch them take on the Minnesota Vikings in the friendly confines of Soldier Field. That will be an extremely pivotal game. The big thing to look forward to in the NFC North is the game between the Bears and Vikings in Minneapolis in Week 17 because that will likely decide the winner of the division. Regardless of how the division plays out, I expect each of these two teams to have playoff spots come January.
I honestly thought the Carolina Panthers would be pretty average. Norv Turner has been a complete magician in turning Cam Newton around and the Panthers could win the Super Bowl thanks to Turner. I’m not making any bold predictions, but they are certainly in the mix as Super Bowl contenders.
Will I Change my Championship Picks?
No. I still believe that the New Orleans Saints are the best team in the NFC. I’m not going to go through another bracket and find out who plays who and who plays the Saints in the championship game. But, at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is who wins, right? The Saints are still my Super Bowl pick as of now.
I will revisit my preseason picks following the conclusion of Week 17.