NFC Contenders Update

I made a post a couple of weeks ago in regard to the contenders in the NFC and their remaining schedules. In that post, I also posted my predictions for each week to try and incite a bit more discussion. Last week, Turner_The_Burner posted a similar thread regarding the updated contenders remaining schedules. Well, I figured that while the Falcons are fighting for the playoffs, this would be a good weekly post to keep everyone updated. I made a quick Excel sheet to keep up with the remaining schedules and determine who has the most difficult path remaining, the home and away schedules, etc. After the jump, I have the attached the remaining schedules, followed by a compilation of data from the schedules, and then some commentary. (Note, I assume KC loses to NE tomorrow night, but if that does not hold true, I will update the post)


Team Week 12 Week 13 Week 14 Week 15 Week 16 Week 17
Atlanta Falcons vs. Minn at Hou at Car vs. Jax at NO vs TB
Record 2 8 7 3 2 8 3 7 7 3 4 6
New York Giants at NO vs. GB at Dal vs. Wash at NYJ vs. Dal
Record 7 3 10 0 6 4 3 7 5 5 6 4
Dallas Cowboys vs. Miami at Ariz vs. NYG at TB vs. Phi at NYG
Record 3 7 3 7 6 4 4 6 4 6 6 4
Detroit Lions vs GB at NO vs Minn at Oak vs SD at GB
Record 10 0 7 3 2 8 6 4 4 6 10 0
Chicago Bears at Oak vs. KC at Den vs Sea at GB at Minn
Record 6 4 4 6 5 5 4 6 10 0 2 8
New Orleans Saints vs. NYG vs. Det. at Tenn. at Minn. vs. Atl vs. Car
Record 6 4 7 3 5 5 2 8 6 4 2 8

Wins Losses Percentage Points Margin
Atlanta Falcons Opponents Records 25 35 0.417 22
Home SOS 9 21 0.300
Away SOS 16 14 0.533
New York Giants Opponents Records 37 23 0.617 0
Home SOS 19 11 0.633
Away SOS 18 12 0.600
Dallas Cowboys Opponents Records 26 34 0.433 44
Home SOS 13 17 0.433
Away SOS 13 17 0.433
Detroit Lions Opponents Records 39 21 0.650 82
Home SOS 16 14 0.533
Away SOS 23 7 0.767
Chicago Bears Opponents Records 31 29 0.517 61
Home SOS 8 12 0.400
Away SOS 23 17 0.575
New Orleans Saints Opponents Records 28 32 0.467 85
Home SOS 21 19 0.525
Away SOS 7 13 0.350

This might be wreaking havoc with my formatting, so if it is difficult to read, I will do my best to update it. Anyways, I posted the top contenders for each division (excluding Green Bay and San Francisco who have pretty much wrapped up the top two seeds). As you can see from the chart, the Falcons actually have the easiest remaining schedule of any NFC contender with opponents having a remaining record of 25-35, or a winning percentage of .417. Throw in the fact the Texans now have Matt Leinart under center, the schedule looks very favorable for the Falcons. On the flip side, the Lions have the most difficult remaining schedule with opponents having a record of 39-21, or .650 winning percentage. Two games against the undefeated Packers make that schedule very difficult. The Falcons also have the easiest remaining home record, with remaining home opponents only having a record of 9-21 (.300). In comparison, the New York Giants have the most difficult home schedule with opponents having a record of 19-11 (.633). On the road, the New Orleans Saints have the easiest ride with only two road games remaining against the Titans and Vikings. The poor Detroit Lions face a murderer's row including at New Orleans, Oakland, and Green Bay, resulting in a record of 23-7 (.767). What does this all mean? Well, between the Saints and Falcons, at least one of those teams will win. Same goes for the Giants and Cowboys. Tampa and Philly are not eliminated yet, but with six losses, both of those teams face an uphill battle. They can't afford to lose another game and have any shot at making the playoffs. If I had to guess, I would think the Saints win the NFC South, the Giants and Cowboys have two games remaining against each other, thus resulting in only one of them making it, and Chicago getting in over Detroit with Detroit's difficult remaining schedule. At this point, I just hope that the Falcons end up with a better record than Chicago, because with identical records, we get the lower seed, and as the lowest wildcard seed, that would likely result in a playoff road including at New Orleans and at Green Bay. Yikes... Well, what do you guys think? Can the Falcons somehow surpass the Saints, claim a higher seed, and avoid a trip to Lambeau for as long as possible? Or do we get the six seed and establish road supremacy like Green Bay did last year? Or perhaps we don't make the playoffs this year and watch a team like the Lions or Cowboys take our spot? I hope the last one never comes true, but regardless, speak your mind.

<em>This FanPost was written by one of The Falcoholic's talented readers. It does not necessarily reflect the views of The Falcoholic.</em>

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