The NFC Contenders and their Schedules Broken Down

Someone in the comments in Dave’s game recap mentioned they would like to see a post regarding the playoff contenders and their remaining schedules to get an idea of what each team is looking at for the rest of the season. I present to you the NFC playoff contenders and their remaining schedules. Please note, I input my personal predictions in this post to make it a bit more debatable.

***Update: Has been updated with the results of Monday Night Football***

First up, the Falcons who are currently sitting at 5-3. The remaining schedule (as well as my prediction) are as follows:

Nov. 13 vs New Orleans (W, biggest game remaining in the Dome this season, I think the Dirty Birds pull it out.)

Nov. 20 vs Tennesee (W, Munchak is doing a good job, but the Falcons have superior talent.)

Nov. 27 vs Minnesota (W, Rookie quarterback? As long as we hold Jared Allen in check, the Falcons should finish the homestand with another victory.)

Dec. 4 @ Houston (L, I think this is a toss-up. Houston’s D is surprisingly good. This will be close and I think Houston gets the edge on the road.)

Dec. 11 @ Carolina (W, Cam Newton has surprised me. Huge numbers, but his team still isn’t winning. They won’t win today either.)

Dec. 15 vs Jacksonville (W, short week could even up some of the disparities, or exasperate them. I think the Falcons win in the dome.)

Dec. 26 @ New Orleans (L, In the Superdome, on MNF, Divison Title pretty much on the line? Ugh, I think the Saints win this.)

Jan. 1 vs Tampa Bay (W, End of the season, both teams looking for a win. It is hard to pick against the Falcons in the Georgia Dome.)

Predicted Finish: 11-5

Remaining Opponents' Records: 32-35 (.478)

For Home Games: 18-23 (.439)

For Road Games: 14-12 (.538)


Next up, our divisional rivals the New Orleans Saints, currently sitting at 6-3. Their schedule is:

Nov. 13 @ Atlanta (L, I touched on this already. Falcons win at home.)


Nov. 28 vs. New York Giants (W, coming off a bye, New Orleans gets a chance to get healthy. They pull off the win against Eli.)

Dec. 4 vs Detroit (W, short week after MNF but I think Detroit is overmatched in this game.)

Dec. 11 @ Tennessee (L, I’m going to go with the upset here. Tennessee is having a pretty successful season so far. I think the Saints leave with a loss.)

Dec. 18 @ Minnesota (W, Minnesota honestly just isn’t very good.)

Dec. 26 vs Atlanta (W, Mentioned this before, doesn’t look promising for Atlanta.)

Jan. 1 vs Carolina (W, Saints are fighting for a division title, the Panthers aren’t going to be much of a challenge.)

Predicted Finish: 11-5

Remaining Opponents' Records: 30-26 (.536)

For Home Games: 19-13 (.594)

For Road Games: 11-13 (.458)


To round out the contenders in the division, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who are 4-4

Nov. 13 vs Houston (L, Coming off a loss against New Orleans, the Bucs face another playoff contender.)

Nov. 20 @ Green Bay (L, The only division contender yet to play Green Bay. They aren’t winning in Lambeau.)

Nov. 27 @ Tennessee (W, Tennessee will be coming off a loss to the Falcons and the Bucs need a win to keep any hope of a playoff birth alive.)

Dec. 4 vs. Carolina (W, Bucs take this one at home against Newton and the surprisingly solid Carolina Panthers.)

Dec. 11 @ Jacksonville (W, In this battle for supremacy in Florida, Tampa proves it is the best.)

Dec. 17 vs. Dallas (L, Two playoff contenders fighting it out, the Bucs lose and are pretty much eliminated from the playoffs.)

Dec. 24 @ Carolina (W, Hoping for some sort of lucky break, the Bucs pull this one out but they are just delaying the inevitable.)

Jan. 1 @ Atlanta (L, The Falcons are fighting for the division title, the Bucs have little hope of making the playoffs. Falcons win.)

Predicted Finish: 8-8

Remaining Opponents' Records: 33-32 (.508)

For Home Games: 12-13 (.480)

For Road Games: 21-19 (.525)


Let’s take a look at the contenders in the NFC East starting with the Dallas Cowboys, right in the thick of things at 4-4

Nov. 13 vs Buffalo (W, Buffalo looks solid this year, but Dallas is starting to come into its own. The get the win in Jerry World.)

Nov. 20 @ Washington (W, Who is the starting quarterback for Washington? Doesn’t matter, Dallas wins.)

Nov. 24 vs Miami (W, short week but Miami is really bad.)

Dec. 4 @ Arizona (W, Very close game, but Dallas is superior in talent. Arizona doesn’t score twenty points.)

Dec. 11 vs. New York Giants (L, Is it time for Tony Romo to begin his typical choke in the clutch? I believe it is.)

Dec. 17 @ Tampa (W, And the media gets off Romo’s back for the moment as he leads his team to the win in Tampa.)

Dec. 24 vs Philadelphia (L, The Dream Team stomped Dallas before, I think they do it again.)

Jan. 1 @ New YorK Giants (L, Romo, welcome to the media doghouse, again. You know where your assigned seat is.)

Predicted Finish: 9-7

Remaining Opponents' Records: 30-33 (.476)

For Home Games: 15-16 (.484)

For Road Games: 15-17 (.469)


Time for the Dream Team to enter the spotlight, Philadelphia currently sports a 3-5 record.

Nov. 13 vs Arizona (W, Philly needs to regain composure to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Super Bowl predictions look a bit silly now…)

Nov. 20 @ New York Giants (L, battle for the division title, but the Giants pass rush is too much and Vick can’t handle the pressure.)

Nov. 27 vs New England (L, Well, it’s never fun to see New England on the schedule. Tom Brady needs a game to enhance his MVP candidacy.)

Dec. 1 @ Seattle (L, Short week after a huge game against New England. Seattle and the homefield advantage pull the upset.)

Dec. 11 @ Miami (W, Extra rest is unnecessary against Miami.)

Dec. 18 vs New York Jets (L, Michael Vick can’t get any protection and his commits four turnovers. Can’t win against a good team with that many turnovers.)

Dec. 24 @ Dallas (W, Romo loses this game, Philly doesn’t win it. The Dream Team still has playoff hope.)

Jan. 1 vs Washington (W, I don’t have any faith in Washington. I think they played better than their means earlier this year.)

Predicted Finish: 7-9

Remaining Opponents' Records: 32-39 (.451)

For Home Games: 19-20 (.487)

For Road Games: 13-19 (.406)


New York G-Men are sitting pretty at 6-2. They are in the driver’s seat for the division.

Nov. 13 @ San Francisco (W, Harbaugh might be coach of the year, but he can’t win every game. 49ers get their second loss.)

Nov. 20 vs Philadelphia (W, Giants at home win this one. Dream team takes another hit.)

Nov. 28 @ New Orleans (L, MNF in the Super Dome is a place no one wants to be. New Orleans pulls it out.)

Dec. 4 vs Green Bay (L, The Giants have a habit of beating good teams, but they can’t always beat the behemoth.)

Dec. 11 @ Dallas (W, Giants get a win on the road and end their slide, pretty much solidifying their division title.)

Dec. 18 vs Washington (W, I have no faith in a Redskins team led by John Beck. He barely beat out Grossman? No thanks.)

Dec. 24 @ New York Jets (L, This incredibly low-scoring game will be won by the team with the biggest player. I believe the best player, Darrelle Revis, will make that play.)

Jan.1 vs. Dallas (W, With a loss, the Giants tie Dallas. With a win, they clinch the division. They clinch today.)

Predicted Finish: 11-5

Remaining Opponents' Records 40-24 (.625)

For Home Games: 18-13 (.581)

For Road Games: 22-11 (.667)


I could discuss the Redskins as they are technically not out of it with a 3-5 record, but with games remaining against Dallas, both New Yorks, New England, and Philly, they will be watching the playoffs again this year. I will also take this opportunity to discuss the current conference leaders, San Francisco and Green Bay. San Fran currently stand at 7-1 and with two games remaining against St. Louis and Arizona, as well as one against Seattle, I think they will get twelve wins to clinch the two seed in the NFC. Who is going to beat Green Bay? Either Chicago in Week 16 or Detroit in Week 17 after Green Bay plays its reserves. They will have already clinched the conference. Speaking of Detroit and Chicago, those are the last two NFC contenders.


Chicago is currently residing at 5-3 with a game tonight against Philly. Here is a look at their schedule:

Nov. 13 vs. Detroit (L, It is unfortunate for Chicago to have to play teams coming off their bye weeks in consecutive weeks. Detroit is rested and wins this one on the road.)

Nov. 20 vs San Diego (L, Philip Rivers has looked shaky this season, but he changes some of the doubters with a great performance here.

Nov. 27 @ Oakland (L, Looks as if Chicago is playing themselves right out of the playoff race. They probably have the toughest second half of anyone, although more on that later.)

Dec. 4 vs Kansas City (W, Finally, a very winnable game for Chicago. They attempt to get back on track with a win here.)

Dec. 11 @ Denver (W, Tebow makes this one close. He will have 218 yards passing and 72 yards on the ground, but a pivotal pick with four minutes puts this game on ice.)

Dec. 18 vs Seattle (W, Chicago has not given up hope yet. Huge losing streak by a big winning streak can only mean… The defending Super Bowl champs are up next.)

Dec. 25 @ Green Bay (W, Merry Christmas Chicago. As your gift, Green Bay sits their starters and while it is still a close game, Chicago wins to stay alive.)

Jan.1 @Minnesota (W, This just screams trap game, but I like Lovie Smith and I think he pulls this one out. But is it enough?)

Predicted Finish: 10-6

Remaining Opponents' Records: 36-35 (.507)

For Home Games: 16-16 (.500)

For Road Games: 20-19 (.513)


And finally, the Detroit Lions, the team everyone is cheering for after their recent history of being awful, who are sitting at 6-2.

Nov. 13 @ Chicago (W, Coming off a bye, Detroit knows the importance of this game. They will be ready to put a beating on Cutler.)

Nov. 20 vs. Carolina (W, Who gets to cover Megatron? Carolina might have the secondary pull straws, and shockingly, everyone gets a short straw. And Megatron still gets 140 yards and two touchdowns…)

Nov. 24 vs Green Bay (L, It’s just not fair to have to play Green Bay on short rest. Carolina might be the most difficult opponent, but they tire them out enough for Green Bay to win easily.)

Dec. 4 @ New Orleans (L, Is the Lions magic starting to end? Clearly, I, along with everyone on the Falcoholic will be cheering for them. Maybe they can get surprise me?)

Dec. 11 vs. Minnesota (W, Finally, the hellish schedule subsides for a bit, or does it?)

Dec. 18 @ Oakland (L, Oakland is a scary team to play in Oakland. Don’t ever count the game as a win, and in this case, I don’t think they get the win.)

Dec. 24 vs. San Diego (L, San Diego needs a win. Detroit needs a win. The better team will win, and I believe that team is San Diego.)

Jan. 1 @ Green Bay (W, Green Bay has nothing to play for having wrapped up the #1 seed. Detroit has everything to play for. Will it get Detroit into the playoffs?)

Predicted Finish: 10-6

Remaining Opponents' Records 38-26 (.594)

For Home Games: 16-16 (.500)

For Road Games: 22-10 (.688)


I have created a nighmare as far as seedings go. One and two are easy. Then it gets complicated. Atlanta vs. New Orleans would be tied head to head, tied in division record, tied in common games, tied in conference record, strength of victory would go to New Orleans I think due to their loss against St. Louis, giving them a more difficult winning slate? Oh well. New Orleans beats the Giants in head to head, and the Lions sweep the Bears, thus giving us the following seedings.


1. Green Bay                 2. San Francisco

3. New Orleans            4. New York Giants

5. Atlanta Falcons       6. Detroit Lions


Well, there is my long winded breakdown. What do you guys think?

<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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