The results from last week had a major change on the potential playoff seedings in the NFC. The Week 12 schedule could be even more impactful with a few key matchups against playoff contenders and hopefuls that could have far-reaching implications.
Here are the current standings. With .500 teams currently holding the last two wild card spots, Washington and Atlanta are still very much in the conversation despite their 4-6 records.
- Arizona Cardinals (9-2)
- Green Bay Packers (8-3)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3)
- Dallas Cowboys (7-3)
- Los Angeles Rams (7-3)
- Minnesota Vikings (5-5)
- New Orleans Saints (5-5)
- San Francisco 49ers (5-5)
- Philadelphia Eagles (5-6)
- Carolina Panthers (5-6)
- Washington (4-6)
- Atlanta Falcons (4-6)
- The Buccaneers are ahead of the Cowboys based on a head-to-head victory.
- The Vikings (4-2) are ahead of the Saints (4-4) and 49ers (4-4) based on a superior record in conference games.
- The Saints are ahead of the 49ers based on a superior strength of victory valuation.
- The Eagles are ahead of the Panthers based on a head-to-head victory.
- Washington is ahead of the Falcons based on a head-to-head victory.
Despite missing Kyle Murray for the last few weeks, Arizona has kept winning and risen above the rest of the NFC frontrunners. They get Week 12 off as their bye and could easily remain the top seed with the other division leaders all in tough games.
Week 12 Impact Games
Las Vegas Raiders @ Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys have dropped two of their last three and made things a little more stressful for themselves in December. While they still have a few games on the Eagles in the NFC East, Dallas could soon lose any hope of the number-one seed if they keep dropping winnable games. Thankfully it sounds like Tyron Smith and CeeDee Lamb are playing today, which should be huge boosts to the offense even with the short week.
Los Angeles Rams @ Green Bay Packers
The Packers are trying to maintain their cushion in the NFC North while the Rams are hoping to catch up to Arizona in the West. This is a huge meeting between two likely playoff teams that could have a bearing on seeding and homefield advantage once we get to the tournament.
Tampa Bay Bucs @ Indianapolis Colts
The Bucs stopped a two-game losing skid last week thanks to a timely matchup against the Giants. But the Colts are 6-2 in their last eight games and both of those losses were in overtime. Tampa's still in the driver's seat of the lowly NFC South but needs some quality wins soon to keep the panic button untouched.
Buffalo Bills @ New Orleans Saints
Things aren't going so great for Josh Allen and the Bills in 2021 and last week's blowout loss to the Colts may be the low point. The Saints are clinging to the last playoff spot right now but their fortunes depend on which Buffalo team shows up tonight. If the Bills step up, we could see a new team move into a potential playoff berth.
Minnesota Vikings @ San Francisco 49ers
With both teams currently 5-5, this head-to-head matchup could have significant tiebreaker implications once we get to January. Both the Vikings and Niners have won their last two games and would love to get to the right side of .500 going with the season winding down.
Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants
With two-straight wins and their next two games against the Giants and Jets, Philadelphia has a shot to push Dallas in the NFC East. If nothing else, they could make a big move in the wild card race and hold one of those playoff spots going into the final stretch of the regular season.
Carolina Panthers @ Miami Dolphins
These last three games are all about teams just fighting to stay relevant. It may not go well for the Panthers as Miami's won three straight and seems to finally be figuring out their QB situation. Carolina's is now messy with Cam Newton's return and it could cost them.
Seattle Seahawks @ Washington
It's hard to believe that Washington is favored in this one but that's how surprisingly ugly things are for the Seahawks. People are already wondering where Russell Wilson will be playing in 2022, so the Football Teams has a nice opportunity here to take advantage of an even more frustrated franchise.
Atlanta Falcons @ Jacksonville Jaguars
The Falcons haven't scored a touchdown since Week 9 but can at least say they haven't been as bad as Jacksonville all year. This game only matters if you believe Atlanta can somehow right the ship and make a late push for a playoff spot. I sure don't.