NFL Playoffs 2016: NFC Wild Card race Week 15
Entering week 15, five NFC teams remain alive in the Wild Card race
The New York Giants (9-4) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5) enter week 15 as the NFC Wild Card teams. But the Washington Redskins (7-5-1), Minnesota Vikings (7-6) and Green Bay Packers (7-6) remain alive in the playoff hunt.
New York Giants heavy favorite to win a Wild Card
The Giants enter Week 15 with a 9-4 record. Sunday, the Giants host the Detroit Lions. A Giants win may be enough to clinch an NFC Wild Card spot. The Giants finish the season on the road against division rivals Philadelphia and Washington. The Giants will clinch a Wild Card spot for sure by winning two of their remaining three games.
Buccaneers one-game lead and easy schedule could led to second NFC Wild Card
Tampa Bay enters Week 15, tied for first in the NFC South with the Atlanta Falcons at 8-5. With Atlanta’s three remaining games against San Fransisco, Carolina and New Orleans, they should be the favorites to win the division.
The Bucs’ route to the playoffs will be through the Wild Card. The Bucs travel to Dallas to play the Cowboys in Week 15, before finishing with two divisional games. The Saints host the Buccaneers on Christmas Eve in Week 16. In Week 17, the Bucs host the Panthers. If the Buccaneers win two of their remaining games, and get to 10 wins it will require Washington, Minnesota and Green Bay winning out to keep them out.
Washington’s tie could decide the wild card
Washington hosts Carolina on Monday Night Football in Week 15. For Washington to claim the second Wild Card, the Redskins will need to win out. In Week 16 the Redskins are in Chicago. The Redskins should win both of those games and close out the season on New Year’s Day hosting the Giants.
If the Redskins win out they will finish 10-5-1. The best that Minnesota or Green Bay can finish is 10-6. If Dallas beats Tampa in Week 15, the best the Bucs can finish is 10-6. The Redskins’ tie could be a deciding factor in the NFC Wild Card race.
Green Bay and Minnesota on the outside looking in at NFC Wild Card race
Entering Week 15 at 7-6, both Green Bay and Minnesota. But a week 16 game between the Vikings and Packers will determine if either team makes the playoffs. Since it will take ten wins to make the playoffs, whoever loses in week 16 will be eliminated from the Wild Card race.
The NFC North could really make the NFC Wild Card race interesting because the Lions and the division title are still in play. It is possible that two of the Vikings, Packers and Lions all finish with ten wins.
The Lions play the Giants, Cowboys and Packers in their three remaining games. If the Lions win either the Giants or Cowboys game, and the Packers win out, the Packers will win the NFC North. But with ten wins, the Lions could be tied with the Bucs for the Wild Card.
If the Vikings win out, and the Lions win one of their remaining games, the Lions will win the division. But with ten wins, the Vikings and Bucs could be tied for the last wild card spot.
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