The NFC South will doubtless find yourself being the final division left up for grabs this season. And, the staff it sends to the playoffs in all probability will not have a successful report after going 1-3 in Week 15.
The New Orleans Saints had been the one staff within the division to win Sunday, beating the Atlanta Falcons, 21-18, leaving a muddled NFC South image which may not grow to be clear till at the least Week 17.
This can be a race that’ll come all the way down to the wire for all of the unsuitable causes, with the Carolina Panthers’ 24-16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 15 being a main instance of a division that may’t get out of its personal method.
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The division is inching nearer to changing into the primary to provide two playoff groups with dropping data all-time. Solely three groups have made the postseason with a dropping report, excluding the strike-shortened season in 1982.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-8) are the one staff that may get in with a successful report, they usually must win out to keep away from changing into the fourth staff to get in after blowing a 17-0 lead earlier than falling 34-23 to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
The Washington Commanders made the playoffs at 7-9 in 2020, the Panthers did it at 7-8-1 in 2014 and the Seattle Seahawks had been the primary in 2010 at 7-9.
The Seahawks and Panthers every gained one playoff recreation in these years, whereas the Commanders misplaced 23-21 to the Buccaneers within the first spherical.
The Buccaneers stay the chief to clinch the division with three weeks reamaining and can make the playoffs in the event that they win their ultimate three video games (at Arizona, vs. Carolina, at Atlanta).
Nonetheless, there’s nonetheless a path to the playoffs for the opposite three groups (who’re all 5-9) as properly, they’ll simply want some assist to get there.
Listed here are the opposite playoff situations by way of ESPN Stats & Info:
The Panthers, who fired coach Matt Rhule on Oct. 10 after a 1-4 begin, have a bonus over the Saints and Falcons due to tiebreakers. In the event that they win their ultimate three video games (vs. Detroit, at Tampa Bay, at New Orleans), they’ll have swept the Buccaneers and can win the division.
The Falcons could be eradicated from wild-card competition in the event that they lose subsequent week, however may stay alive within the division race. The Falcons have to win their ultimate three video games (at Baltimore, vs. Arizona, vs. Tampa Bay), additionally they want the Buccaneers to lose their ultimate three video games, the Panthers to lose to the Saints and Lions and the Saints to lose to the Browns and Eagles.
The Saints may make the playoffs at 7-10 (so long as they beat the Panthers). They would wish the Buccaneers to lose their ultimate three video games, the Panthers to lose to the Lions and the Falcons to lose to both the Ravens or the Cardinals.