Updated NFC Playoff Picture After Week 10

Updated NFC Playoff Picture After Week 10

Written by on November 16, 2020

If the NFL playoffs were to begin today – hint: they don’t – the Green Bay Packers would be the NFC’s top seed, but they are only +370 third-favorites at Mybookie.ag to represent the conference in Super Bowl 55.

Updated NFC Week 10 | 2020 NFL Expert Analysis

Aaron Rodgers & Co. nearly suffered one of the biggest upsets of the season in Week 10, escaping 24-20 at home against an awful Jacksonville Jaguars team. Rodgers completed 24-of-34 passes for 325 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. He also scrambled in for a five-yard score — his first rushing touchdown since Week 7 of last season.

Rodgers has eight games with at least two touchdown passes and a rating of 100-or-higher this season, marking the fourth time that a quarterback has done so in eight of his first nine games of a season in NFL history. Rodgers (nine games in 2011), Tom Brady (eight in 2007) and Philip Rivers (eight in 2018) mark the only other occasions.

Meanwhile, Davante Adams had another big game with eight catches for 66 yards and a TD. He has 61 receptions for 741 yards and nine touchdowns this season and joins Hall of Famers Marvin Harrison (1999) and Randy Moss (2007) as the only players with at least 700 receiving yards and nine touchdown receptions in their first seven games of a season in the Super Bowl era. His 61 receptions are the fifth-most by a player in his first seven games of a season in NFL history.

Rodgers has now totaled multiple touchdowns and/or eclipsed 300 yards in every contest this year. He draws a much tougher matchup against Indianapolis’ good secondary in Week 11.

Like the Packers, the Saints are also 7-2 but Green Bay holds the tiebreaker thanks to a Week 3 win at New Orleans. The Saints would be the No. 2 seed as things stand after beating San Francisco on Sunday. They are +270 favorites to win the NFC.

However, future Hall of Fame QB Drew Brees could miss a while with injured ribs. The results of Monday’s MRI will tell the full story, but it appears likely the Saints could sit their veteran QB for at least a game or so to let him recover. Brees has also been dealing with an injury to his throwing shoulder that has limited his practice time in recent weeks. Former Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston would start in his place. He completed 6 of 10 passes for 63 yards in relief of Brees vs. the Niners. Taysom Hill also could see some snaps under center. The Saints won all five starts Brees missed because of a thumb injury in 2019.

The current No. 3 seed is the surprising Arizona Cardinals (+800 to win NFC), who are in a three-way tie for first in the NFC West with Seattle and the LA Rams but currently hold the tiebreaker. They have a better division record than the Rams, and they defeated the Seahawks in Week 7 for a head-to-head advantage. But two games against the Rams, and one Thursday night in Seattle, remain on their schedule.

The Cards got a miracle win Sunday over Buffalo on a Hail Mary TD pass from Kyler Murray to DeAndre Hopkins.  Murray became the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era and fourth quarterback in NFL history to rush for a touchdown in five consecutive games, joining Johnny Lujack (six consecutive games in 1950), Tobin Rote (five in 1956) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Dutch Clark (five in 1936). Murray has 10 rushing touchdowns this season, tied with Lujack for the most by a quarterback in his team’s first nine games of a season in league annals.

NFC East leader Philadelphia (+1800) is the No. 4 seed despite a 3-5-1 record. The Eagles looked terrible Sunday in a loss at the Giants. Carson Wentz is regressing under center and often puts his team in a hole. He has thrown six touchdowns to 10 interceptions over the first three quarters this season, as opposed to six TDs — or half of his touchdowns — and two interceptions in the fourth quarter.

The rest of the NFC as of now: No. 5 Tampa Bay (+330), No. 6 LA Rams (+800) and No. 7 Seattle (+330). The Seahawks once were NFC favorites but have now lost three of their past four games, with Russell Wilson committing 10 turnovers in the three defeats.

 
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