NFL Wild Card race after Week 9

Nov 3, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) is introduced before the game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL has officially moved past the halfway point of the season and the playoff picture is still up in the air. It is never too early to start looking at the playoff picture to see where teams are and what they need to do in the second half of the season.

In the NFC, the Seattle Seahawks are a clear No. 1 seed. The Saints would be the NFC South champs and the No. 2 seed. The No. 3 seed goes to the NFC North, which have three teams with 5-3 records. The Detroit Lions would get the slot thanks to a better win percentage in conference games than the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers.

The Dallas Cowboys would get the No. 4 seed as the NFC East champions. San Francisco has the second best record in the conference but get a wild card berth because the Seahawks won the division. The Carolina Panthers would get the last wild card and playoff spot. The beat out the Bears and Packers, who also have 5-3 records thanks to a complicated series of tie breakers.

The way that would work is this, the Bears eliminate the Packers in a tie-breaker based on head-to-head wins. Then the Panthers win the tie breaker over the Bears based on best win percentage in conference games.

The AFC picture is less messy. The No. 1 seed goes to the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs, No. 2 goes to the New England Patriots, No. 3 to the Indianapolis Colts and No. 4 to the Cincinnati Bengals. All four of those teams are uncontested atop their divisions. The Broncos and their 7-1 record gives them a wild card berth, and would be good enough to win any other division but they’re in the AFC West with the undefeated Chiefs.

The final wild card berth goes to the New York Jets, who have a 5-4 record. The Tennessee Titans, Miami Dolphins, and San Diego Chargers are all lingering right behind the Jets with 4-4 records.

Topics: NFL

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