Pretenders and Contenders: NFC Edition

While there are 14 playoff teams, only a handful prove to be good enough to compete for a Super Bowl. As we head into Week 17, I decipher between teams that will legitimately have a chance at hoisting the Lombardi and teams that are simply posing as such. Week 17 also has plenty of implications for teams hoping to make the playoffs, seeding/matchups, and home-field advantage in the NFC.

NFC Pretenders:

10. Dallas Cowboys

  • Record: 6-9

  • Week 17 Matchup @ Giants

  • Clinches NFC East title with: WIN + Washington LOSS

I know this may come as a shock to some people, but yesthe Cowboys can still make the playoffs. Despite the many injuries, including the loss of QB Dak Prescott for the season, they have managed to quietly put themselves in a position to win the NFC East title in Week 17. Sadly, I'm afraid whoever is representing this division will likely face the fate of a first-round exit; the Cowboys, especially, are no real threat to sending another team home.

9. New York Giants

  • Record: 5-10

  • Week 17 Matchup vs Cowboys

  • Clinches NFC East title with: WIN + Washington LOSS

Another potential NFC East title winnerthe New York Giants. Much like the Cowboys, if they manage to sneak into the playoffs, they prove to be no real threat. Even with their much improved, stingy defense, they just don't have enough firepower on offense to seriously compete with the top seeds. With the loss of RB Saquon Barkley early in the year, the Giants' offense has struggled and will prove to be their downfall.

8. Washington Football Team

  • Record: 6-9

  • Week 17 Matchup @ Eagles

  • Clinches NFC East title with: WIN

As the current NFC East leader, the Washington Football Team could surprise some people come playoff time. With the three-some of experienced Head Coach Ron Rivera, veteran QB Alex Smith, and one of the best front sevens in all of football, Washington has the making to provide a first-round upset. They're another team with a lot of promise, but I wouldn't expect much more than a potential upset—they're another team that is a year or two too early.

7. Arizona Cardinals

  • Record: 8-7