The Falcons are the first team to clinch a playoff berth at 11-1, locking up the NFC South. San Francisco hasn't clinched, but likely will take the West. Green Bay leading in the North. The Giants lead in the East but Washington could make things interesting if they can pull out a win tonight (GO SKINS!)
So here's what we're looking at.
NFC South: Atlanta (11-1) (gets 1st round bye and home field advantage for playoffs)
NFC West: San Francisco (8-3-1) (1st round bye)
NFC North: Green Bay (8-4)
NFC East: New York (7-4)/Washington (5-6)
NFC Wild Card 1: Chicago (8-4)
NFC Wild Card 2: Seattle (7-5)
On the bubble: Dallas (6-6), Tampa Bay (6-6), Minnesota (6-6), St. Louis (5-6-1), Washington (5-6)
So if I'm a Falcons fan (which I am) I'm feeling pretty good about the way these scenarios could pan out. Feeling pretty good about home field advantage and the first round bye at this point. I'm guessing our most likely opponent will be the NFC East champ or wild card team, so I'm seeing either the Giants, Redskins, Seattle or Chicago
Out of those four, the one that would worry the most would be the Giants, but here's the thing - New York has to travel to Atlanta and play us in the Dome on December 16th. We potentially have a chance to keep them out of the playoffs entirely if we beat them there (pending results of tonight of course), and then we're looking at playing either the Redskins again, who we beat at their place earlier this year, or one maybe Chicago or Seattle. I like all of those scenarios. Even if the Giants are the team to face us in the NFC Divisional round, they're going to have to come back to ATL for a SECOND time, and there's no way they win that game. Not in our house, not the 2nd trip in the same season.
Edited by HobnailedBoots, 03 December 2012 - 10:02 PM.