We’re just a few short weeks away from the conclusion of the National Football League Regular Season and now we have a picture of who has clinched a berth in the Playoffs.
Let’s start with the National Football Conference. This list could change slightly given the last three weeks of games to be played, but we can see who has managed so far.
NFL Playoffs? What are those? Read this handy explainer first…
National Football Conference Playoff teams
Position: NFC East Leader
Stats: 13 Wins / 1 Loss
Their 13 wins to 1 loss record is arguably their best season record ever set since they formed in 1960. Their most impressive record prior to this has to be their 13 – 3 record in 2017, which also saw them win the Super Bowl. The Eagles have made it to the NFL Playoffs 25 times in 62 seasons. This will be their 26th.
Position: NFC North Winner
Stats: 11 Wins / 3 Losses
This season is one of the Vikings best on record. Their second best has to be the 15 wins to 1 loss in the 2000 season were they dropped out at the Conference Championships. Vikings have appeared at the Super Bowl 4 times (1969 / 1973 / 1974 and 1976) but have not won. The Vikings have made it to the NFL Playoffs 30 times in 62 seasons. This will be their 31st.
San Francisco 49ers
Position: NFC West Winner
Stats: 10 Wins / 4 Losses
The 49ers are adding a 27th visit to the Conference playoffs after 63 seasons in operation. Their scoring is on par with what they recorded in 1988, which saw them win their 3rd Super Bowl title. With the late change out of Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for Brock Purdy (Mr Irrelevant) late on in the contest, the team has been able to maintain it’s win-streak.
It was quite the sight to see Purdy outplay NFL legend Tom Brady during the 49ers vs Bucs game, which saw them win 35 – 7.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Position: NFC South Leader
Stats: 6 wins / 8 losses
It’s been a tough time for the Bucs over the past decade and a half.
The team have made it 12 times to the Playoffs in their 47 seasons of operation, 2 of those were in the past 10 (2013 – 2022). Likewise, the team has struggled to gain a lead in this season. While they currently have 6 wins under their belts, it’s the inconsistency which saw them lose to the likes of the Chiefs, Packers and even the Carolina Panthers. They certainly can’t rest on the laurels of winning Super Bowl 2020.
Probably most embarrassing will be the two major disappoints which have taken place in the past two weeks; the huge loss to the San Francisco 49ers (7 – 35) and Cincinnati Bengals (23 – 34). The latter came back at half time to take the game from under them.
Will Tom Brady last with the Bucs?
Position: First Wild Card
Stats: 10 Wins / 4 Losses
Dallas will be entering as the First Wild Card, eager to get past the embarrassment of not winning any of their Rounds in the 2021 Playoffs. This will be the Cowboys’ 35th Playoff.
Next to the Eagles, they enter the Playoffs with a scoring record which is not to be sniffed at.
At the time of writing, their win-streak is pure symmetry with a big loss to the Bucs at the opening of the season and a tighter loss against the Jaguars in Round 15.
In between are a series of streaks and impressive wins over the likes of the Lions, Vikings and New York Giants.
New York Giants
Position: Second Wild Card
Stats: 8 wins / 5 losses / 1 draw
Giants enter the Playoffs for the 20th time in their 63 seasons, their last time being in 2016 when they lost out in the Wild Card round.
They are they only one of two teams which drew this season, that being against the Washington Commanders in their first match-up in Week 13.
The question is, can they hold on to their Playoff chances? They still need to beat Vikings this Saturday (24th December) to keep those hopes alive.
Position: Third Wild Card
Stats: 7 wins / 6 losses / 1 draw
Lastly on the Playoff picture for the NFC is the Washington Commanders. They swapped places with the Giants after Sunday moving to 6th from 5th following their defeat against the latter.
This could be their 20th Playoff with the last two visits taking place in the last 8 years. It’s also a pretty average win to loss record in the past 5 years. The last time they drew a game was in 2016 resulting in them not making the Playoffs.