Things are tightening up in the NFC playoff picture. Heading into week 14, the top six seeds are only separated by two games. Let’s look at how the top eight teams stack up in this week’s power rankings.
1. Minnesota Vikings:
This may be a shocker but Case Keenum is a legitimate MVP contender. The Vikings are sitting at 10-2 with the best record in the NFC. They knocked off the defending NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons 14-9 over the weekend. The Vikings not only have a championship defense, but they also have a top 10 offense. Keenum has thrown for over 2700 yards to go along with 16 touchdowns and only five interceptions since taking over for Sam Bradford. If the playoffs started today the Vikings would be the NFC #1 overall seed, and with the Super Bowl being played in Minnesota, the Vikings are favorites to win it all.
2. Philadelphia Eagles:
The Eagles eight-game win streak came to an end last Sunday, losing to the Seattle Seahawks 24-10. Seattle is a tough place to play no matter how good of a team you are. The good thing for the Eagles is if they should play Seattle again, it will more than likely be played in Philadelphia. Carson Wentz had a rough game even though he posted a season-high 348 yards passing. For the season, Wentz has 29 touchdowns compared to only six interceptions. The Eagles have another tough test this Sunday as they travel to Los Angeles to play the Rams. We will soon find out if the Eagles are for real or are just a product of an easy schedule.
3. Los Angeles Rams:
The Rams are sitting at 9-3 and at the top of the NFC West. Last Sunday, the Rams dismantled the Arizona Cardinals 32-16. Even though the Rams won by a large margin the offense was not clicking on all cylinders. Luckily for the Rams, they have one of the best special teams units in the NFL. Special Teams and defense helped the Rams cruise to an easy division win. The Rams have a tough matchup this Sunday as they host the Philadelphia Eagles. This matchup could go a long way in sorting out contenders from pretenders. If the Rams win Sunday they will jump into the number two seed in the NFC.
4. New Orleans Saints:
Holy run game. No other team in the NFC can boast about the run game like the Saints have. Alvin Kamara is likely to win the Rookie of the Year and Mark Ingram is no slouch as a one-two punch. Oh, you think you can stop the run? Have you heard of Drew Brees, Michael Thomas, and crew? The Saints aren’t just limited to offense either. The defense is great too. This team will be a tough out, come playoff time.
5. Seattle Seahawks:
The Legion of Boom became the legion of gloom with both Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman out for the season, so you thought. The Seahawks always get hot this time of year. Just like in the NBA with LeBron James, can’t an argument be made for Russel Wilson to win MVP every season? Just when it seems injuries will lead to the demise of the Seahawks, they come out and knock off the current number one seed in the NFC 24-10. The Seahawks have a big matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars this week. They better not get caught looking ahead to the Rams in week 15.
6. Atlanta Falcons:
Just when it looked like the Falcons were clicking on all cylinders, they run into the Vikings. Don’t fret Falcons fans, the Rams ran into the buzz-saw known as the Vikings three weeks ago and couldn’t muster any offense either. The Vikings are good, if not great. The good news or bad news is they play the Saints this weekend. If there is a must win on the schedule this weekend for a contender this is it. The defending NFC champions cannot afford to lose this weekend.
7. Carolina Panthers:
Don’t worry Panthers fans, many teams have had similar fates when playing the Saints this season. Unfortunately for the Panthers, it doesn’t get any easier this week as they play the current number one seed in the NFC. The Vikings have dismantled the Falcons and Rams in the past three weeks. The Panthers are going to see if they are Super Bowl contenders this weekend against a worthy foe.
8. Green Bay Packers:
Don’t look now, but the Packers are sitting at 6-6 and have a very winnable game this weekend against the Browns. This leads to week 15 and the possibility of Aaron Rodgers making his comeback from the Injured Reserve. The one team nobody wants to see in the playoffs is sitting just two games out of the playoffs with their star quarterback on the horizon of a return. More than likely, the hole is too big to dig out of. However, what if is the real question.
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– Brian Joanou is a Staff Writer for Full Press Coverage Rams. He covers the Los Angeles Ram. Like and follow on Follow @Brian81277 Follow @FPC_Rams and Facebook.