Article Written By: Anthony Garza
This race has been intense so far. Surprise upsets in the past weeks, obvious wins in others, but there can only be 1 division leader in the NFC North, South, East, and West. Those leaders are the Detroit Lions (6-4), New Orleans Saints(8-2), Philadelphia Eagles(6-5), and the Seattle Seahawks(10-1). Aside from the leaders only two extra teams get the Wild card spots for the NFC. My belief as to which two teams will take those spots are the Carolina Panthers and the San Francisco 49ers.
My First pick is the Carolina Panthers. I believe in them taking the #5 spot because of how dominant they’ve become. Proving it with their win over the New England Patriots leaving the Panthers with a record of 7-3. The rest of their Schedule is basically another reason I chose them to take the spot, its honestly not too bad. Every win and loss projection I base off of the way they’ve been playing.
- Week 12: vs. the Dolphins, I predict should be a W for the panthers, won’t be all too easy.
- Week 13: vs. the Buccaneers, this will be an easy W seeing as to how Tampa Bay hasn’t been too great this season with a record of 2-8.
- Week 14: vs. the Saints, this I believe will be a great battle that can go either way depending on which teams show up ready to fight that day.
- Week 15: vs. the Jets, this could be a W for the Panthers as well.
- Week 16: vs. the Saints again, this game again could go either way depending on who learned more from week 14.
- Week 17: vs. the Falcons, this is an easy W for the Panthers as well because again the falcons aren’t looking even close to the team we saw last year with a record of 2-8 as well.
If my predictions are correct then that leaves the Panthers with about 3 different possible Records and all three are due to the outcomes of the Saints’ games. If they beat the Saints twice then they’d have a record of 13-3, Should they win once and lose once they’ll have a record of 12-4, or if they lose both times they’ll hold a record of 11-5. Keeping them in great standings for the Wild card either way the games go.
My next pick is the San Francisco 49ers who are with a record of 6-4. I believe they’re taking the #6 Spot also because they’re still a force to be reckoned with even after their loss to the saints. Colin Kaepernick is a Great QB with a great arsenal at his will including Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, Anquan Boldin, not to mention himself when need be.
- Week 12: vs. the Redskins, this wont be the easiest considering RG3 and his ability to make plays but a Win nonetheless.
- Week 13: vs. the Rams, will be a bit harder in this week considering the record, but that’s about it, the rams are outmatched in any other aspect other than Bradford leading Kaepernick by 3 when it comes to Touchdown passes.
- Week 14: vs. the Seahawks, this will be a hard loss due to the Seahawks and their ability to outplay almost every other team that they’ve come across.
- Week 15: vs. the Buccaneers, this will be an obvious W for the 49ers and an easier game for them to be playing considering their weeks before.
- Week 16: vs. the Falcons, also another game that will come with an easy win to the 49ers. (Side note, the last time they played it was for the NFC Division Championship which the 49ers crushed the Falcons dreams of going to Superbowl XLVII.
- Week 17: vs. the Cardinals which could go either way seeing as to how both have a tied record. It’ll just be a factor of which team wants to win more. Both teams have enough firepower for a W.
If my hypothesis is correct then the 49ers will be left with a record of either 11-5, or 10-6 depending on which way the Cardinals game goes. With 11-5 they’re still looking good for the Wild card, if they get 10-6 then they may be in trouble with losing the spot. Either way will make for an interesting road to the Wild card.