NFC Playoff Prediction
1st seed: Detroit Lions - When you compare the remaining schedules of the Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles, it's easy to see how this Lions team can leapfrog the Eagles atop the NFC playoff picture. Detroit securing the top seed AND homefield advantage throughout the postseason would have that city absolutely feral.
2nd seed: Philadelphia Eagles - Even though the Eagles don't feel quite as good as they were last year, this team can out-talent their opponents. Being 8-1 through the first nine weeks also gives them a bit of a cusion over other NFC teams. Philly's remaining schedule is definitely tough.
3rd seed: San Francisco 49ers - The 49ers are the best team in the NFC not named Detroit or Philadelphia. This is the most battle-tested team in the conference, as the Eagles resurgence has only come recently. The Niners' roster is thoroughly playoff experienced and getting the 3rd seed gives them a great chance to make another deep run.
4th seed: New Orleans Saints - I guess? The NFC South is bad. It's very bad. But the Saints feel like the least-bad team in the division. I guess this team can scrap together nine wins to secure the division. Honeslty, eight wins might win it. Either way, New Orleans probably finds themselves in the postseason in 2023.
5th seed: Dallas Cowboys - The Cowboys are plenty good enough to win a division, but being in a division with the Eagles does make life hard. This isn't truly the 5th-best team in the conference, and a hypothetical Wild Card game versus the Saints would probably be a convincing Cowboys win.
6th seed: Seattle Seahawks - The epitome of a good-not-great team, the Seattle Seahawks are seeing a big of a regression from Geno Smith but a defense that has taken a huge step. This team is more balanced as a result, but they are young in a lot of spots, so I don't really trust them in the postseason.
7th seed: Minnesota Vikings - I really have a hard time putting the Vikings in the seventh spot, but there's no other deserving team or team good enough to squeak into the playoffs. Josh Dobbs seems to just barely be good enough for the Vikings, who have had a huge improvement from their defense, and stud WR Justin Jefferson is returning soon.