With the NFL’s regular season winding down, it’s time to begin classifying playoff teams as Super Bowl contenders or pretenders.
All Odds courtesy of the FanDuel Sportsbook.1. Philadelphia Eagles (NFC Odds: +200)
It wasn’t the most impressive November, but the Philadelphia Eagles have just one loss and are in the driver’s seat to be the number-one seed in the NFC. No team wants to go into a cold atmosphere at Lincoln Financial Field in January, while the Eagles appear to have generated the right recipe on offense and defense, with game-changing pieces on each side of the football.
Current Status: Contender2. San Francisco 49ers (NFC Odds: +500)
The San Francisco 49ers proved over the weekend that they belong in the category of a Super Bowl contender after their victory over the Miami Dolphins. With one of the top defenses in the NFL and an offense that has playmakers who can move the ball regardless of who’s at quarterback, it’s hard to look away from this team and the value they have to win the NFC at +500. If Brock Purdy has to be the guy the rest of the way for San Francisco, so be it, but with the protection, the 49ers’ offensive line can provide, don’t be surprised if he puts up numbers.
Current Status: Contender3. Dallas Cowboys (NFC Odds: +290)
There’s a lot to like about the Dallas Cowboys roster, and in any other NFC division, they’d likely be in a better position with a chance at more home playoff dates. Still, the Cowboys’ defense can get to the quarterback, and their offense continues to demonstrate that they have enough explosive pieces to make a difference when the games begin to matter more in January.
Current Status: Contender4. Minnesota Vikings (NFC Odds: +650)
Some people will probably wonder how a 10-2 Minnesota Vikings are listed as a pretender. This team is finding ways to win games, but it’s difficult to trust what they’ll bring to the table when the playoffs hit. They have a signature victory over the Buffalo Bills on the road, but it’s too difficult to trust Kirk Cousins in these situations. We won’t put our faith in the Vikings and their futures until he does.
Current Status: Pretender5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFC Odds: +950)
You will see many upset people in the comments since we’re doubting the GOAT, Tom Brady. Still, this Tampa Bay Buccaneers roster doesn’t look like one that can contend for a Super Bowl. Can they win a wild card game? Sure. But that doesn’t equate to them being in the same class as the Philadelphia Eagles or San Francisco 49ers.
Current Status: Pretender6. Seattle Seahawks (NFC Odds: +1900)
This wasn’t expected to be a year where the Seattle Seahawks would be considered a contender, so despite their playoff status, it’s hard to envision them winning multiple postseason games. Pete Carroll and the coaching staff deserve a ton of credit for the team’s 7-5 record, but it’s hard to see this roster going deep in January.
Current Status: Pretender7. New York Giants (NFC Odds: +4000)
Like the Seahawks, it was difficult to see a world where the New York Giants found success this season. Brian Daboll has helped give the team some hope, but they’ve faded near the end of November and into early December. Still, they occupy a playoff spot at the moment, and you have to take them seriously, but that doesn’t mean they are contenders to win the NFC.
Current Status: Pretender