Two NFL teams going through quarterback issues right now are the Atlanta Falcons and the New York Giants. The Falcons look like they might be ready to move on from Desmond Ridder, as Taylor Heinicke got the start on Sunday against Minnesota. Even though the Vikings won, the Falcons’ offense had a lot more energy than it has shown for much of the season, so Heinicke will get another start next week against the Arizona Cardinals. Will Heinicke work out this time, or will he flame out like he did in Washington? In New York, the Giants just got Daniel Jones back (and lost Tyrod Taylor to IR) only to see Jones tear his ACL on a non-contact injury and go down for the season. The NFC playoff picture is complex, so let’s look at some of the teams you should back with your NFL Playoffs betting.
2023 NFL Playoffs: Who’s In, Who’s Out, Upsets, Surprises
Philadelphia is clearly the leader in the NFC. The Dallas Cowboys gave them a challenge on Sunday, falling by five, but the Eagles lead the Cowboys by 2 ½ games now. The Cowboys have a ton of talent, and while it would take a collapse (or an injury to Dak Prescott) for them to fall out of the playoffs, they just don’t have the leadership or the football IQ to win. They almost had a touchdown on fourth-and-goal, but the short out route by Luke Schoonmaker was cut off too short, so he was brought down inches short of the end zone. Prescott had a chance to get the Cowboys within a field goal on a two-point conversion run on the next possession, but he stepped out of bounds early. The team committed multiple poor penalties throughout the game.
The Eagles picked up a huge win on a day when their defense wasn’t playing all that well and they had two cornerbacks go down to injury. Jalen Hurts showed that his connection to wide receivers A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith continues to develop; over the last two weeks, he is 24 of 25 for 343 yards and five scores without a pick when targeting them.
Philadelphia: NFC East Champions, NFC champions / Dallas: NFC Wild Card, lose in divisional round
Seattle is taking on water. The Seahawks eked out a win over Cleveland last week but got dismantled by Baltimore on Sunday. Geno Smith went just 13 of 28 in the loss and threw his sixth interception in the last four games, against just four touchdowns. He also lost a fumble and only threw for 157 yards. The offensive line allowed four sacks, three with the Ravens only rushing four. While the Seahawks might be able to dominate some of the bottom-feeders, it’s hard to see them making a deep playoff run.
Seattle: NFC Wild Card, lose in wild card round
Tampa Bay started the year with a stingy defense, but their offense started to sputter a bit. They actually managed to score 37 points on Houston this past week, but they gave up 39 – and blew a 37-33 lead they held with just 49 seconds left in regulation. Tight end Cade Otton had a huge day, catching two touchdown passes, but first-down defense was the culprit as the Bucs permitted four touchdown passes on first-down plays by the Texans.
Tampa Bay: miss the playoffs
New Orleans has forced at least one turnover in each game this season. Against Chicago this past week, Paulson Adebo picked off two passes and forced and recovered a fumble. Marcus Maye had a pick, and Demario Davis had a strip-sack. The run defense is struggling a bit, and the offense is still looking for consistency, but someone has to win the NFC South.
New Orleans: NFC South Champions, lose in wild card round
San Francisco started 5-0, punctuated with a rout of Dallas, but since then they have gone 0-3. Brock Purdy has thrown all five of his interceptions in the last three games, so while he still has a 68.3% pass completion rate, the team’s confidence in his ball security has to be dropping. But can anyone else catch them in the West?
San Francisco: NFC West Champions, lose in divisional round
Detroit is getting elite quarterback play from Jared Goff, and tailback Jahmyr Gibbs has emerged as a real threat in the running game. Rookie tight end Sam LaPorta is also coming into his own at NFL game speed. Goff has a 12:5 TD:INT ratio, and other than that shocking loss at Baltimore, the Lions have played outstanding ball all season long.
Detroit: NFC North Champions, lose in NFC Championship
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