Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers
Nov 26, 2017; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) watches the game against the Seattle Seahawks during the fourth quarter at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Home » Blog » NFC playoff picture, Week 18: 49ers, Saints fight for spot

NFC playoff picture, Week 18: 49ers, Saints fight for spot

Taking a look at the NFC playoff picture entering Week 18, we see two teams fighting for one spot, while most seeds are still up for grabs.

Here’s how the NFC playoff picture looks as we head into the final weekend of the 2021 NFL regular season:

1. Green Bay Packers (13-3)
2. Los Angeles Rams (12-4)
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12-4)
4. Dallas Cowboys (11-5)
5. Arizona Cardinals (11-5)
6. San Francisco 49ers (9-7)
7. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7)

8. New Orleans Saints (8-8)


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The NFC side is relatively simple. For starters, six of the seven spots have been clinched, although the only seed we know for sure is the top one, with the Packers holding firm with 13 wins. Green Bay will host anybody they play.

As for the team unsure of its standing, that would be the 49ers. San Francisco is sitting above Philadelphia in the picture, but needs to beat the Rams in SoFi Stadium on Sunday afternoon to make sure its part of the proceedings. Should the Niners fall short against Los Angeles, the Saints could sneak into the playoffs by beating the Atlanta Falcons on the road. If both lose, the Saints are eliminated and the 49ers are in the postseason, either as a sixth or seventh seed.

Meanwhile, the Buccaneers and Cowboys have already clinched their divisions, but we don’t know their seeding. Dallas visits the Eagles on Saturday night, and with a victory would temporarily move to the second seed. The Cowboys could stay there if Tampa Bay loses to the Carolina Panthers, the Niners beat the Rams and the Seattle Seahawks beat the Cardinals.


Read: AFC Playoff Picture, Week 18 – Chargers VS Raiders Looms


In the NFC West, the Rams need to win to take the crown. If they lose, they’d need Kyler Murray and Co. to fall short at home against the Seahawks, who have been playing for nothing but pride over the last few months.

As for the Buccaneers, they can move into the second seed if the Rams lose and they handle the Panthers. This would give Tampa Bay — at worst —  a tie with the Cowboys, who they beat back in Week 1 at Raymond James Stadium.

Should things hold the way they are, we’d see a Wild Card round where the Rams host the Eagles, the Bucs welcome in the 49ers and the Cowboys host the Cardinals for the second time in less than a month.

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