The postseason race for the two NFL conferences portrays stark contrasts.
The AFC is like the Wild West because it’s every team for themselves.
There’s no dominant frontrunner, and the playoff landscape may change with each week passing.
On the other hand, there’s more order in the NFC.
Here's a week by week look at the NFC Playoff standings from Week 3 to the midway point of the season! 📈
Who will finish with the 1 seed?? pic.twitter.com/N59cVanDwG
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) November 12, 2021
Two teams have practically won the division, and there’s some separation between division leaders and the Wild Card aspirants.
With some NFL playoff spots locked up, it would be tougher to crack the playoffs in the NFC.
Therefore, three teams are hoping to keep their hopes alive by winning most or all of their remaining games.
3. Atlanta Falcons
After 10 weeks, the Atlanta Falcons are the only NFC South team under .500.
Despite their losing record, they are just two games away from division leaders Tampa Bay.
However, they can’t expect to make the NFL playoffs if they continue to play as they did against the Dallas Cowboys.
After defeating the New Orleans Saints in their previous game, Matt Ryan completed just nine passes against the NFC East leaders.
Arthur Smith spoke to the media following our game in Dallas. pic.twitter.com/9AFM8TybAw
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) November 14, 2021
Worst, they scored only three points and lost by 40.
The Falcons still have one game left against division rivals Tampa Bay, Carolina, and New Orleans.
Those games will be crucial in determining their destiny this season.
They also have other winnable games against the Jacksonville Jaguars, San Francisco 49ers, and the Detroit Lions, boosting their chances.
2. Philadelphia Eagles
Are the Philadelphia Eagles peaking at the right time?
Head coach Nick Sirianni finally embraced the run game to positive results.
Their defense also showed up in their road victory against the Denver Broncos.
At 4-6, it would take a huge momentum swing to win the NFC East.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) November 16, 2021
But they’re still in the running for the sixth or seventh playoff spot.
With seven games left in their regular season, the Eagles can realistically win a majority of those assignments.
They still have games two games each against the Washington Football Team and the New York Giants.
The Eagles also have a date with the Saints next week and the New York Jets in Week 15.
Depending on the outcome of those games, their Week 17 showdown against the Cowboys can be crucial for their postseason aspirations.
1. San Francisco 49ers
That game was their first home win this season, and they’ve been terrible at Levi’s Stadium since last year.
But could that victory signify better fortunes for the 49ers moving forward?
They’re still three games behind the Rams and four away from the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC West.
George Kittle gets real about the 49ers issues! pic.twitter.com/ZeoNitFu38
— John Chapman (@JL_Chapman) November 15, 2021
Therefore, claiming a Wild Card spot is their best chance of making the playoffs.
The 49ers will meet the Rams again in Week 17.
Before that clash, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Tennessee Titans are the strongest teams they will face.
The Niners also have games against the Falcons, Minnesota Vikings, Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans, and Seattle Seahawks.
Winning at least five of their remaining games will boost their odds of grabbing a fringe playoff spot.NEXT: Zach Wilson's Job Security Is No Longer In Question