WATCH: Still extremely premature 2019 NFC Playoff Predictions
Every team in the NFL has played at least eight games. That means we're at the halfway mark, and it's time for some more extremely premature 2019 NFC playoff predictions.
The playoff picture is very crowded in the NFC, so much so that the defending conference champions are on track for 10 wins and yet didn't make the playoffs in our predictor.
Here are the teams who did:
1- New Orleans Saints (7-1)
The Saints have stormed out to a 7-1 record, despite Drew Brees missing five game,s and will next play four straight division games. That's a great thing when the other three teams in your division are a combined 8-16.
New Orleans also has home matchups with the 49ers and Colts during the second half. Beating San Francisco in the Superdome will give the Saints home-field advantage once again.
2- San Francisco 49ers (8-0)
The 49ers have some really tough games down the stretch, and in a crowded NFC, a playoff berth isn't even guaranteed. It wouldn't be a surprise to see the Seahawks win the NFC West and earn a bye.
For now, though, let's assume the Seahawks and 49ers split. San Francisco's other three difficult games are at New Orleans, at Baltimore and home against Green Bay. The home matchup with the Packers is a must-win in order to stay in front of the Seahawks, and in would also consequently give the 49ers a home game against the Packers in the second round should Green Bay win on Wild Card weekend.
3- Green Bay Packers (7-2)
The Packers were absolutely rolling until last week when the Chargers humbled Aaron Rodgers and the offense. The defense isn't quite as dominant as it was at the beginning of the season either.
But all the sudden, the NFC North doesn't look so difficult. The Bears have lost four straight, and the Lions have fallen in four of the last five. Green Bay still has to face Minnesota on the road and take a trip to San Francisco, but the Vikings have visits to Dallas and Seattle coming up.
4- Dallas Cowboys (5-3)
The Eagles are still going to have a say in the NFC East race, but it's hard not to pick the Cowboys right now. They own the tiebreaker as a result of their rout against the Eagles a few weeks ago, and Dallas is 6-1 in its last seven games at Philadelphia.
The Cowboys and Eagles each have a lot of difficult games remaining, and maybe that loss against the Jets will come back to bite Dallas, but if the Cowboys once again win in Philadelphia, it's hard to see the Eagles making the playoffs.
5- Seattle Seahawks (7-2)
With MVP frontrunner Russell Wilson, the Seahawks can win any game, and thus, they are a candidate to possess home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
But unless they sweep the 49ers, they might not win the NFC West. San Francisco possesses a 1.5-game lead in the division, so without a sweep, the Seahawks will have to make up perhaps two or three wins somewhere else. It's hard to see that happening with the Seahawks traveling to the east coast to face Philadelphia and Carolina in addition to squaring off against the Rams again on the road.
6- Minnesota Vikings (6-3)
With the Vikings earning the sixth seed, that means the Rams, Panthers and Eagles all fail to make the playoffs. The NFC might have two or even three teams with 10 wins not earn a postseason bid this year.
If the Vikings take the final spot, they will have to continue to get stellar play from Kirk Cousins. He's been great as of late with 1,481 yards, 13 touchdowns and one interception in the last five games. The Vikings are 4-1 in those contests.