NFL Playoff Bracket 2019: Which NFC Teams Will Make the Postseason?

The first five weeks of the season have thrown up their fair share of surprises in the NFC.

The San Francisco 49ers are off to their best start in 29 years, the Seattle Seahawks are 4-1 for only the second time in a decade and the Green Bay Packers look revitalized under Matt LaFleur.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Washington Redskins increasingly resemble a dumpster fire and the Atlanta Falcons have been a major letdown.

So, with a third of the season almost gone, which NFC teams can we expect to see in the playoffs?

NFC East

No team has won back-to-back divisional titles in the NFC East since the Philadelphia Eagles took four in a row between 2001 and 2004.

The Dallas Cowboys won the title last year and seemed on course to defend their title after winning their first three games and looking like a legitimate Super Bowl candidate.

Back-to-back defeats in New Orleans and at home against Green Bay, however, have pegged Dallas back to 3-2.

The Eagles are also 3-2 but unlike the Cowboys they are on a two-game winning run and have the third-easiest schedule in the NFL, while Dallas ranks 12th.

According to FiveThirtyEight predictions, Philadelphia has a 64 percent chance to make the playoffs and a 57 percent to win the NFC East, while the percentages fall to 47 and 39 for the Cowboys.

Neither Dallas nor Philadelphia, however, have to be worried about their fellow NFC East rivals. The New York Giants are 2-3 and Saquon Barkley's absence will further limit an already blunt offense, while the Redskins are 0-5, have fired coach Jay Gruden and should already start planning for next season.

NFC North

The NFC North may well be the most competitive season in the league, as all the four teams currently have a record above .500.

The Packers are 4-1 and have already won in Chicago and Dallas after triumphing just once on the road last season, when they finished with their worst record in a decade.

With the Detroit and Oakland visiting Lambeau Field over the next two weeks, Green Bay could feasibly go into the bye week at 6-1—which would represent its best start since 2015.

Meanwhile, Detroit is 2-1-1 and both the Bears and the Vikings are 3-2.

Chicago has probably been the biggest letdown in the division so far. Spoken of as a potential Super Bowl contender before the season started, the Bears were a 9/5 favorite to win back-to-back divisional titles but have been hampered by a struggling offense.

Chicago, which has the fifth-hardest schedule in the league, is now out at 3/1 along with the Vikings, while the Packers are 6/5 favorite and the Lions are 9/1 outsiders.

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers at AT&T Stadium on October 6 in Arlington, Texas. Ronald Martinez/Getty

NFC South

The New Orleans Saints and the Carolina Panthers both lost their starting quarterbacks in Week 2 and have both gone 3-0 since.

The Saints began the season as 3/5 favorite to win the division for a third consecutive year and are now as short as 9/25.

Since replacing Drew Brees, Teddy Bridgewater has thrown for 849 yards and six touchdown passes, completing 70.2 percent of his passes.

FiveThirtyEight gives the Saints an 81 percent chance of making the playoffs—the third-highest in the league behind only the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs—while the Panthers' probability of playing football in January stands at 31 percent.

That is more a reflection of how competitive the NFC is than an indictment of Carolina, which has won three straight games after losing Cam Newton.

The Panthers could deal a major blow to Tampa Bay's postseason hopes when they play the 2-3 Buccaneers in London on Sunday, while at 1-4 the Falcons look already out of the race.

NFC West

San Francisco 49ers
Dee Ford #55 and Nick Bosa #97 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after a sack of the quarterback against the Cleveland Browns during the second quarter of the game at Levi's Stadium on October 7 in Santa Clara, California. Thearon W. Henderson/Getty

If the NFC North isn't the most competitive division in the NFL, then the NFC West surely is.

Consider these facts for a start. The Los Angeles Rams arrived into the season as 3/5 favorite to win the division but are only third in the standings with a 3-2 record and are now out at 81/50.

The San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks are both ahead of the defending NFC champions, by virtue of being 4-0 and 4-1 respectively.

The 49ers have made their best start since 1990 when Jerry Rice and Joe Montana led them to a 10-0 record, while the Seahawks are 4-1 for only the second time this decade.

San Francisco began the season as a 5/1 shot to win a first NFC West title since 2012 but is now an 8/5 favorite, while Seattle is at 12/5.

FiveThirtyEight gives the 49ers a 68 percent chance of making the postseason, while Seattle and the Rams have a 58 and 57 percent chance respectively.

Both teams have a slightly easier schedule than the 49ers, who travel to Los Angeles to face the Rams in Week 6.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals are well out of the running at 1-3-1.

NFL Playoff Bracket 2019: Which NFC Teams Will Make the Postseason? | Sports