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Panthers Still In The NFC Playoff Hunt

Jason Huber
December 11, 2018 - 12:18 pm

In the midst of falling apart thanks to a five-game losing streak after a 6-2 start to the season, the Carolina Panthers are still only one game back from the sixth and final wild-card in the NFC.

Currently occupying the final wild card spot are the Minnesota Vikings who lost 21-7 on Monday night to the Seattle Seahawks. Seattle sits comfortably at the first wild-card spot with an 8-5 record and Minnesota fell to 6-6-1. 

According to FiveThirtyEight.com, the Panthers hold a mere nine percent chance to make the playoffs with a 6-7 record. Carolina holds the tiebreaker over Philadelphia, who has a tiebreaker over Washington. Washington holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over Carolina. 

Below are the current NFC Playoff standings and the remaining games for each team fighting for the final wild-card spots. Each team also has their percentage of making the playoffs from FiveThirtyEight. 

Division Leaders:

1. Saints (Clinched) (11-2): New Orleans clinched the NFC South Division this week and face Carolina twice in their final three games as they try to lock up home-field advantage in the playoffs. 

2. Rams (Clinched) (11-2): Los Angeles clinched the NFC West Division and had a chance to hold on to the number one seed but lost to Chicago in a sloppy game this week. 

3. Bears (99%) (9-4, NFC North leader): Chicago's defense propelled them to a victory over the Rams this week and will look to win the NFC North this week with a win. 

4. Cowboys (99%) (8-5, NFC East Leader): Dallas holds a two-game lead in the NFC East with three games remaining and have won five-straight games. 

Wild Cards: 

5. Seahawks (99%) (8-5): Seattle should clinch a wild-card spot with games still remaining against Arizona and San Francisco. With a win, they're in. 

6. Vikings (57%) (6-6-1): Minnesota faces Miami, Detroit and Chicago. Minnesota controls their own destiny. If they win out, they're in. If not, they can afford one more loss with the hope that a few teams behind them lose. 

Still In The Hunt: 

7. PANTHERS (9%) (6-7): Carolina still faces New Orleans twice and Atlanta in between. Carolina either needs to win out with a Minnesota loss or win two of their next three with Minnesota losing twice and Philadelphia finishing with the same or better record as Washington. If Washington finishes with a better record than Philadelphia and ties with Carolina, the Redskins would jump Carolina. 

8. Eagles (18%) (6-7): The reigning Super Bowl champs will have to face the Rams, Texans and Redskins in their final three games. Philly will need to beat the Redskins and win at least one other game while hoping the Panthers continue to lose. 

9. Washington (10%) (6-7): Without Alex Smith at QB, the Redskins have looked really bad. So while they're still in the playoff hunt, they're collapsing and could easily be out of the picture with another loss. They face Jacksonville, Tennessee and Philadelphia to finish the season. 

Hanging On: 

10. Packers (3%) (5-7-1): Green Bay faces Chicago, NY Jets and Detroit. Green Bay and will have to win out and hope Washington, Carolina and Philadelphia each lose at least one game 

11. Buccaneers (>1%) (5-8): Somehow, Tampa Bay is still hanging around. Like Green Bay, they'll need to win out and hope things fall their way. They face Baltimore, Dallas and Atlanta. 

12. Giants (>1%) (5-8): New York has crept back in the playoff hunt, but they'll have to win out and hope every team in front of them loses at least one game. They face Tennessee, Indianapolis and Dallas. 

13. Detroit (3%) (5-8): It's a long shot, but they have the same scenario as the Giants. They'll face Buffalo, Minnesota and Green Bay. 

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