Which NFC teams will make the playoffs is close to being known, as there are only eight teams that still have a chance, four of which have already clinched a spot. The contenders, with their remaining games:

Seahawks (11-3) vs Cardinals, vs 49ers

49ers (11-3) vs Rams, at Seahawks

Saints (10-3) vs Colts, at Titans, at Panthers

Packers (11-3) at Vikings, at Lions

Vikings (10-4) vs Packers, vs Bears

Rams (8-6) at 49ers, vs Cardinals

Cowboys (7-7) at Eagles, vs Redskins

Eagles (7-7) vs Cowboys, at Giants

In the NFC West, either the Seahawks or the 49ers will win the division, and the other of the two will be a wild card. In the NFC South, the Saints have clinched the division, and no one else will make the playoffs. In the NFC North, either the Packers or Vikings will win the division, and the other will probably be a wild card. In the NFC East, either the Cowboys or Eagles will win the division, and the other is out.

You can count wins and losses just fine. The tiebreakers are what makes it complicated. So let's explain who will win tiebreakers in all possible scenarios, at least down to giving where strength of victory currently stands. We want to break ties, not create them, so let's assume that no particular game ends in a tie (which would probably make tiebreakers irrelevant, anyway).

### Two-way ties within a division

Three of the four divisions could end in a tie, as only the Saints have already clinched their division.

#### NFC West

In the NFC West, the tie scenario involves both the Seahawks and 49ers at 12-4, as one of the two teams wins next week, then loses the head to head match the following week. If the Seahawks win the head to head match, then they win the division, as they would have swept the 49ers this year.

Where it gets complicated is if the Seahawks beats the Cardinals and the Rams beat the 49ers next week, and then the 49ers beat the Seahawks the following week. In that case, head to head would be tied at 1-1, division records would be tied at 4-2, common games would be tied at 9-3, and conference records would also be tied at 9-3.

The fifth tiebreaker is strength of victory, which probably favors the 49ers. For simplicity, we can discard the common wins over the Bengals, Browns, Steelers, Cardinals (twice), Rams, Buccaneers, and Panthers, as well as the Seahawks and 49ers having beaten each other, since they have the same record as each other. The difference is that the 49ers would have beaten the Saints, Packers, and Redskins, while the Seahawks would have beaten the Falcons, Vikings, and Eagles. That's a combined 24-17 record for the 49ers' opponents, and 22-20 for the Seahawks' opponents. That would probably result in the 49ers winning the division.

The good news is that if strength of victory ends in a tie, the Seahawks will win the division, as after that, it goes to strength of schedule, which includes the losses, so whoever has the stronger losses would then win the division. Excluding the common losses against the Ravens, Rams, and each other, the 49ers also lost to the Falcons, while the Seahawks lost to the Saints. The Saints will finish with a better record than the Falcons, so the Seahawks would win strength of schedule over the 49ers if strength of victory ends up being tied. Thus, it is impossible for the division to go past the sixth tiebreaker.

#### NFC North

The only way that a tie is possible is if the Vikings beat the Packers next week, and then the Vikings and Packers have the same result the following week. Head to head would be tied, and then the Packers would win the division based on the division record. Both teams winning would mean a tie at 12-4, and so the Packers would have a 5-1 division record, as compared to the Vikings' 4-2. Both teams losing would mean a tie at 11-5, and then the Packers would have a 4-2 division record, as compared to the Vikings' 3-3.

#### NFC East

A tie would result in the Cowboys winning the division. The only way that the Cowboys and Eagles could be tied is at 8-8. This could happen via the Cowboys beating the Eagles next week, and then the Redskins beating the Cowboys and the Eagles beating the Giants the following week. In that case, the Cowboys win the tiebreaker due to a head to head sweep of the Eagles. The other way it could happen is for all three of those games to have the result reversed, in which case, the head to head is a tie, and the Cowboys would win the division on the basis of division record, at 5-1 as compared to the Eagles' 4-2.

### Two-way ties between winners of different divisions

The winner of the NFC East is guaranteed to be the #4 seed. The other division winners will be #1, #2, and #3 in some order. Some of the possible 2-way ties are:

Saints win a tiebreaker with the Seahawks (head to head)

49ers win a tiebreaker with the Saints (head to head)

Seahawks win a tiebreaker with the Vikings (head to head)

49ers win a tiebreaker with the Packers (head to head)

#### Seahawks-Packers

The Seahawks and Packers did not play each other. They have the same 3-1 record against AFC opponents, so if they have the same overall record, they have the same conference record. Out of the common opponents of Vikings, 49ers, Eagles, and Panthers, the Seahawks can finish no worse than 4-1, and the Packers no better than 3-2. Thus, the Seahawks would win a tiebreaker with the Packers on common games.

#### Vikings-49ers

The Vikings cannot possibly win the division without winning both of their remaining games, so that would be a tie at 12-4. The 49ers and Vikings had no head to head match, and would have the same conference record of 9-3. Against their common opponents of the Packers, Seahawks, Falcons, and Redskins, both teams are 2-2, though the 49ers have a game left against the Seahawks and the Vikings have one against the Packers. For the Vikings to win the division, they must beat the Packers. In order for the 49ers to win their division at 12-4, they must lose to the Rams, then beat the Seahawks. That would mean both teams are 3-2 in common games.

The next tiebreaker would be strength of victory. There, the 49ers' defeated opponents would have a combined record of 78-88-2, and the Vikings' of 65-101-2. That would almost certainly result in the 49ers winning the tiebreaker.

#### Saints-Vikings

The Vikings cannot possibly win the division without winning both of their remaining games, so that would be a tie at 12-4. That would require the Saints to lose exactly one of their remaining three games. If the Saints' loss is against the Panthers, then the Vikings would win a tiebreaker on the basis of a 9-3 conference record, as compared to the Saints' 8-4.

If the Saints' remaining loss is to either the Colts or Titans, then conference record would be tied with the Vikings at 9-3. Their games against their common opponents of the Bears, Cowboys, Seahawks, and Falcons would also be tied at 4-1. At that point, a tie between the Saints and Vikings would move to strength of victory. The teams that the Vikings would have beaten are currently a combined 65-101-2. The teams that the Saints would have beaten are currently a combined 78-89-1 (if they lose to the Titans) or 80-87-1 (if they lose to the Colts). That's a big enough gap that it's not clear whether it's even possible for it to close in the remaining two weeks. The Saints would almost certainly win a strength of victory tiebreaker with the Vikings.

#### Saints-Packers

The Saints and Packers did not play each other, so there isn't a head to head result to break the tie. If the Saints and Packers both win out, so that they finish tied at 13-3, then the Packers would win the tiebreaker, on the basis of a 10-2 conference record, as compared to the Saints' 9-3.

If the Packers lose both of their remaining games, they could still squeak into the playoffs at 11-5 if the Vikings also lose to the Bears. If the Saints two remaining losses come against the Colts and Titans, then they would win a tiebreaker with the Packers on the basis of a 9-3 conference record, as compared to the Packers' 8-4.

If the tie is at 11-5, and one of the Saints' remaining losses is to the Panthers, then they would finish tied with the Packers in conference record at 8-4. The Packers would then win a tiebreaker on common games, based on a 4-1 record against their common opponents of the Bears, Cowboys, 49ers, and Panthers, as compared to the Saints' 3-2 record.

Otherwise, the Saints and Packers could end up tied at 12-4. If the Saints' remaining loss comes to the Panthers, then they would lose a tiebreaker with the Packers on the basis of an 8-4 conference record, as compared to the Packers' 9-3. If the Saints' remaining loss comes to the Colts or Titans, then they would be tied with the Packers with a 9-3 conference record, and also a 4-1 record in common games.

At that point, it would go to strength of victory, which would likely result in the Saints winning the tiebreaker. Depending on exactly which game they lose, the Packers wins would be against teams that currently have a combined record of either 76-91-1 (if they beat the Vikings) or 69-97-2 (if they beat the Lions). The Saints wins would come against teams with a combined record of 80-87-1 (if they beat the Titans) or 78-89-1 (if they beat the Colts).

### Wild card ties

It is impossible to have a 3-way tie for a wild card. The only teams that could possibly get a wild card are (whichever of Seahawks and 49ers don't win the NFC West), (whichever of Packers and Vikings don't win the NFC North), and the Rams. The Seahawks and 49ers can finish no worse than 11-5, while the Rams can finish no better than 10-6.

The Saints cannot tie for a wild card position, as they have clinched their division. Seahawks-Vikings, 49ers-Packers, and Seahawks-Packers ties for wild cards would play out the same as for ties as division winners.

#### Rams-Vikings

If the Rams win out and the Vikings lose out, then the Packers will win the NFC North, and the Vikings and Rams will be tied for the second wild card. In that case, the Rams would make the playoffs by virtue of a better conference record of 8-4, as compared to the Vikings' 7-5. If the Vikings win another game or the Rams lose another, then the Rams are out and the Vikings are in the playoffs.

#### Vikings-49ers

The 49ers and Vikings did not play each other, and have the same 3-1 record against AFC teams, so they would have the same conference record.

If they finish tied at 12-4, then the Vikings would have won both of their remaining games, which means beating the Packers. They would still lose the division if the Packers win their final game against the Lions, so this could easily happen. For the 49ers to lose the division at 12-4 probably means beating the Rams, then losing to the Seahawks. In that case, the Vikings would win a tiebreaker on common games at 3-2, as compared to the 49ers' 2-3. That would give the Vikings the #5 seed, and the 49ers the #6.

It is theoretically possible for the 49ers to lose the division at 12-4 after losing to the Rams, then beating the Seahawks, but unlikely. In that case, they would be tied with the Vikings in common games at 3-2, and it would go to strength of victory. The opponents the Vikings would have beaten currently have a combined record of 65-101-2, while those that the 49ers would have beaten have a combined record of 75-91-2. The 49ers would almost certainly win that tiebreaker for the #5 seed, leaving the Vikings as the #6 seed.

The 49ers have already won 11 games, so they cannot end up tied with the Vikings with a record worse than 11-5. An 11-5 finish would mean the 49ers losing their final two games, while the Vikings win one of their last two. In that case, both would have a conference record of 8-4. If the Vikings beat the Packers, then they would have a 3-2 record in common games, as compared to the 49ers' 2-3. That would give the Vikings the #5 seed, and the 49ers the #6 seed.

If the Vikings finish 11-5 by losing to the Packers, then beating the Bears, then both the Vikings and 49ers would have a 2-3 record in common games. At that point, it goes to strength of victory, where the opponents that the Vikings would have defeated are a combined 54-98-2, while those that the 49ers beat are a combined 67-85-2. That would almost certainly result in the 49ers winning the tiebreaker for the #5 seed, while the Vikings get #6.

### Three-way ties among division winners

#### 49ers-Packers-Saints

The 49ers would win the tiebreaker for the #1 seed on a head to head sweep, as a result of having beaten both the Packers and Saints. The tiebreaker between the Packers and Saints for the #2 seed would be as above, with the caveat that the teams could not possibly be tied at 11-5, because the NFC West winner is guaranteed to have a better record than that.

#### Seahawks-Packers-Saints

The Packers never played the Seahawks or the Saints, so a head to head sweep isn't possible. If all three teams win out for 13-3 records, then the Saints would lose the conference record tiebreaker, with a 9-3 conference record, as compared to the Packers' and Seahawks' 10-2. The Seahawks would then win the two-way tiebreaker with the Packers for the #1 seed as explained above. The Packers would then win a two-way tiebreaker with the Saints for the #2 seed, leaving the Saints with the #3 seed.

If all three teams take another loss to finish at 12-4, then a lot depends on which team the Saints lose to. If the Saints lose to the Panthers, then they would lose a conference record tiebreaker with an 8-4 conference record, as compared to the Packers' and Seahawks' 9-3. The Seahawks would then win a two-way tiebreaker with the Packers as above for the #1 seed. Then Packers would again be the #2 seed, and the Saints #3.

If all three teams lose another game to finish 12-4, but the Saints beat the Panthers after losing to either the Colts or Titans, then all three teams would have a conference record of 9-3. The only common opponents would be the Panthers and 49ers, which is too few for a common games tiebreaker to be used.

At that point, it would go to strength of victory. If the Seahawks beat the 49ers, as is nearly required to win the division in the first place, then the combined current record of the opponents they would have defeated would currently be 83-84-1. The Saints' analogous record would be either 80-87-1 (if they lose to the Colts) or 78-89-1 (if they lose to the Titans). The Packers' would be 76-91-1 (if they lose to the Lions) or 69-97-2 (if they lose to the Vikings). That would likely result in the Seahawks as a #1 seed, Saints as #2, and Packers #3, but it isn't quite guaranteed. It could conceivably end up as Saints #1, at which point, the Seahawks would win a two-way tiebreaker with the Packers for #2, and the Packers would again be the #3 seed. It's very unlikely but probably possible that it could give the Packers a #1 seed, at which point, the Saints would win a two-way tiebreaker with the Seahawks for #2, and the Seahawks would be #3.

#### Seahawks-Vikings-Saints

The Seahawks beat the Vikings and lost to the Saints, while the Vikings never played the Saints, so there is no head to head sweep. For the Vikings to win their division, it must be with a 12-4 record.

If the Saints' remaining loss is to the Panthers, then they would lose a conference record tiebreaker at 8-4, as compared to the Vikings and Seahawks both at 9-3. The Seahawks would win a two-way tiebreaker for the #1 seed, and then the Vikings would win a two-way tie with the Saints on conference record for the #2 seed. The Saints would be the #3 seed.

If the Saints' remaining loss is to either the Colts or Titans, then all three teams would be tied in conference record at 9-3. Their only common opponent would be the Falcons, so there would be no common games tiebreaker. At that point, it goes to strength of victory. The Vikings would lose badly there, as the combined record of the teams they would have defeated is currently 65-101-2. The analogous number for the Saints would be 80-87-1 (if they lose to the Colts) or 78-89-1 (if they lose to the Titans). The Seahawks' would be 83-84-1 if they win the division by beating the 49ers. That probably results in the Seahawks getting a #1 seed, Saints #2, and Vikings #3. It could result in Saints #1, Seahawks #2, and then Vikings #3.

#### 49ers-Vikings-Saints

The Vikings never played the 49ers or the Saints, so a head to head sweep isn't possible. For the Vikings to win their division, it must be with a 12-4 record. For the 49ers to win their division at 12-4 would require them to lose to the Rams, then defeat the Seahawks.

If the Saints' remaining loss is against the Panthers, then they would lose a conference record tiebreaker at 8-4, as compared to the 49ers' and Vikings' 9-3. For a two-way tie between the 49ers and Vikings, they would be tied in common games at 3-2. After that it would go to strength of victory, where the opponents the 49ers would have defeated are currently 78-88-2, while those the Vikings would have defeated at 65-101-2. That would almost certainly result in the 49ers getting the #1 seed, the Vikings #2, and the Saints #3.

If the Saints' remaining loss is against the Colts or Titans, then all three teams would have the same conference record at 9-3. The only common opponent is the Falcons, so common games wouldn't matter. After that, it goes to strength of victory, where the 49ers' defeated opponents would have a combined record of 78-88-2, the Vikings' of 65-101-2, and the Saints' either 80-87-1 (if they lose to the Colts) or 78-89-1 (if they lose to the Titans). That could easily give the #1 seed to either the 49ers or the Saints.

If the 49ers get the #1 seed, then the Saints would almost certainly win a two-way tiebreaker with the Vikings on strength of victory. The Saints would then be the #2 seed, and the Vikings #3. If the Saints get the #1 seed, then the 49ers and Vikings would both be 3-2 in common games, and it would again go to strength of victory. That would almost certainly result in the 49ers getting the #2 seed, and the Vikings #3.