Favorites for the NFC wild-card playoff race: Seven teams for two spots, including 49ers, Eagles, Washington and Vikings

The NFC is a beautiful, chaotic mess. The conference's top tier is about as orderly as it comes: five teams with at least eight wins, including the four division leaders and the 8-4 Rams, who have a clear path to finishing no lower than fifth in the conference. Each of those five teams will enter Week 14 with at least a 95% chance of making it to the postseason, according to ESPN's Football Power Index (FPI).

The second tier might as well be thrown into a spin cycle if you want to figure out how things will shake out by Week 18. Seven teams finished the weekend with either five or six wins. Four are 5-7. Two are 6-6. One is 6-7. You could even expand this to include the 4-8 Bears, Giants and Seahawks, each of whom would be favorites to make the postseason if they won out. Realistically, though, we have seven NFC teams competing for two playoff berths. There are seven head-to-head games between these teams coming over the next five weeks. Pretty fun!

Let's run through those seven teams and take a look at their chances of being one of the two teams left standing by the time we get to the postseason. Remember that the defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers were 7-5 at this time last season and made it to the playoffs as a wild-card team; all it takes is one of these teams getting hot to dramatically influence the playoffs.

I'll start with the teams that have the longest odds of making it through Week 18, per FPI, and work toward the ones that have the best shot of making it out of this pressure cooker. Nine wins is the target for each of these teams, but which can actually get there?

Jump to a team:
Atlanta | Carolina
Minnesota | New Orleans
Philadelphia | San Francisco

7. Atlanta Falcons (5-7)

Chances to make the playoffs: 3.2%