- The San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears have the best odds to make the NFC playoffs among non-division favorites
- The Philadelphia Eagles dropped from fifth to eighth in the odds
- The Minnesota Vikings hold down seventh spot
The San Francisco 49ers haven’t found themselves in this position since the days of Colin Kaepernick and Jim Harbaugh.
The Chicago Bears haven’t found themselves in the position since … well, since last season.
Both the 49ers and Bears are positioned as favorites to earn the final two NFC postseason positions in the odds to make the NFL playoffs.
2019 NFL Playoff Odds: NFC Teams
|Team||Odds to Make||Odds To Miss|
|Los Angeles Rams||-900||+550|
|Green Bay Packers||-400||+300|
|New Orleans Saints||-290||+230|
|San Francisco 49ers||-120||-110|
*Odds taken on 09/25/19
Chicago made the playoffs last season as NFC North Division champions. The 49ers most-recently were postseason participants in 2013. Kaepernick was their quarterback and Harbaugh the head coach.
Are 49ers For Real?
San Francisco is getting the job done on both sides of the ball. The 3-0 team is the only one ranked in the top four in both total offense and total defense. San Fran is fourth in offensive yardage, gaining 421 yards per game. The Niners are #2 defensively, allowing just 283.3 ypg.
— NFL (@NFL) September 22, 2019
It’s the first time they’ve started a season 3-0 since 1998. That year, San Francisco finished 12-4 and earned a Wild Card playoff position – exactly the finish currently being projected for the 49ers this season.
It’s not all roses, however. San Francisco turned the ball five times during their 24-20 Week 3 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The 49ers own a minus-one turnover differential, despite already matching their number of takeaway from all of last season (7).
The other 12 NFL teams with a negative number in this category all have losing records.
Pick: 49ers to make playoffs (-120).
Bears Claw Back
Chicago fans suffered more heart failure during the Bears’ 10-3 Week 1 loss at Green Bay than befall the overweight guys in those Da Bears spoofs.
Back-to-back wins against the 0-3 Denver Broncos and 0-3 Washington Redskins might have applied some salve to those figurative wounds but the positive scoreboard decisions did little to cover up the problems facing Chicago.
— NFL (@NFL) September 24, 2019
It all stems from the guy under center, Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Through three games, his 5.6 yards per completion is the worst of any NFL starting QB. Chicago’s conservative play calling displays how little faith Bears coach Matt Nagy has in Trubisky’s ability.
Trubisky was 25-of-31 in Monday’s 31-15 victory over the Redskins. However, just one of his completions was for more than 15 yards. Chicago generated 24 points off Washington turnovers, including a pick-six by Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
2018 Chicago Bears Defense
•Total Points Allowed: 55
•Total Sacks: 14
2019 Chicago #Bears Defense
•Total Points Allowed: 39
•Total Sacks: 11
•Turnovers: 6 pic.twitter.com/zP055ZCRcE
— Frank Grizzly. (@GrizzlyGridiron) September 24, 2019
The Bears defense can’t keep carrying Trubisky’s water. Chicago faces the fifth-toughest schedule in the NFL this season. Trubisky is going to need to step up.
Pick: Bears to make playoffs (-115).
Where Eagles Don’t Dare
Backup QB Nick Foles, who won Philadelphia Super Bowl 52, was shipped to Jacksonville in the offseason. Once and for all, the Eagles were going to have no choice but to count on Carson Wentz.
Looking at his record – Wentz is 4-8 in his last 12 decisions – it’s easy to point the finger of blame at him for Philly’s 1-2 start. It would also display that you really aren’t paying attention.
Carson Wentz held the ball so long that his entire OL ended up just standing watching him get sacked pic.twitter.com/aPQCWcJWLj
— NOTSportsCenter (@NOTSportsCenter) September 23, 2019
When Wentz’s receivers aren’t dropping passes, his line is watching the people they were supposed to be blocking dropping Wentz.
Pro Football Focus rates Wentz as its #3 NFL QB through Week 3.
Some stats from Week 3: 19.4% of Carson Wentz's pass attempts were dropped.. The Eagles have dropped 4 passes in the 4th qtr trailing by one score.. The rest of the NFL has 7 such passes this season and it’s already more than any other QB had on such throws all last season..
— Kevin Negandhi (@KNegandhiESPN) September 25, 2019
Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins thinks the team needs to step up their mental toughness after back-to-back losses to the Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions.
Pick: Eagles to miss playoffs (-160).
Vikings Missing Cousins
Minnesota is the NFL’s #2 rushing team, averaging 193.7 yards per game. Dalvin Cook leads the league with 375 yards on the ground. But the Vikings are a dismal 31st overall in passing offense (164.7 ypg).
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) September 22, 2019
That’s alarming for a team whose QB is in the second year of a three-year, $84 million guaranteed contract. And it’s easy to make the case that the only thing holding the Vikes back from status as an elite NFL team is their missing Cousins under center.
He’s 5-26 lifetime against winning teams.
Pick: Vikings to miss playoffs (-145).
Week 4 Showdowns
While the 49ers enjoy their bye week, this next set of NFL games might offer a bit of a clearer picture in regards to which of these teams are legit contenders and which are pretenders.
The 2-1 Bears and 2-1 Vikings go head-to-head at Minnesota. Last season, the Bears ended a six-game road losing streak against the Vikings. But they’ve won consecutive games at Minny once since 1997.
The Eagles, meanwhile, visit Green Bay for a clash with the 3-0 Packers.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.