What Does History Say About the No. 5 Seed in NFC Playoffs?

What Does History Say About the No. 5 Seed in NFC Playoffs?
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

What the heck has happened to the Philadelphia Eagles?

After an amazing start of 10-1 and looking somewhat like last year's NFC champions, the Eagles have fallen off the cliff, posting a 1-5 record down the stretch to finish at 11-5. It was splash of cold water in the faces of Eagles fans, especially those who enjoy Pennsylvania sports betting.

The Eagles went from defending their NFC East Division crown for much of the season to dropping down to the fifth seed, where they will travel to face fourth-seeded Tampa Bay (9-8), the NFC South champion, in the Monday’s final game of Wild Card Weekend (ESPN, 8 p.m.). The end of the season flop plummeted the Eagles’ Super Bowl odds.

Utilizing NFL.com, PennStakes.com looked at how teams played in the NFL playoffs as the No. 5 seed in the NFC since the 2000-01 season. There have been 23 teams since that time as the fifth seed. Note: The NFL Playoffs altered to include a seventh seed in 2020-21, which slightly alters the data. Here is where the No. 5 seed stands up in recent memory:

Playoff Performance of NFC #5 Seeds (Since 2000)

SituationNumber of TeamsPercentage
Winning Wild Card Round9 of 2339.1%
Winning Divisional Round4 of 2317.4%
Winning Conference Championship2 of 238.7%
Winning Super Bowl2 of 238.7%

This information is compiled by Penn Stakes.com and is not available on PA sportsbook apps.

Sorting Through No. 3 Seed Data

Since the 2000-01 season, nine of the 23 NFC teams (39.1% chance) seeded fifth won the Wild Card Round and advanced. This is where the drop-off starts to happen with each ensuing round.

Four of the 23 (17.4%) won a Divisional Round game and just two of the 23 (8.7%)  advanced to the Super Bowl. That would be the Eli Manning-led New York Giants (2007) and the Tom Brady-led Buccaneers (2020). Both won the Super Bowl that year (two of 23 teams, 8.7%).

ESPN BET Wild-Card Monday Updated Odds

Surprisingly, the Eagles are 3-point and -150 moneyline favorite over Tampa Bay (+130), with the game's over/under point total at 44.5 points at ESPN Bet Pennsylvania.

Bonus Bets Expire in 7 Days. One New Customer Offer Only. Must be 21+ to participate & present in PA. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. Visit BetMGM.com for Terms & Conditions. US promotional offers not available in NY, NV, or Puerto Rico.


Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media (NJ.com) in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.

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