Trap games always end up being littered throughout the NFL season for some of the better teams in the league. For the NFC, the competition is a lot less top heavy than the AFC.
But after looking through all 16 teams’ schedules, I have identified three of the biggest potential traps games in the NFC this season.
Week 15 Packers vs Bears
The Packers are almost surely going to be vying for a bye in the first round of the NFC playoffs, and while they have some hurdles to climb, they are almost surely going to be there with Seattle, Carolina and Arizona as the top teams in the NFC. However, while they might be entangled into a tough battle for getting a two-week vacation before the playoffs, late in the season brings big trap game potential in Week 15 against Chicago.
Week 14 the Packers will welcome in the Seattle Seahawks in what could be one of the bigger regular season games of the year by the time we get there. However, in between that game and a home matchup with their best divisional opponent Minnesota in Week 16 is a trip to Chicago in Week 15. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have had no problem winning in Chicago in the past, but Soldier Field is never an easy place to play, and the Chicago Bears faithful love to hate the Packers. Chicago could get a back door cover of the NFL odds in a game that the Packers will just want to come out of healthy.
Week 2 49ers vs. Panthers
The Panthers are going to be on a warpath to get back to the Super Bowl this year, but they have some big games early on in their schedule. This means that their Week 2 game against the 49ers at home could be a big trap game. After opening up the season with a Super Bowl rematch at Denver, they come back home to play the 49ers at home.
The problem is that in Week 3 the Vikings will be coming to town, which is yet another tough early-season test. The Niners are going to be one of the league’s worst teams this season, and the Panthers could overlook them, especially if they get a big win on the road to open the season. With Peyton Manning and several Super Bowl-winning pieces gone from Denver, the Panthers will have revenge on their minds. An NFL pick on a teaser or just taking the points with the Niners in Week 2 might be the play if the Panthers are caught off guard.
Week 14 Redskins vs. Eagles
The Eagles are in full rebuild mode while their divisional rival the Redskins are trying to build off a solid 9-7 season in 2015. Washington went all in on Josh Norman this offseason, and if Kirk Cousins has another season like 2015, the Redskins will fight for the NFC East. However, they also could be faced with a big trap game in a Week 14 trip just two hours north.
Washington’s Week 13 game is all the way in Arizona, and in Week 15 they welcome in the Carolina Panthers. These are two of the top four teams in the NFC this season, and the Eagles may be one of the worst four this season. Washington is a young and inexperienced team when it comes to fighting for the playoffs. Philly could surprise them in Week 14, which could really hurt their playoff chances in a week sandwiched in between two games where the Skins will easily be under.