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By the Numbers: The NFC Playoff Picture (updated)

Here’s an update to last week’s HogWire which looked at what would happen if the NFL playoffs had started last week:

#1 Last week the Detroit Lions were the only NFC team not in the hunt for one of the six annual post season spots, this week they are still the only team not in the hunt, although the Philadelphia Eagles are doing their best to join them. The Eagles 36-7 lost to the Ravens on Sunday dropped them to 5-5-1 and behind every team in contention for a playoff berth with the exception of the Green Bay Packers who fell to 5-6 after giving up 51 points to the Saints.

#2 Each team in the NFC West lost during week 12 so, the Arizona Cardinals still hold at least a four game lead over the rest of the division.

#3 The three teams battling for the NFC North crown looks to becoming a two team race with the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings both winning and the Packers taking a step back

#4 At 6-5, the New Orleans Saints are on a two game winning streak and fourth in the NFC South, they are definitely in the playoff picture being two games out of first place. Carolina’s 45-28 lost to the Falcons allowed Tampa Bay to pull even with them at 8-3 with the Bucs 38-20 victory over the win less Lions.

#5 With just five games left in the season and no real changes in the positioning after week 12 the race to the finish line is getting tight. The Redskins are still tied for second place in the NFC East after the 49ers failed to win at Texas Stadium, and the Giants maintain a three game lead.

#6 If the playoffs had started on Wednesday, the Redskins would have faced the Arizona Cardinals in the first wild-card game… the Cardinals and Buccaneers are both in the post season with 8-3 records but Tampa Bay is tied with the Panthers for the division lead and will have the higher seed as a division winner. Tampa Bay would be seeded 2nd and would have a bye, while Carolina would face the winner of the NFC North. The Redskins would have earned the final playoff spot based on conference records, when compared to the other team in the NFC East with the same record as Washington, and the Falcons (the Redskins are 6-3, that team in Texas and Atlanta are both 5-3.)

#6.5 With Seattle losing the last Thanksgiving Day game to be played by NFL teams at Texas Stadium, the current residents of that stadium have moved pass the Washington Redskins for the final playoff spot with a 8-4 record. They also have the same conference record as the Redskins.

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