For teams on the outside of the NFL playoff picture looking in, time is running out.
That's why Week 14 of the 2012 campaign presents football fans across the country with an array of pivotal games that could be the difference between suiting up for the postseason or watching it on television.
Heading into this critical weekend of the season, here's a look at the teams that will emerge with key victories and keep their postseason dreams intact going into the final three weeks of the season.
Arizona at Seattle
The Seahawks need a win at home over the Cardinals to stay ahead of Dallas, Washington and Tampa Bay in the race for the final wild-card berth in the NFC.
Fortunately, they're up against an Arizona team that is coming off a demoralizing 7-6 loss to the sad-sack New York Jets, and the Seahawks are fresh off a feel-good win over a very solid Chicago Bears squad.
On Sunday, Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks offense will manage to get the victory because, let's be honest, Arizona is not going to put more than 10 points on the board against Seattle's defense.
Prediction: Seattle 20, Arizona 9
Baltimore at Washington
Three weeks ago, the Washington Redskins looked finished after they played terribly and dropped what should have been an easy win to the Carolina Panthers.
However, since then, Robert Griffin III, Alfred Morris and Pierre Garcon have lead the 'Skins to three straight wins. And at 6-6, D.C. is suddenly back in the postseason hunt.
In Week 14, the Redskins will take on a Baltimore Ravens team that is missing some key defensive players, and RGIII's offense will key Washington to a fourth consecutive victory, despite Ray Rice and Joe Flacco's best efforts.
Prediction: Washington 31, Baltimore 27
Philadelphia at Tampa Bay
Like the Redskins, the Buccaneers are in dire need of a win in Week 14, and fortunately for Josh Freeman and company, they'll be taking on a 3-9 Eagles team that is in utter disarray.
Philadelphia has clearly given up on its season, quarterback and head coach, and Tampa Bay will win this game unless they completely self-destruct.
Doug Martin, Vincent Jackson and Freeman will have big days against a struggling Eagles secondary, and Tampa Bay will keep their postseason aspirations alive for another week.
Prediction: Tampa Bay 24, Philadelphia 13
San Diego at Pittsburgh
The 7-5 Steelers will play host to the increasingly dysfunctional San Diego Chargers on Sunday, and Pittsburgh needs a win to stay a game up on the Cincinnati Bengals in the race for the sixth and final AFC wild-card berth.
Fortunately, with Ben Roethlisberger back on the field, the Steelers offense will have a much easier time outgunning Philip Rivers, Ryan Mathews and the Chargers, and Pittsburgh will roll to its second straight victory.
San Diego's pass defense is 21st in the league heading into Week 14, so Big Ben and the Steelers will score enough to put this one away early.
Prediction: Pittsburgh 34, San Diego 27
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