NFL Playoffs 2012-13: Predicting NFC's Remaining Playoff Seeds

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NFL Playoffs 2012-13: Predicting NFC's Remaining Playoff Seeds
USA TODAY Sports

It's do-or-die time for some playoff contenders in the NFC with just two weeks remaining in the regular season.

The Washington Redskins are in control of the NFC East at the moment, but that could change in a hurry. The San Francisco 49ers still have to beat the Seattle Seahawks this week to clinch the NFC West, and the Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears, New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys are all fighting for playoff spots.

But who will take the remaining playoff seeds in the NFC? 

Here are my predictions.

 

2. San Francisco 49ers (12-3-1)

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

I expect the 49ers to win their next two games against the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals to claim the NFC West and the No. 2 seed in the NFC.

Seattle will give San Francisco a challenge, especially at CenturyLink Field, but I like the 49ers' rushing attack against the Seahawks' beatable run defense.

 

4. Washington Redskins (10-6)

Rob Carr/Getty Images

With the NFC East on the line, look for the Redskins to win their next two games against the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys.

Robert Griffin III is expected to return to the field against the bumbling Eagles (per NFL.com) and the Cowboys have had trouble stopping the run this season, allowing 4.5 yards per carry (23rd in the league).

 

5. New York Giants (10-6)

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By winning their next two games against the Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles, I expect the Giants to sneak into the playoffs.

Eli Manning had a rough game against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 15, but I don't expect that to continue against a disappointing Ravens pass defense. Also, Baltimore's offense has been mighty inconsistent this season, evidenced by the team's 34-17 loss to the Denver Broncos in Week 15.

 

6. Seattle Seahawks (10-6)

Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

I wouldn't count the Seahawks out against the 49ers in Week 16, but I do think they lose that contest.

However, they play at home again in Week 17 against the St. Louis Rams and a win there should boost them into the playoffs. Although the Seahawks lost to the Rams in Week 3, this is a completely different team now, and it starts with rookie quarterback Russell Wilson.

 

Note: I see the Vikings losing to the Houston Texans and Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys losing to the New Orleans Saints and Washington Redskins. The Chicago Bears will win both of their games against the Arizona Cardinals and Detroit Lions, but it won't matter.

 

NFC PLAYOFF PICTURE

DIVISION LEADERS
 No. 1 Seed Atlanta Falcons (12-2) Clinched NFC South
 No. 2 Seed San Francisco 49ers (10-3-1) Lead NFC West; Clinched Playoff Berth
 No. 3 Seed Green Bay Packers (10-4) Clinched NFC North
 No. 4 Seed Washington Redskins (8-6) Lead NFC East

 

WILD CARD LEADERS
 No. 5 Seed Seattle Seahawks (9-5)
 No. 6 Seed Minnesota Vikings (8-6)

 

IN THE HUNT
 Chicago Bears (8-6)
 Dallas Cowboys (8-6)
 New York Giants (8-6)
 St. Louis Rams (6-7-1)
 New Orleans Saints (6-8)

 

AFC PLAYOFF PICTURE

DIVISION LEADERS
 No. 1 Seed Houston Texans (12-2) Clinched AFC South
 No. 2 Seed Denver Broncos (11-3) Clinched AFC West
 No. 3 Seed New England Patriots (10-4) Clinched AFC East
 No. 4 Seed Baltimore Ravens (9-5) Lead AFC North; Clinched Playoff Berth

 

WILD CARD LEADERS
 No. 5 Seed Indianapolis Colts (9-5)
 No. 6 Seed Cincinnati Bengals (8-6)

 

IN THE HUNT
 Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7)
 Miami Dolphins (6-8)
 

 

REMAINING SCHEDULE

NFC

Atlanta: vs. Detroit, vs. Chicago

San Francisco: at Seattle, vs. Arizona

Green Bay: vs. Tennessee, at Minnesota

Washington: at Philadelphia, vs. Dallas

Seattle: vs. San Francisco, vs. St. Louis

Minnesota: at Houston, vs. Green Bay

Chicago: at Arizona, vs. Detroit

Dallas: vs. New Orleans, at Washington

New York: at Baltimore, vs. Philadelphia

St. Louis: at Tampa Bay, at Seattle

New Orleans: at Dallas, vs. Carolina

 

AFC

Houston: vs. Minnesota, at Indianapolis

Denver: vs. Cleveland, vs. Kansas City

New England: at Jacksonville, vs. Miami

Baltimore: vs. New York Giants, at Cincinnati

Indianapolis: at Kansas City, vs. Houston

Cincinnati: at Pittsburgh, vs. Baltimore

Pittsburgh: vs. Cincinnati, vs. Cleveland

Miami: vs. Buffalo, at New England

 

Playoff scenarios on NFL.com (for reference).


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