NFC Playoff Picture 2013: Updated Look at Crowded Postseason Race

Tim KeeneyContributor IDecember 23, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 23:  Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins celebrates after a Washington Redskins first down in the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on December 23, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

All six postseason spots in the AFC have been clinched, but the NFC is still wide open.

Well, as wide open as it can be with just one week of action left to play. 

The Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers still have a Sunday night battle with crucial playoff implications on the line, but let's take an updated look at the stacked conference with most of Week 16 in the books. 


Minnesota Vikings (9-6)

Much like they've been doing all season, the Vikings proved precisely 97.7 percent of the population wrong on Sunday when they went into Houston and knocked off the Texans. 

Leslie Frazier's squad now controls its own fate: If it beats a similarly red-hot Green Bay Packers team next Sunday at home, it will earn a wild-card spot. 


Chicago Bears (9-6)

After barely slipping past Arizona with a 28-13 win, the Bears must now beat Detroit in Week 17 and hope Minnesota loses. That would give the Bears the final wild-card seed. 


NFC East Mess

The Washington Redskins (9-6) took care of business and beat the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, but the Dallas Cowboys (8-7) slipped up at home against the New Orleans Saints in overtime. 

Still, though, the Cowboys have hope. Because they have a better win percentage than Washington in common games and better win percentage in division games than the New York Giants, Dallas' Week 17 matchup with the Redskins will serve as the NFC East championship. 

If Dallas finds a way to win that one, Washington would need both Minnesota and Chicago to lose to make the postseason as a Wild Card. 

The Giants, meanwhile, are somehow still alive after a drubbing by the Baltimore Ravens. If they beat the Eagles in Week 17 and if Chicago, Dallas and Minnesota all lose, New York will stumble into a wild-card spot. 

Can we all just agree to give the Redskins the only postseason spot out of the NFC East, as they are least likely to drive everyone crazy with bi-polar play?

Don't answer that. 



 No. 1 Seed Atlanta Falcons (13-2) Clinched Home-field Advantage
 No. 2 Seed San Francisco 49ers (10-3-1) Lead NFC West; Clinched Playoff Berth
 No. 3 Seed Green Bay Packers (11-4) Clinched NFC North
 No. 4 Seed Washington Redskins (9-6) Lead NFC East


 No. 5 Seed Seattle Seahawks (9-5)
 No. 6 Seed Minnesota Vikings (9-6)


 Chicago Bears (9-6)
 Dallas Cowboys (8-7)
 New York Giants (8-7)