Two 2012-2013 NFL playoff seeds remain unclaimed.
Still alive in the race for the final wild-card spot are five teams: the Washington Redskins, Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants. And just to make things more complicated, Dallas and the Washington Redskins will compete in what’s basically an NFC East Championship Game next week.
Here’s how those teams’ seasons will end.
Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys
The Skins enter the season finale on a six-game winning streak. One of those wins was over the Cowboys. And on top of that, they’re at home.
Dallas couldn’t take care of business against a 6-8 New Orleans Saints team on Sunday so there’s no reason to expect it to beat Robert Griffin III and company.
Washington will move to 10-6 clinching the division while the Cowboys fall to 8-8 and are eliminated.
Minnesota looks like a team of destiny right now.
But so do the Green Bay Packers.
Green Bay has won four straight games and as hot as the Vikings are, it’s difficult to imagine them defeating the Packers. For crying out loud, Minnesota just lost to them 23-14 this month despite a 210-yard rushing effort by Adrian Peterson.
The Vikings aren’t eliminated, though, until another team in the playoff race wins.
Chicago got so lucky.
Detroit is riding the longest losing streak in the NFL. It’s lost seven games in a row. The Bears would have to pull off a choke job of historic proportions to blow this one.
They just imposed their will on the Arizona Cardinals who imposed their will on the Lions last week. So, barring 17 Jay Cutler interceptions, Chicago will sneak into the playoffs by the skin of its teeth, which officially eliminates the Vikings and Giants.
New York Giants
It’s a shame that the Giants needed a Christmas miracle to sneak into the postseason because they should beat down the Eagles in Week 17. Of course, the G-Men were outscored 67-14 the last two weeks so who knows? But either way, this game will end up being meaningless.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.