NFL Picks Week 17: How the NFC Playoff Bubble Teams Will Fare

Jeremy FuchsCorrespondent IIIDecember 25, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 22:  Jeff Backus #76 of the Detroit Lions blocks Julius Peppers #90 of the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on October 22, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Lions 13-7.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

There are still a few playoff spots to be decided in the NFC. The sixth seed is up for grabs, as is the NFC East champion. There are four games that have playoff implications on Sunday. 

How will these games play out? Which playoff bubble teams will succeed? We'll tell you below.


Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions

Chicago will make the playoffs with a win and a Vikings loss or tie. The Lions are coming off a miserable loss against the Falcons and have had a largely disappointing season. The only bright spot for Detroit has been Calvin Johnson, who set the single-season record for most receiving yards. 

Luckily for the Bears, the last time these two teams met, Johnson was held to three catches for 34 yards and zero touchdowns.

The only way the Bears can win is if they can limit Calvin Johnson. Cornerback Charles Tillman has had a fantastic year and will be able to have some success in holding Johnson down.

The Bears will surely do their part to win but will have to hope that the Vikings lose to make the postseason.


Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins

The winner of this game will win the NFC East and slide in as the fourth seed. Additionally, the Redskins can lose this game and sneak into the playoffs if the Vikings and Bears also lose.

This division rivalry will be a hard-fought game. These hated rivals will do whatever they can to win.

Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is still recovering from injury and is clearly not 100 percent. The Cowboys' best defensive player, DeMarcus Ware, is also struggling from injury. 

Still, the Redskins beat Dallas on Thanksgiving, and they are, by all measures, a better team. The home-field advantage will seal it, and the Redskins will end up winning the NFC East. 


Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants

The Giants need a lot of help to get into the playoffs. Not only do they need to win, but they need the Vikings, Bears and Cowboys to all lose. Tough break.

The Giants have been awful the past two weeks, losing 34-0 to the Falcons and 33-14 to the Ravens. They are limping to the finish line.

Luckily for the Giants, the Eagles are playing even worse, as they have lost 10 of their last 11. Michael Vick is expected to return for the first time since November 11th.

Vick will be rusty, and the Eagles will continue their season-long woes, as the Giants should cruise to a victory. 


Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings

If the Vikings can beat the Packers, then they will be assured of a playoff spot, regardless of what happens in the other games. They control their own destiny.

The Packers have a chance to lock up the second seed and a first-round bye with a win or losses by San Francisco and Seattle.

The Packers may decide to rest some of their players, which plays into the Vikings' hand. In addition, the Packers have a middling run defense, giving up almost 112 yards per game. With Adrian Peterson averaging a ridiculous six yards per carry.

The Packers did beat Minnesota earlier in the season by a score of 23-14. Despite that, the Vikings are fighting for their playoff lives, and the Packers will rest some of their star players, which should lead to Vikings victory and a playoff berth.