The playoff picture is set. The Cardinals finished 13-3 with Sunday’s loss to the Seahawks and will enter the postseason as the No. 2 seed in the NFC. The Panthers were the other team to secure a first-round bye, and the other four NFC participants will duke it out in the wild card round. Here is a look at the seedings and pairings.
1) Carolina Panthers (15-1) – The Panthers rolled past the Buccaneers in their finale to clinch the top seed, and will await the lowest seed in the NFC Divisional round.
2) Arizona Cardinals (13-3) –
3) Minnesota Vikings (11-5) – The Vikings defeated the Packers in the season finale to wrap up the NFC North and earn a first-round home game, although it’s against Seattle.
4) Washington Redskins (9-7) – The Redskins enter the postseason with a four-game winning streak, the longest of any NFC playoff team.
5) Green Bay Packers (10-6) – Green Bay hasn’t looked right during the second half of the season and hopes it can iron out the issues in the playoffs.
6) Seattle Seahawks (10-6) – The Seahawks are dangerous, but the Vikings’ victory means Seattle will need to win three straight road games to make it to a third consecutive Super Bowl.
First-round matchups: No. 6 Seahawks at No. 3 Vikings on Sunday at 11:05 AM (MT); No. 5 Packers at No. 4 Redskins on Sunday at 2:40 PM (MT).
How it sets up for the Cardinals: The Cardinals don’t know their opponent for the divisional round yet, but it won’t be the Seahawks. Since Seattle is the lowest seed, it can only go to Carolina with a victory. The Cards will face the Vikings, Packers or Redskins, depending on how this weekend’s games turn out. They defeated both Green Bay and Minnesota in the regular season. Washington hasn’t beaten a team above .500 this year.