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NFC Playoff Picture: Week 14

Cardinals have fallen behind Vikings for final wild card spot


The Cardinals are now on the outside looking in of the playoffs following their Week 13 loss to the Rams. The Vikings beat the Jaguars on Sunday to overtake the Cardinals for the final wild card spot. The teams have identical 6-6 records, but Minnesota holds the tiebreaker via a better win percentage in common games.

Here is a look at the NFC playoff picture heading into Week 14:

1. New Orleans Saints (10-2): The Saints became the first team in the NFC to clinch a playoff spot by knocking off the Falcons on Sunday. They have won nine straight games and could be getting quarterback Drew Brees back soon from a ribs injury.

2. Green Bay Packers (9-3): The Packers moved up to the No. 2 seed in the conference with a win over the Eagles. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is playing like an MVP candidate.

3. Los Angeles Rams (8-4): The Rams returned to the top of the NFC West after knocking off the Cardinals. They hold the tiebreaker over the Seahawks after beating them head-to-head earlier this year.

4. New York Giants (5-7): The Giants upset Seattle last time out to hold onto the divisional lead. New York has won four straight games, but the Washington Football Team beat the previously-undefeated Steelers on Monday to enter Week 14 with the same record.

5. Seattle Seahawks (8-4): The Seahawks were big favorites against the Giants but the offense struggled in the loss. Seattle has the top wild card spot but is hoping to retake the lead from the Rams in the division down the stretch.

6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5): The Buccaneers had a late-season bye in Week 13 and remain as the No. 6 seed in the NFC. The Saints are so far ahead in the division that Tampa Bay will need to secure a wild card berth to make the playoffs.

7. Minnesota Vikings (6-6): The Vikings began the season 1-5 but have reeled off five victories in their past six games to ascend to the final wild card spot. Minnesota has a tough schedule down the stretch: at the Buccaneers, vs. the Bears, at the Saints and at the Lions.

In the hunt: Arizona Cardinals (6-6): Chicago Bears (5-7); San Francisco 49ers (5-7): Washington Football Team (5-7); Atlanta Falcons (4-8); Carolina Panthers (4-8); Philadelphia Eagles (3-8-1); Dallas Cowboys (3-8).

What's on the line for the Cardinals in Week 14: The Cardinals hit the road to face the NFC East-leading Giants in a pivotal matchup for both teams. Even though they have lost three straight, the Cardinals are still in the thick of the playoff picture. If they win on Sunday, they will move back into a wild card spot, passing either the Vikings or the Buccaneers, who face off against each other this week.