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NFC Playoff Picture: Week 14

Cardinals remain No. 1 heading into showdown on 'Monday Night Football'


The Cardinals have the first-round playoff bye position in the conference and the best record in the league, heading into Week 14. With five games remaining, the question is, can the Cardinals maintain it?

No.1 Arizona Cardinals (10-2): Fresh off a bye week, the Cardinals took care of business Sunday at Soldier Field to remain with the league's best record. The Cardinals have a big divisional showdown against the Rams in Week 14.

No. 2 Green Bay Packers (9-3): Green Bay remains on the Cardinals' heels for the top spot in the conference following a Week 13 bye. Three of its next five upcoming opponents are against teams with losing records. Green Bay has a divisional matchup against Chicago in Week 14.

No. 3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-3): Tampa Bay's victory over Atlanta Sunday pulled them even with Green Bay record-wise and within a game of the top-seeded Cardinals. Tampa Bay faces Buffalo in Week 14 and can clinch the NFC South division title with a victory.

No. 4 Dallas Cowboys (8-4): Dallas captured a much-needed win Thursday in New Orleans after two consecutive losses to AFC teams. However, with Washington winning four straight games, their lead atop the NFC East has shrunk. Dallas will face Washington in a must-win divisional game in Week 14.

No. 5 Los Angeles Rams (8-4): After blowing out Jacksonville on Sunday at SoFi Stadium following three consecutive disappointing losses, the Rams have a much bigger test against the Cardinals on "Monday Night Football." In Week 3, the Rams were outplayed in a blowout loss to Arizona and must beat the Cardinals in round two to keep a realistic shot at winning the NFC West.

No. 6 Washington Football Team (6-6): Washington is putting pressure on Dallas' lead in the NFC East division and is in the thick of the playoff picture. Washington had lost four of its last five before their Week 9 Bye and, since then, are winners of four consecutive games. Both teams will meet in a crucial divisional matchup in Week 14.

No. 7 San Francisco (6-6): The 49ers' heartbreaking loss Sunday to Seattle knocked them down in the standings, and they are now 1-4 against NFC West opponents this season. They will play Cincinnati in Week 14.

In the Hunt: Philadelphia Eagles (6-7), Minnesota Vikings (5-7), Carolina Panthers (5-7), Atlanta Falcons (5-7), New Orleans Saints (5-7).

What's on the line for the Cardinals in Week 14: The Cardinals will face the Los Angeles Rams in Week 14 with the No.1 potentially seed on the line. Since Green Bay owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Cardinals after beating them earlier in the season, the Cardinals must maintain a better record to hold the spot. If the Rams defeat the Cardinals on Monday and Green Bay defeats Chicago on Sunday, the No.1 seed will reside in Green Bay. The Cardinals also would clinch a playoff spot with a victory over the Rams.