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NFC Playoff Picture - Week 16

A look at how the postseason is lining up for the Cardinals and other NFC hopefuls


The Cardinals moved to 12-2 on the season and clinched the NFC West with a 40-17 rout of the Eagles on Sunday night.  Another key game is up next when the Cardinals host the Packers in Week 16. With two games left on the docket, here is a look at how the NFC playoff picture is shaping up.

Current standings:

1) Carolina Panthers (14-0) – The Panthers blew a huge lead and then kicked a game-winning field goal against the Giants to keep alive their unblemished season.

2) Arizona Cardinals (12-2) – It was nearly a perfect win in Philadelphia until safety Tyrann Mathieu was lost for the season to a torn ACL in the fourth quarter.

3) Green Bay Packers (10-4) – Another less-than-stellar victory for Green Bay in Oakland, but the Packers remain alive for a first-round bye.

4) Washington Redskins (7-7) – Redskins can clinch the NFC East by beating the Eagles on Sunday.

5) Seattle Seahawks (9-5) – Seattle has won five straight after a slow start but will finish as a wild card team after Cardinals clinched the division.

6) Minnesota Vikings (9-5) – Vikings should get into playoffs, but would love to catch the Packers for NFC North title.

In the hunt: Atlanta Falcons (7-7); Philadelphia Eagles (6-8); New York Giants (6-8)

What's on the line for the Cardinals:  The Cardinals can wrap up a first-round bye with a home win over the Packers on Sunday afternoon. It would also allow coach Bruce Arians to rest some key starters in the regular season finale against the Seahawks if he so chose. If the Packers win the game, they would hold a tiebreaker over the Cardinals, meaning the Week 17 results would be of importance. The Cardinals are technically still alive for the No. 1 seed, but would need to win out and have the Panthers lose their final two games to claim the top spot.

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