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The NFC playoff picture

Ahmad Bradshaw of the New York Giants runs

Ahmad Bradshaw of the New York Giants runs the ball against the Washington Redskins. (Dec. 5, 2010) Credit: Getty Images

Sure, a record that's four games above .500 after back-to-back wins gives the impression that the Giants are sitting pretty. After all, Ahmad Bradshaw is keeping the ball in his breadbasket, Eli Manning all of the sudden has throngs of options at wide receiver, and the defense solved its years-long Donovan McNabb problem.

However, a closer look shows that if the Giants can't corral the division away from the Eagles, they'll be in for an extremely tough fight for one of two Wild Card spots. Their opposition? The Packers, a hip pick to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, and the team that did so last year, the Saints.

And yes, we know both the 4-8 49ers and the 3-9 Cardinals are in the race for the NFC West division title (seriously). We just couldn't in good conscience include those two "powerhouses" in a discussion about postseason football, though.

The NFC playoff picture with four games left

1. Atlanta Falcons 10-2
2. Chicago Bears 9-3
3. Philadelphia Eagles 8-4
4. St. Louis Rams 6-6
5. New Orleans Saints 9-3
6. New York Giants 8-4
7. Green Bay Packers 8-4
8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7-5
9. Seattle Seahawks 6-6

Key games coming up this week

Giants at Minnesota
St. Louis at New Orleans
Seattle at San Francisco
New England at Chicago
Philadelphia at Dallas

Remaining schedules for each team

Atlanta

Dec. 12: at Carolina (1-11)
Dec. 19: at Seattle (6-6)
Dec. 26: vs. New Orleans (9-3)
Jan. 2: vs. Carolina (1-11)
Combined record of remaining opponents: 17-31 (.354)

Chicago

Dec. 12: vs. New England (10-2)
Dec. 19: at Minnesota (5-7)
Dec. 23: vs. Jets (9-3)
Jan. 2: at Green Bay (8-4)
Combined record of remaining opponents: 32-16 (.667)

Philadelphia

Dec. 12: at Dallas (4-8)
Dec. 19: at Giants (8-4)
Dec. 26: vs. Minnesota (5-7)
Jan. 2: vs. Dallas (4-8)
Combined record of remaining opponents: 21-27 (.438)

St. Louis

Dec. 12: at New Orleans (9-3)
Dec. 19: vs. Kansas City (8-4)
Dec. 26: vs. San Francisco (4-8)
Jan. 2: at Seattle (6-6)
Combined record of remaining opponents: 27-21 (.563)

New Orleans

Dec. 12: vs. St. Louis (6-6)
Dec. 19: at Baltimore (8-4)
Dec. 26: at Atlanta (10-2)
Jan. 2: vs. Tampa Bay (7-5)
Combined record of remaining opponents: 31-17 (.646)

Giants

Dec. 9: at Minnesota (5-7)
Dec. 19: vs. Philadelphia (8-4)
Dec. 26: at Green Bay (8-4)
Jan. 2: at Washington (5-7)
Combined record of remaining opponents: 26-22 (.542)

Green Bay

Dec. 9: at Detroit (2-10)
Dec. 19: at New England (10-2)
Dec. 26: vs. Giants (8-4)
Jan. 2: vs. Chicago (9-3)
Combined record of remaining opponents: 29-19 (.604)

Tampa Bay

Dec. 12: at Washington (5-7)
Dec. 19: vs. Detroit (2-10)
Dec. 26: vs. Seattle (6-6)
Jan. 2: at New Orleans (9-3)
Combined record of remaining opponents: 22-26 (.458)


Seattle

Dec. 12: at San Francisco (4-8)
Dec. 19: vs. Atlanta (10-2)
Dec. 26: at Tampa Bay (7-5)
Jan 2: vs. St. Louis (6-6)
Combined record of remaining opponents: 27-21 (.563) 

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