The only clear image in the NFC playoff picture is the Atlanta Falcons.
The Falcons clinched the NFC’s No. 1 seed last week, and don’t have to bother with the numerous permutations their conference’s playoffs tree can grow.
While currently at No. 2, the Green Bay Packers need a win over the Minnesota Vikings to guarantee a first-round bye and at least one game at Lambeau.
The Packers are trying to stave off the San Francisco 49ers. Should San Francisco beat the Arizona Cardinals, thus clinching the NFC West, and Green Bay lose, the 49ers get the first-round bye and home game thanks to their win over the Packers in Week 1.
But San Francisco could fall as low as the No. 5 seed if they lose. The Seattle Seahawks can take over their division with a 49ers loss and a victory over the St. Louis Rams, the team that San Francisco couldn’t put away this year.
Then there are the wild card spots. Seattle and Minnesota own the NFC’s last two tickets to the postseason, but that could change in several ways.
Should the Vikings beat Green Bay and Seattle lose, Minnesota takes the No. 5 seed from the Seahawks thanks to a better division record. However the Vikings could be bounced out of the playoffs if they lose and the Chicago Bears beat the Detroit Lions.
Wins by Seattle, San Francisco, and Minnesota mean the Vikings and Packers will play in the first-round at Green Bay. The Seahawks would then face the the NFC East winner.
The Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins will decide who wins the division Sunday night. Dallas can only make the playoffs by winning the division, but the Redskins can still make it if both Chicago and Minnesota lose.
The New York Giants now need Dallas, Chicago and Minnesota to lose in order to snag a wild card spot.