NFL Playoff Picture: Seahawks Storm Into NFC Wild Card Chase

The NFC Wild Card race is one of the wilder races in the 2011 NFL playoff picture. Not only are presumed contenders in the NFC East and NFC North falling out of it, but the NFC West's got two of the hottest teams in the mix.

The Seattle Seahawks' 38-14 win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday moved them to 7-7 on the year, and tied them with the Bears and New York Giants, 23-10 losers to the Washington Redskins, for the "first team out" spot in the NFC Wild Card chase. Worse still for the Bears and Giants: they each need to have a better record than the Seahawks at season's end to earn a Wild Card berth, because Seattle holds tie-breakers against both squads.

All three teams are still looking up at the 9-5 Atlanta Falcons, who can clinch a playoff berth with a win in Week 16, and the Detroit Lions, who can put themselves in position to do the same with a win over the Oakland Raiders in a Sunday late game. But the Arizona Cardinals could join the party at 7-7, too, should they beat the Cleveland Browns.

And the Falcons and Lions still have games remaining with the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers, respectively. So there's a bit of hope for everyone!

For more on the 2011 NFL playoffs, visit SB Nation NFL.

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