NFL playoff picture 2012: NFC spots still up for grabs

Christian Petersen

Three of the NFC's six playoff spots are still unclaimed heading into Sunday Night Football in Week 16.

Although the AFC already locked in its six combatants for the 2012-13 postseason in Week 16, as many as six teams in the NFC remain firmly in the hunt for a playoff berth following Sunday's slate of games.

Currently in possession of the No. 5 seed in the conference heading into their pivotal Sunday Night Football showdown with the San Francisco 49ers, the Seattle Seahawks will control their own destiny and can punch their ticket to the playoffs with a victory in Week 16.

Hopeful that Pete Carroll's team will be unable to slow down the 49ers to finish the week is a trio of NFC contenders including Chicago, Dallas and New York. The Bears picked up a 15-point win over a lowly Arizona team on Sunday to stay alive, while Adrian Peterson and the rival Vikings did the same with an impressive 23-6 win over one of the league's best in the Houston Texans. Unable to strengthen their cases for postseason, both Dallas and New York fell off the pace with losses.

The Washington Redskins also stayed in the thick of the race with a 27-20 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, a win that effectively put Robert Griffin III and his teammates into the No. 4 spot in the conference. The Redskins will square off against an 8-7 Dallas team in Week 17 with both the division title and a playoff berth on the line.

Current NFC Playoff Projections

1. Falcons 13-2
2. 49ers 10-3-1
3. Packers 11-4
4. Redskins 9-6
5. Seahawks 9-5
6. Vikings 9-6
7. Bears 9-6
8. Cowboys 8-7
9. Giants 8-7

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