NFL playoff picture 2013: Seahawks and Saints will battle for NFC's top seed

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Are you ready for a Monday night game with playoff implications? Here's how the race shapes up ahead of Monday's game in Seattle.

Monday Night Football lucked out in Week 13.

After an inconsistent slate of matchups in 2013, Monday Night Football will feature the Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints, the top two seeds in the NFC. The winner will have the upper hand when it comes to claiming the top spot in the conference and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.

That sure beats the Redskins-Giants matchup from Sunday night, though the game proved entertaining. Here's the rest of the ever-evolving NFL playoff picture after Week 13.

AFC Playoff Picture

1. Denver Broncos (10-2)

2. New England Patriots (9-3)

3. Indianapolis Colts (8-4)

4. Cincinnati Bengals (8-4)

5. Kansas City Chiefs (9-3)

6. Baltimore Ravens (6-6)

The Denver Broncos stayed a game ahead of the New England Patriots in Week 13 after beating the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. The Bengals and Colts took care of business against the Chargers and the Titans, two teams that are a notch below the Miami Dolphins on the bubble. Speaking of which ...

On the bubble

Miami Dolphins (6-6)

The Miami Dolphins don't have the tiebreaker on the Ravens, but they have been winning lately. Four teams have a 5-7 records. The Chargers, Steelers, Jets and Titans all dropped to 5-7 with losses in Week 13. That bodes well for Miami and Baltimore, as time is running out on those 5-7 teams. It's possible an 8-8 team could sneak into the playoffs, but it appears more likely one of those 5-7 teams would need to win out to earn the No. 6 seed.

Big Week 14 games

The Colts and Bengals face off in Week 14, which will likely determine which team gets the No. 3 seed and which gets the No. 4. The game should give both teams a good idea of where they stand in the conference. The biggest game with wild card implications in between the Dolphins and the Steelers. A win would put Pittsburgh right back in the hunt.

NFC Playoff Picture

*Denotes a team that hasn't completed its Week 13 game yet

1. Seattle Seahawks (10-1)*

2. New Orleans Saints (9-2)*

3. Detroit Lions (7-5)

4. Dallas Cowboys (7-5)

5. Carolina Panthers (9-3)

6. San Francisco 49ers (8-4)

As mentioned above, the NFC playoff picture will be a bit more clear after Monday Night Football. Not only will the game between the Seahawks and Saints go a long way toward determining the No. 1 seed in the NFC, but it will make either the NFC West or NFC South race quite interesting.

On the bubble

Philadelphia Eagles (7-5), Arizona Cardinals (7-5), Chicago Bears (6-6)

The Eagles are breathing down the Cowboys' collective neck, while the Cardinals and Bears both sit just one game out of the playoffs. The 49ers and Panthers appear unlikely to surrender their playoff spots, so the Eagles and Bears will likely have to get into the playoffs through their respective divisions.

Big Week 14 games

Two matchups between the NFC North and NFC East could help decide those division races. The Bears and Cowboys play one another in Week 14, while the Eagles and Lions will also play. Not only could the division races be easier to figure out after next weekend, but so will the seeding in the NFC.

The bigger games in Week 14 will be between the Saints and Panthers and the 49ers and Seahawks. Those might be the four best teams in the NFC, and they'll provide the headlines in Week 14.

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