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NFL Playoff Picture Remains Anything but Clear

With just four weeks left in the NFL regular season, the playoff picture is anything but clear. Thus far, there are teams that have already qualified for the postseason – Atlanta, Denver, Houston and New England and there are others – Baltimore and San Francisco that could qualify this weekend.

Both the 49ers and Ravens lost last weekend and had to put their postseason celebrations on hold. This weekend both Atlanta and Houston could lock down home field advantage with wins or losses by other teams close to them in the standings.

Houston is 11-1 on the season and unbeaten as a road warrior and can wrap up the AFC South and secure a bye in the first round with a win over the New England Patriots Monday night, combined with the Indianapolis Colts getting upset by the Tennessee Titans.

If Houston were to defeat New England, it would get them even closer to clinching the top seed for the playoffs in the AFC. The Monday Night matchup will feature two of the league’s top teams with both entering the game having won six consecutive games.

Matt Schaub the Houston quarterback said his team is currently in a tremendous position and need to continue through until the regular season ends. He added that they had to take advantage of the situation they had made for themselves and prepare themselves to play their best football in late December and through January.

Atlanta is also 11-1 on the season and has clinched the NFC South division. With a win today over the Carolina Panthers, the Falcons can secure a bye for the first round and home field advantage. Atlanta, besides needing to beat the Panthers, needs either the Chicago Bears or 49ers and Green Bay to loss in order to seal the bye and all three would have to lose for them to nail down home field advantage for the duration of the NFC playoffs.

The Green Bay Packers and the New York Giants, winners of the past two Super Bowls will not clinch playoff berths with wins today but can get that much closer to securing a berth with home game wins on Sunday.

New York lost to Washington last week and will play the New Orleans Saints at home this weekend, while Green Bay hosts Detroit on Sunday night.

Baltimore could have nailed down a spot in the playoffs if they would have beaten Pittsburgh last weekend. Now they must defeat Washington and its star quarterback Robert Griffin III. The Redskins will not be a pushover as they have won three straight games and are hoping to make the playoffs as a wild card.

The 49ers were beaten last week in overtime by the St. Louis Rams and play at home this weekend against Miami. However, the NFC is a logjam and their aspirations to secure a postseason spot might have to wait another week even if they are victorious Sunday against the Dolphins.

In both the AFC and the NFC, there are 12 teams that have mathematical shots at making the playoffs and each conference only has six spots available.

The season has four weeks left and anything can happen.

Let the race for the Super Bowl begin!!!

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