Houston Texans v New York Giants
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 21: Jason Pierre-Paul #90 of the New York Giants reacts against the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium on September 21, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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NFC playoff picture, Week 12

The NFC playoff picture is something of a circus. Unlike the AFC, which is fairly defined, there are all kinds of scenarios in the NFC which could happen over the last six weeks.

Here’s what we are looking at going into Thanksgiving:

1. Dallas Cowboys (9-1)
2. Seattle Seahawks (7-2-1)
3. Detroit Lions (6-4)
4. Atlanta Falcons (6-4)5. New York Giants (7-3)
6. Washington Redskins (6-3-1)
7. Minnesota Vikings (6-4)
8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5)
9. Philadelphia Eagles (5-5)

Thanksgiving is going to have four of these teams on the field. The first game of the day is the Minnesota Vikings visiting the Detroit Lions. These two teams played a few weeks ago in Minnesota, with the Lions coming back to earn a wild victory at U.S. Bank Stadium. Currently, that is the tiebreaker between the two teams.

If the Lions win on Thursday, they are in all kinds of great shape moving forward. Detroit would be a game up in the NFC North with the tiebreaker firmly in hand. The Lions also have some good games moving forward, including home dates with the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears.

The second game on Thursday is tremendous with the Cowboys and Washington playing at Dallas. Washington started the year 0-2 with losses to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cowboys before coming back with gusto. The Redskins are 6-1-1 since then, including wins over the Giants, Eagles, Vikings and Packers.

Dallas has a chance to basically put the Redskins completely out of the picture. Washington would have four losses and lose the tiebreaker to the Cowboys. However, should the Redskins find a way to beat the Cowboys, they would move within one loss of Dallas with five games remaining, and a much better division record.

Moving to the Sunday slate of games, the Seahawks are taking on the Buccaneers in a huge game for both sides. Seattle is going to win the NFC West with a three-game lead over the second-place Arizona Cardinals. The Seahawks are simply trying to stay among the top two seeds in the NFC, sustaining a bye week in January. Should Tampa Bay win, the Buccaneers would be 6-5 and suddenly into the race full-force.

The Falcons will be hosting the Cardinals in the early window. Atlanta is coming off a bye week and is hoping to get to 7-4, perhaps putting another nail in the coffin of the rest of the NFC South. The Falcons are getting a good situation with the Cardinals, who are coming across the country and playing at 10 a.m. CT.

Finally, the Giants are playing the Cleveland Browns. Considering the Browns are without a win to this point, New York should be in great shape to get to 8-3.

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