Dalvin Cook, Vikings
Sep 24, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) carries the ball during the first quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Home » Blog » NFC playoff picture, Week 11: Packers-Vikings leads way

NFC playoff picture, Week 11: Packers-Vikings leads way

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers try to halt a slide, while the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings lock horns up north.

We’re getting towards the portion of the NFL season where the contenders and pretenders veer in different directions.

With only seven weeks remaining, the league is increasing in intensity, as losses may mean the difference between home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and having to play three games on the road.

Going into Sunday, here’s how the NFC playoff picture stands:

1. Green Bay Packers (8-2)
2. Arizona Cardinals (8-2)
3. Dallas Cowboys (7-2)
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3)
5. Los Angeles Rams (7-3)
6. New Orleans Saints (5-4)
7. Carolina Panthers (5-5)

8. Minnesota Vikings (4-5)
9. San Francisco 49ers (4-5)
10. Philadelphia Eagles (4-6)

In the NFC North, there’s little suspense about who is going to win the crown. Green Bay has a sizable advantage and should only be healthier as the weeks go on. However, the Vikings are only a half-game out of the final seed and have been in literally every game this year. For Minnesota, a win over Green Bay would be enormous, while the Packers are trying to strengthen their grip on the top seed for a second consecutive year.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals visit the Seahawks, with it unknown if quarterback Kyler Murray will play or miss a third straight game. With Murray, Arizona would be a clear favorite over a 3-6 Seattle squad that was shut out last week at Lambeau Field.

Sticking in the division, the Rams are on their bye week, while the 49ers have the gift of visiting the Jacksonville Jaguars. A win, and San Francisco has a real shot of being in a playoff spot.

For the NFC South teams, it’s about breaking two-game losing streaks. The Saints and Buccaneers are both sliding, and New Orleans will again be without star running back Alvin Kamara when taking on Philadelphia. As for the Buccaneers, they host the 3-6 New York Giants on Monday night at Raymond James Stadium. Receiver Antonio Brown is still out, while tight end Rob Gronkowski is a game-time decision.

Finally, the Cowboys are on the road for what could be a Super Bowl preview, visiting the Kansas City Chiefs. Dallas will be without receiver Amari Cooper who is on the COVID-19 list, but it’ll still have CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup on the outside with Dak Prescott at the controls. With a victory, Dallas is in tremendous position considering its schedule for the No. 1 seed.

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