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NFC playoff picture, Week 13: 49ers try to hold onto top spot

The NFC playoff picture is shaping up as we begin Week 13. The division got ample clarity last week.

The Rams lost, the Seahawks won, and the 49ers continue to look as though they should be seen as the favorite.

Going into Week 13, here is how the NFC playoff picture shapes up:

1. San Francisco 49ers (10-1)
2. New Orleans Saints (9-2)
3. Green Bay Packers (8-3)
4. Dallas Cowboys (6-5)
5. Seattle Seahawks (9-2)
6. Minnesota Vikings (8-3)

7. Los Angeles Rams (6-5)
8. Chicago Bears (5-6)
9. Philadelphia Eagles (5-6)
10. Carolina Panthers (5-6)


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After handling the Packers in comical fashion, the 49ers now go on the road where they are somehow five-point underdogs to the Baltimore Ravens. While Baltimore has been fantastic at 9-2 and should be the favorite, five points is a ton. If San Francisco wins this week, it’ll notch another major victory.

The Saints are playing on Thanksgiving night and should be out for revenge against the Atlanta Falcons. Atlanta came into New Orleans earlier this month and pummeled the Saints, winning 26-9 at the Superdome. Atlanta is now coming off a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and at 3-8, is only thinking about the offseason.

Green Bay is still licking its proverbial wounds after being pasted by the 49ers on national television, but gets the gift of seeing the New York Giants on the docket. New York has lost seven straight and although the game is in the swamps of New Jersey, the Packers should win this going away. Aaron Rodgers is coming off arguably the worst performance of his career, so odds say he bounces back significantly.


Read: Ravens QB Lamar Jackson Makes Madden History With Fastest-Ever QB Speed Rating


In the NFC East, the Cowboys try to maintain — if not grow — their one-game lead with the Buffalo Bills coming to town for Thanksgiving. Dallas is 6-5 and has struggled since beginning the season 3-0. A win over the eight-win Bills would go a long way towards firming up a playoff spot.

On Monday night, the Seahawks welcome in the Vikings, who are coming off a bye week. After starting 2-2, Minnesota has been fantastic, going 6-1 with its only loss to the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. If Seattle wins and the Ravens beat the 49ers, it would vault into first place of the NFC West.

The teams on the outside looking in are desperate at this point and in need of a borderline miracle, save for the Eagles. Philadelphia has the benefit of playing in the East, where it only trails Dallas by a game. This week, Carson Wentz and Co. draw the Miami Dolphins, who are 2-9 and in line for a top-five draft pick. This is a must-win.

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