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NFC playoff picture, Week 14: Rams-Cards rematch

As we look at the NFC playoff picture heading into Week 14, there’s plenty of potential movement inside the top six seeds.

1. Arizona Cardinals (10-2)
2. Green Bay Packers (9-3)
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-3)
4. Dallas Cowboys (8-4)
5. Los Angeles Rams (8-4)
6. Washington Football Team (6-6)
7. San Francisco 49ers (6-6)

8. Minnesota Vikings (6-7)
9. Philadelphia Eagles (6-7)
10. Carolina Panthers (5-7)
11. Atlanta Falcons (5-7)
12. New Orleans Saints (5-7)

We start with the Monday night affair between the Cardinals and Rams in Arizona. This is a rematch of their Week 4 meeting, when the Cardinals went on the road and hammered Los Angeles to remain undefeated. If Arizona wins this time around, it’ll be one win from clinching the NFC West. If the Rams can even the series, the division remains an open question.

Staying in primetime, the Packers are also going for a season sweep of a divisional opponent, taking on the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field. Chicago has been a mess for much of 2021, and it appears we’re in the final days of Matt Nagy as head coach. Green Bay is trying to get home-field advantage and should be able to notch its 10th win in the campaign.

In Tampa Bay, the Buccaneers are welcoming the Buffalo Bills, who lost on Monday night to the New England Patriots. At 7-5, the Bills are desperate to find a win. If they lose, it becomes a serious question as to whether Buffalo will make the playoffs after starting the year at 4-1. For the Bucs, a victory continues moving them towards an NFC South title for the first time under head coach Bruce Arians.

In the NFC East, a big showdown between Washington and Dallas. The Cowboys have a two-game lead on the Football Team, but these two play twice down the stretch. With a victory in the nation’s capital, Washington makes this is a very interesting race. The Cowboys can effectively finish off the division by winning, but it won’t be easy at FedEx Field this weekend.

Additionally, the 49ers are at the Cincinnati Bengals, with both teams trying to avoid a losing streak after disappointing results last weekend. San Francisco is a slight favorite on the road, and a win would go a long way towards getting to the postseason.

Finally, the Panthers and Falcons play each other in what is essentially an elimination game, while the Saints are on the road against the lousy New York Jets.

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