On the Monday morning after a Christmas weekend schedule of games, the NFC Conference playoff picture has cleared considerably, though there are still some questions to be answered as the NFL enters week 17 of the 2010 season.
This much is clear:
Atlanta is in as the NFC South champs and can clinch the best record in the conference with a win tonight
Chicago is in with an 11-4 record as NFC North champs and is currently ranked second in the conference but that could change
Philadelphia is in with a 10-4 record as NFC East champs and could improve their standing and earn that first weekend bye with wins in their last two games
New Orleans at 10-4 can clinch a playoff spot with a win in one of their next two games
St. Louis, at 7-8, has clinched the NFC West title and, even with a loss next to Seattle, the young Rams have earned a home playoff game.
These teams are still alive:
Green Bay at 9-6 is the leading candidate to claim the last wild card spot, owning tie breakers over the other contenders in the conference, and can earn the playoff berth with a win over the Chicago Bears.
New York Giants at 9-6 can earn a wild card spot with a win over the Washington Redskins and a loss to the Packers
Tampa Bay at 9-6 needs to win against the New Orleans Saints and get some help with NY and GB losses.
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