NFC playoff picture: Meet the new bosses, same as the old bosses

Heading into Week 12, the NFC playoff picture saw the Eagles, Vikings, Saints, Rams, Panthers and Falcons at the front of the pack.

It will look the same heading into Week 13. The Rams beat the Saints to earn a key tiebreaker for seeding purposes and the other four teams won their games to ensure that the same six teams fill the top six slots.

That may not remain the case next week, however. The Vikings will be in Atlanta, the Panthers will head to New Orleans and the Eagles will hit the road for a date with the Seahawks in three games that could lead to a different picture with four games left on the docket.

LEADERS
1. Eagles (10-1): The view hasn’t changed for the Eagles in a while, but road games against the Seahawks and Rams could shake things up for the NFC East leaders.

2. Vikings (9-2): Their win on Thanksgiving made it seven in a row and kept Minnesota in striking distance of the No. 1 seed.

3. Rams (8-3): In addition to getting a leg up on the Saints, the Rams ensured they still have an edge on the Seahawks in the NFC West.

4. Saints (8-3): Their eight-game win streak is over and now they’ll try to hold onto their NFC South lead.

5. Panthers (8-3): The Panthers can leapfrog the Saints with a win, but a Week 14 date with the Vikings looms as another test.

6. Falcons (7-4): Atlanta has tiebreakers over Seattle and Detroit, which helps in the Wild Card race even as they vie for a division crown

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
7. Seahawks (7-4): Beating the 49ers means a Week 15 date with the Rams still looks like it will decide the division title.

8. Lions (6-5): The Lions need a winning streak while the teams in front of them beat each other up.

9. Packers (5-6): They put up a good fight on Sunday night, but they need victories more than encouraging signs.

10. Cowboys (5-6): A loss on Thursday night will leave them at the end of their rope.

11. Washington (5-6): See Cowboys and repeat.

12. Cardinals (5-6): A win over the Rams next Sunday might help the Seahawks more than it will help Arizona’s faint hopes.

13. Buccaneers (4-7): The Fitzmagic of a two-game winning streak came to an end against the Falcons.

14. Bears (3-8): The John Fox watch takes the place of any playoff watch in Chicago.

15. Giants (2-9): The Giants haven’t been in the playoff picture for some time.

16. 49ers (1-10): Jimmy Garoppolo played! And threw a touchdown pass!

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