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NFL Playoff Picture: NFC Playoff Scenarios After Early Games

The early games are over and we finally have some clarity in the NFL Playoff picture. One NFC division race — the NFC South — has been decided while another team held up their end of the bargain in the race for the wildcard. In the late games, we have two pivotal matchups with playoff implications leading up to the “main event” tonight when the Seattle Seahawks battle the St. Louis Rams for the NFC West crown.

The playoff picture looks like this after the 10 a.m. game:

NFC West: Up for grabs tonight. The winner of the Seahawks-Rams game takes the NFC West crown and No. 4 seed in the NFC.

NFC South: With an easy win over the Carolina Panthers, the Atlanta Falcons took the NFC South crown. As an added bonus, the Falcons locked-up home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and a first round bye as the No. 1 seed in the NFC.

NFC East: The Eagles already clinched the division and are resting their starters this week. Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy and Desean Jackson are all inactive today as the Eagles can just cruise into the playoffs.

NFC North: The Chicago Bears already locked the division up and will take the No. 2 seed in the NFC. The Bears are guaranteed a first round bye in the playoffs.

NFC Wildcard: The New Orleans Saints took the top wildcard spot in the NFC today. If Green Bay beats the Bears this afternoon, they’ll take the second wildcard. If Green Bay loses and the New York Giants win, the Giants get the second wildcard berth. If both lose, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will take home the second wildcard berth. The Bucs took care of business this morning, defeating the New Orleans Saints. Tampa Bay just became the world’s biggest Chicago and Washington fans.

The winner of tonight’s NFC West showdown will face the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the playoffs.