With one week left, at least the stakes are clear. The Seattle Seahawks were the fourth team to clinch a playoff spot after their 42-13 win Sunday night over the NFC West-leading San Francisco 49ers. The Atlanta Falcons have the No. 1 seed locked up, and the Green Bay Packers are the NFC North champions.
Two spots remain, with five teams alive. Let's dive into what we know, starting at the top.
The Packers are in the driver's seat for a bye
Minnesota is in with a win
Chicago is in a nice spot
The Bears would be in with a win over the Detroit Lions and a loss by the Vikings. We're probably past the point where the Lions are truly dangerous, even if they seem dangerous. Detroit has lost seven consecutive games. This is a game the Bears should win, but they are 2-5 in their last seven games. They never should have fallen this far.
The Giants are just about done
It's all about Sunday night
I saved the best for last, but you already knew this part. Washington Redskins. Dallas Cowboys. NFC East title on the line next Sunday night. The Cowboys, after a relatively inconsequential loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, are out of the mix if they lose. The Redskins only could get in as a wild-card team if the Bears and Vikings both lose earlier in the day.
My wife's reaction when she heard about this: "Oh no, Tony Romo is going to blow it in the last week again?"
That's what everyone expects. But Romo is playing very well overall lately, the Redskins have hardly been blowing teams out, and ... I can't wait.