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NFL Playoff Picture: Eagles Loss To Vikings Gives Bears First-Round Bye; Good For Falcons?

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Two big NFC games in the past two nights have altered the 2010 NFL playoff picture somewhat, so let’s get an update. The Philadelphia Eagles losing to the Minnesota Vikings assures the Chicago Bears of a first-round bye, meaning spots Nos. 2 and 3 are set in the NFC lineup.

The New Orleans Saints beat the Atlanta Falcons, securing a New Orleans playoff run and delaying Atlanta’s clinching of home field advantage. The Saints and Falcons can flip if the Birds lose to the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans takes care of the Carolina Panthers. We really don’t want that to happen.

The Green Bay Packers lead the cluster of 9-6 teams, with the New York Giants and Bucs close behind. If they all win this week, the Pack are in. And the Seattle Seahawks have a chance to take the St. Louis Rams' spot by winning the Sunday night NFC West championship.

With four very tough and capable teams in the NFC tournament alongside the Falcons, there really is no ideal set of circumstances, but the removal of either Aaron Rodgers or Michael Vick in the wild card round while Jay Cutler remains is about as good a piece of news as we’re going to get.


  • Atlanta Falcons, 12-3 *
  • Chicago Bears, 11-4 *
  • Philadelphia Eagles, 10-5 **
  • St. Louis Rams, 7-8
  • New Orleans Saints, 11-4 *
  • Green Bay Packers, 9-6


*Clinched playoffs

**Clinched division

***Clinched first-round bye

****Clinched home field advantage

Wild card round

  • Packers at Eagles
  • Saints at Rams
  • Jets at Chiefs
  • Ravens at Colts

Divisional round

  • Lowest-seeded winner at Falcons
  • Highest-seeded winner at Bears
  • Lowest-seeded winner at Patriots
  • Highest-seeded winner at Steelers

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.