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NFL playoff predictions - 11/28/13

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Things aren't that much clearer after another week of the NFL season. Only the AFC East and NFC West seem decided, and the wild card picture is cluttered in both conferences. There are a few big games this week that should help to sort things out a little bit going forward. Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the games!

NFC

The NFC East could have been very bunched after this weekend, but a narrow win by the Cowboys over the Giants pretty much makes it a two-horse race between Dallas and Philadelphia.

The NFC North remains very bunched. Green Bay actually gained ground despite being down double-digits at home to lowly Minnesota and clawing back for a rare tie. If Aaron Rodgers can return this week and win in Green Bay, the Packers may find a way to win the division.

The Saints and Panthers both won, meaning New Orleans still leads the division by one game. Still, it's looking more and more likely that the Panthers will be at least a wild card team.

The Cardinals won yet again, and suddenly they aren't just some darkhorse but a legitimate playoff contender. San Francisco also won, so those two teams will likely be in a battle for a wild card spot down to the final week of the season. Seattle had a bye, but is essentially playing for the No. 1 seed the rest of the way.

AFC

The Patriots made an incredible comeback against the Broncos to put them right back in the thick of the race for homefield advantage in the playoffs. The Jets lost to the Ravens, and they look nothing like a playoff team. They have almost no chance on the road. Miami almost upset Carolina, but another tough loss might be too much to take with all of the off-the-field distractions as well.

The Bengals still control the AFC North, but the Ravens and Steelers remain in the picture after both winning Sunday. The two teams play each other on Thanksgiving in a game that will give one team an edge in the wild card race and likely eliminates the loser from contending for the division title. The Browns lost to the Steelers, and they are on the verge of being eliminated from postseason contention.

The Colts lost again, which may give some sort of hope to the Titans, who now must really be kicking themselves for losing to Indianapolis almost two weeks ago. Tennessee mounted a come-from-behind win in Oakland, keeping them in the wild card hunt. They play at Indianapolis this week, and still must be kicking themselves for losing to the Colts two weeks ago.

Kansas City and Denver both blew leads and lost Sunday in surprising fashion, meaning they remain deadlocked at the top of the division. Denver holds the edge with a win over the Chiefs, but the Broncos still have to visit Kansas City. The losses also bring the Patriots back into play for homefield advantage.

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