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NFL playoff predictions - 12/19/13

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NFC

It was a crazy day in the NFC East, as the Philadelphia Eagles lost on the road to the Vikings, one of the worst teams in the league, and the Cowboys blew a huge lead at home to a backup quarterback in a loss to the Packers. The Eagles maintain a one-game lead in the division but still have to play at Dallas in the final week of the season.

As crazy as the NFC East was, the NFC North was even more wild. The Packers rallied back from a huge deficit on the road to beat the Cowboys and remain in the hunt. The Bears overcame an early deficit to beat the Browns as Jay Cutler returned and knocked off some rust. Detroit lost at home to Baltimore, which now means they no longer control their own destiny in the division.

The Saints appeared to have control of the NFC South and a first-round bye until they were blown out on the road by the Rams. The Panthers won to tie the Saints atop the division heading into their showdown this week. A win by the Saints would give them the division title and probably the No. 2 seed in the NFC. A win by the Panthers would likely give them the division and a first-round bye.

Seattle won yet again to move just one step closer to homefield throughout the playoffs. The 49ers also won, moving them closer to securing one of the wild card spots. Arizona blew a two-touchdown lead but then won in overtime to keep their wild card hopes alive.

AFC

The New England Patriots finally lost a close game. The Patriots almost pulled off another miracle in Miami but came up short, meaning they have lost the No. 1 seed for the moment. It also means they haven't yet clinched the division title. Miami's win certainly gives them the inside track to the final wild card spot.

The Bengals lost at Pittsburgh, hurting their chances of a first-round bye in the playoffs. The Ravens picked up a suprising win in Detroit, which allows them to hold onto the final wild card spot for the moment, though they still have two very difficult games remaining. The win, combined with Cincinnati's loss, also means Baltimore will win the division if they win their final two games. They play at Cincinnati in the final week of the regular season.

In the AFC South, the Colts rolled past the Texans to keep them in the mix for a possible first-round bye.

In the AFC West, the Chargers stunned Denver to keep their playoff hopes alive while forcing the Broncos to win their final two games to secure the No. 1 seed in the conference. The Chiefs won again and clinched a playoff berth, which is very likely to be the No. 5 seed.

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