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NFL playoff predictions - 12/6/13

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NFC

The Eagles and Cowboys each won to keep pace with each other in the NFC East, which doesn't seem to be quite as horrible of a division as we thought a couple of months ago. The Giants came from behind to beat the Redskins and keep their incredibly slim playoff hopes alive.

The Detroit Lions strengthened their hold on first place in the NFC North with a rout of the Packers on Thanksgiving. The Packers are still alive, but they need Aaron Rodgers back ASAP, to win out and a lot of help. Chicago's hopes took a serious hit with an overtime loss to the lowly Vikings.

The Panthers rolled past the Bucs, who had been playing better of late. New Orleans was stomped by Seattle, putting them in a tie for first place with the Panthers heading into their showdown at the Superdome Sunday.

The Cardinals had their opportunities but couldn't get it done in Philadelphia, a loss that really may come back to haunt them in the wild care race. Meanwhile, San Francisco welcomed back Michael Crabtree and beat the Rams, which puts the 49ers a leg up on the Cardinals and also likely eliminates St. Louis.

AFC

The New England Patriots escaped Houston with a victory, keeping them very much alive for a first round bye in the postseason. They are also one step closer to the AFC East title. The Miami Dolphins rolled over the Jets in New York. The Dolphins are in the thick of the wild card race while the Jets are fading fast. Buffalo's playoff hopes are just about gone after losing at home to the Falcons.

The Ravens kept their postseason hopes alive with a big win over the Steelers. Both teams still have playoff hopes, but the Ravens are in the driver's seat at the moment. Cincinnati remains in control of the division, leading the Ravens by two games after a huge win at San Diego. The Browns lost at home to the Jaguars, essentially ending their playoff hopes.

The Colts beat the Titans for the second time in three weeks, putting them that much closer to the division title. Meanwhile, the loss puts the Titans farther back in the wild card race. Barring something unforseen, Tennessee will not be playoff bound.

The Broncos went in to Kansas City and outscored the Chiefs, rallying from a 14-point deficit in the first half. Denver is now in the driver's seat to win the AFC West and the No. 1 seed in the conference playoffs. San Diego and Oakland's wild card hopes are just about dashed after losses to the Bengals and Cowboys, respectively.

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