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NFL playoff brackets: Cowboys officially clinch, Seahawks still hold 2 seed

How does this week and next week affect the conference postseason alignment?

Carolina Panthers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks beat Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers 40-7. Since they were victorious, they still hold the 2 seed in the NFC by half a game over the Detroit Lions.

In the 1 seed, the Dallas Cowboys have officially clinched a playoff berth with their win over the Minnesota Vikings and the Washington Redskins losing to the Arizona Cardinals. Dallas has a chance to win the NFC East division title next week if they beat the New York Giants, while also having a chance to claim one of the coveted bye weeks if they win and the right teams lose in Week 14.

Here is the current breakdown of playoff seeds in the NFC:

  1. Dallas Cowboys* (11-1)
  2. Seattle Seahawks (8-3-1)
  3. Detroit Lions (8-4)
  4. Atlanta Falcons (7-5)
  5. New York Giants (8-4)
  6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5)

There are four matches in Week 14 that will have playoff implications for multiple playoff teams:

  • Dallas Cowboys (11-1) at New York Giants (8-4)
  • Seattle Seahawks (8-3-1) at Green Bay Packers (6-6)
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5) at New Orleans Saints (5-7)
  • Washington Redskins (6-5-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (5-7)

The San Francisco 49ers are the only NFC team out of playoff contention, but the Chicago Bears can be eliminated from playoff contention with a loss next week. Immediately outside the playoff bubble sit the Washington Redskins (6-5-1), Minnesota Vikings (6-6), and Green Bay Packers (6-6).

In the AFC, the Jacksonville Jaguars have officially been eliminated from playoff contention with their loss to the Denver Broncos, while the Cleveland Browns were eliminated two weeks ago.