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Packers not the only hot team in NFC

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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With a four-game lead and just five games to play, the Packers are on the verge of clinching the NFC North Division title.  As for the homefield advantage in the playoffs, the Packers (11-0) have a two-game lead over the 49ers (9-2), who have the easiest remaining schedule among NFC playoff contenders.  Four of the Packers’ final five opponents have winning records, while four of the 49ers’ final five opponents have losing records.  The Packers aren’t the only hot team in the NFC. The five teams ranking below them in the NFC playoff race — the 49ers, Saints, Cowboys, Bears and Falcons — have each won four of their last five games. If the playoffs ended today, the Lions and Giants would be out, while the Bears and Falcons would secure the two NFC wild-card playoff berths. The Packers and 49ers would earn first-round byes, while based on the current NFC seedings, first-round playoff pairings would include the No. 6 Falcons at No. 3 New Orleans, and No. 5 Chicago at No. 4 Dallas. If the higher seeds won those games, No. 4 Dallas would play at No. 1 Green Bay in the divisional round, while No. 3 New Orleans would play at No. 2 San Francisco. But there’s a lot of football left to be played over the final five weeks of the regular season, so those scenarios are far from set in stone.    Here is a look at the NFC playoff race, including the remaining schedules: 1. PACKERS 11-0  At Giants (6-5)  Raiders (7-4)  At Chiefs (4-7)  Bears (7-4)  Lions (7-4)  Opponent record: 31-24  2. 49ERS 9-2 Rams (2-9) At Cardinals (4-7) Steelers (8-3) At Seahawks (4-7) At Rams (2-9) Opp. record: 20-35 3. SAINTS 8-3 Lions (7-4) At Titans (6-5) At Vikings (2-9) Falcons (7-4) Panthers (3-8) Opp. record: 25-30 4. COWBOYS 7-4 At Cardinals (4-7) Giants (6-5) At Bucs (4-7) Eagles (4-7) At Giants (6-5) Opp. record: 24-31 5. BEARS 7-4 Chiefs (4-7) At Broncos (6-5) Seahawks (4-7) At Packers (11-0) At Vikings (2-9) Opp. record: 27-28 6. FALCONS 7-4 At Texans (8-3) At Panthers (3-8) Jaguars (3-8) At Saints (8-3) Buccaneers (4-7) Opp. record: 26-29 7. LIONS 7-4 At Saints (8-3) Vikings (2-9) At Oakland (7-4) Chargers (4-7) At Packers (11-0) Opp. record: 32-23 8. GIANTS 6-5 Packers (11-0) At Cowboys (7-4) Redskins (4-7) At Jets (6-5) Cowboys (7-4) Opp. record: 35-20

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Get Green Bay Packers updates as they happen from our reporting team: (from left) Mike Vandermause, Wes Hodkiewicz and Pete Dougherty.

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