With four games remaining in the regular season, there's still much to be determined in the NFC playoff picture.
In his weekly analysis -- http://pck.rs/UEF13G -- Pete Dougherty wrote:
"The New York Giantsí and San Francisco 49ersí losses Sunday put a first-round playoff bye into play for the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears.
"A couple of weeks ago, Atlanta (now 11-1) and the 49ers (8-3-1) were clear front-runners for the first-round playoff byes that go with the Nos. 1 and 2 seeding in each conference. Then the New York Giants jumped into contention with a win over the Packers a week ago followed by the 49ersí overtime loss to St. Louis this past Sunday.
"But then the Giants lost Monday night at Washington, which dropped them to 7-5, and suddenly the Packers and Bears (both 8-4) are tied for No. 3 in the NFC this week, only a half-game behind San Francisco for the second spot."
In other news:
* Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, on his weekly ESPN Milwaukee radio show, said he would like to see the Packers bring back injured running back Cedric Benson next season. That item tops this notebook: http://pck.rs/QGbiag
* We should learn more today about the severity to the knee injury that running back James Starks reportedly sustained in Sunday's win over the Vikings. This is what we know so far: http://pck.rs/SwzyK9