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Only No. 6 NFC seed remains for Packers to claim

Nov. 6, 2013 11:15 AM
 
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The New Orleans Saints defeated the Atlanta Falcons Monday night, meaning the Packers can only qualify for the playoffs as the No. 6 seed in the National Football Conference. Either the Falcons (12-3) or Saints (11-4) will claim the NFC South crown, while the other team will take the top NFC wild-card spot and No. 5 seed. That leaves the Packers (9-6), Giants (9-6) and Buccaneers (9-6) battling for the final NFC wild-card berth. The Packers have two ways to qualify for the playoffs: *Beat the Chicago Bears on Sunday at Lambeau Field. *Lose to the Bears and hope the Giants lose at Washington and the Bucs lose at New Orleans. The Packers will win a two-way tiebreaker with the Giants because of their head-to-head victory, and a two-way tiebreaker with the Bucs based on strength of victory. The Packers will win any three-way tie based on strength of victory. If the Packers claim the No. 6 seed, they will play a first-round road playoff game Jan. 8 or 9 against the No. 3 NFC seed, which will be either  Chicago or Philadelphia. The Bears can earn the No. 2 seed and first-round bye if they beat the Packers, or the Eagles lose either of their final two games vs. Minnesota and Dallas. Since six teams from each conference qualified for the playoffs beginning in 1990, only one No. 6 seed has won the Super Bowl (Pittsburgh in 2005). A No. 6 seed from the NFC has never qualified for the Super Bowl. The lowest-seeded NFC team to win or qualify for the Super Bowl was the No. 5 New York Giants in 2007. Here's a breakdown of the NFL's 20-year playoff history in which six teams qualified in each conference: NFC Super Bowl qualifiers No. 1 seed: 12 times No. 2 seed: 5 times No. 3 seed: 1 time No. 4 seed: 1 time No. 5 seed: 1 time No. 6 seed: has never qualified for the Super Bowl. AFC Super Bowl qualifiers No. 1 seed: 8 times No. 2 seed: 6 times No. 3 seed: 1 time No. 4 seed: 4 times No. 5 seed: Never No. 6 seed: 1 time SUPER BOWL WINNERS No. 1 seed: 9 times No. 2 seed: 6 times No. 3 seed: 1 time No. 4 seed: 2 times No. 5 seed: 1 time No. 6 seed: 1 time

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