NFC playoff picture: Arizona Cardinals get no help from Dolphins, Redskins

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After a fourth straight win, Arizona still sits on the outside looking in.

With their fourth straight win on Sunday, the Arizona Cardinals were sitting in the sixth seed and final wild card position in the NFC playoff race. That only lasted about 24 hours until the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football.

Both the Cardinals and Niners are 7-4 now, but because of their win head-to-head over Arizona, they still hold the tiebreak.

Here are the current NFC standings:

  1. Seattle Seahawks (10-1)
  2. New Orleans Saints (9-2)
  3. Detroit Lions (6-5)
  4. Dallas Cowboys (6-5)
  5. Carolina Panthers (8-3)
  6. San Francisco 49ers (7-4)
  7. Arizona Cardinals (7-4)
  8. Philadelphia Eagles (6-5)
  9. Chicago Bears (6-5)

Arizona could have used help from the Dolphins and Redskins. Miami led in their game against Carolina for most of the game, but could not hold on. San Fran manhandled the Redskins Monday night. A loss by both those teams would have vaulted Arizona into the number five seed.

The matchup the Cardinals have in Philadelphia is key. While it looks right now that the only way an NFC East team is making the playoffs is by winning the division, a loss to the Eagles sets the Cardinals back because it would put both teams even according to record, but then the Eagles would hold two tiebreaks over Arizona -- head-to-head and also record in the NFC (Arizona is 4-4 currently and Philly is 5-3, and a loss to Philly would make those 4-5 and 6-3).

In Week 13, the Panthers host the resurgent Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while the Niners host the resurgent Rams. The Cards, of course, face the Eagles in Philly, while the Cowboys play host to the Raiders and the Lions host the Packers on Thanksgiving. The Bears play in Minnesota.

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