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NFC playoff picture: Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers in control of playoff bye

Let's see where the playoff race stands after Week 11.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The NFC is done playing in Week 11. Yes, there is still Monday Night Football to be played but that features two AFC teams. So where does the the NFC stand in terms of looking ahead to the postseason? After wins on Sunday, the Arizona Cardinals and Carolina Panthers distanced themselves from the rest of the pack and are firmly in control of the top two seeds. If the season ended today, they both would have a bye for the first week of the playoffs.

Here are the standings right now after Week 11:

1. Carolina Panthers, 10-0
2. Arizona Cardinals, 8-2
3. Green Bay Packers, 7-3
4. New York Giants, 5-5
5. Minnesota Vikikings, 7-3
6. Atlanta Falcons, 6-4

In the mix: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5), Seattle Seahawks (5-5)

The only change from a week ago was the Packers swapping places with the Vikings. Green Bay went in to Minnesota and soundly defeated the Vikings 30-13. While both have the same record, Green Bay now holds the edge because of the head-to-head tiebreaker. Green Bay would also hold the conference record tiebreaker as well right now. Both teams will face one another again in Week 17.

The surprise of the week is how the Bucs are now in the mix, just one back of the Falcons, who are reeling. Atlanta has lost three straight and four of their last five games. Tampa has won two in a row. Could Jameis Winston get them into the postseason?

Carolina is also well on its way to home field throughout the playoffs. At this point, the Cardinals would have to win out and the Panthers would have to go 3-3 in their final six games to lose the top seed.

Arizona has all but locked up the NFC West. They are three games up on the Seahawks with six games to play and have a win over them already. The Rams have faded and are now four games back. The Cardinals will play on the road in the division at San Francisco and at St. Louis over the next two weeks. They could clinch the division with wins in both games.

In terms of a first round bye, Arizona is a game up on both Green Bay and Minnesota. Arizona will play both teams at home still.