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NFC playoff picture: Redskins take over NFC East, Seahawks jump into race

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There could be movement in the playoff spots every week.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Week 12 games are over for the NFC. After the dust settled on Sunday, we now have a new look at what the playoff picture is. The Carolina Panther and Arizona Cardinals stayed at the top and the Minnesota Vikings got some separation between them and the Green Bay Packers, but in what is becoming a wacky season in some divisions, the Washington Redskins now lead the NFC East and would make the playoffs if the season ended today.

Here is the current state of the NFC:

1. Carolina Panthers, 11-0
2. Arizona Cardinals, 9-2
3. Minnesota Vikings, 8-3
4. Washington Redskins, 5-6
5. Green Bay Packers, 7-4
6. Seattle Seahawks, 6-5

In the mix: Atlanta Falcons (6-5), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-6), New York Giants (5-6), Chicago Bears (5-6)

It continues to look like the Panthers will lock up the top seed and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. They just keep winning. Arizona maintains a three-game lead in the West with five games to go. But the number two seed is still very much up for grabs. The Cards have a one-game lead over the Vikings and a two-game lead over the Packers (although the Packers don't even lead their division). Arizona will face both teams in their final five games.

Seattle could be the scary team in the postseason and is playing very well right now. While they will have to travel to every game they play in the postseason, they could be ready to make some noise. They still have a chance to take the division, but trail by three games with only five to go. At this point, Seattle would have to win out and the Cardinals would have to lose three of five games, including next week's game in St. Louis, to take the division lead.

The NFC East is still very much up for grabs, so the number four seed could be almost anyone in that division. Even the Eagles at 4-7 could turn things around and win it. They are only a game out of the division lead.