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2015 NFC playoff picture: Panthers clinch, Seahawks surging, Redskins in control of East (for now)

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A look a the playoff picture after almost all the Week 13 games.

Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images

All but one game from Week 13 is done. The Carolina Panthers punched their ticket for the postseason before they even took the field on Sunday and then almost lost their first game of the season. Instead, they improve to 12-0 and Cam Newton continues to be clutch.

The Minnesota Vikings were annihilated by the Seattle Seahawks at home and Russell Wilson has suddenly become deadly from the pocket, as Seattle is surging at the right time. Add the insane ending to the Thursday night game and you have an interesting final few weeks to watch as the NFC playoff picture unfolds.

Here is how the NFC now stands:

1. Carolina Panthers, 12-0
2. Arizona Cardinals, 10-2
3. Green Bay Packers, 8-4
4. Washington Redskins, 5-6
5. Minnesota Vikings, 8-4
6. Seattle Seahawks, 7-5

In the mix: Tampa Bay Bucanneers (6-6), Atlanta Falcons (6-6), Philadelphia Eagles (5-7), New York Giants (5-7)

The Packers now hold the NFC North lead because of their head-to-head win over the Vikings. Minnesota now faces the 10-2 Cardinals on the road on a short week on Thursday night. After a 38-7 loss, things suddenly look a little worrisome, especially as the Bucs are surging as well.

Seattle has been on fire since losing at home to the Cardinals and are getting hot at the right time, but are all but out of the NFC West race. They are three games back with only four to go. The Cardinals' magic number is two to win the division title.

The NFC East continues to be a mess. Washington will lead the division after their Monday night game against the Cowboys, even if they lose, but that division is still wide open, as they could have three 5-7 teams at the top.

Hold on for a wild ride for the final four weeks of the season. It should be fun.