As the 2011-12 NFL regular season nears its end, the entire focus is on playoffs, playoffs, playoffs. For the San Francisco 49ers, their spot in the playoffs is guaranteed, already having clinched the NFC West division, but the seeding remains up in the air. San Francisco is currently the No. 2 seed, but are closer to losing that after a loss this weekend. For now, a look at the games that mattered this weekend.
San Francisco 49ers 19, Arizona Cardinals 21
The 49ers really should have done better against the Cardinals, and the loss cost them dearly. They move to 10-3 on the season with a tough matchup against Pittsburgh coming up on Monday Night Football. They were dominated on offense and had to settle for multiple field goals. They remain the one seed, either way. It also keeps the Cardinals in the hunt for the wild card, but they're not "in", as it stands.
Tennessee actually kept this game really close and held the lead at one point, but Drew Brees led the Saints to a couple quick scoring drives to take the lead they wouldn't relinquish, and they moved to 10-3 on the season. The 49ers hold the edge in the tiebreaker with wins over common opponents, but they're threatening to take the second seed away.
New York Giants 37, Dallas Cowboys 34
As always, the division winner will be one of the top four seeds, and with the win on Sunday Night Football, the Giants took the lead in the NFC East and thus, the No. 4 seed in the playoffs, at least for now. Eli Manning led the Giants on a late-game comeback, and then Tom Coughlin successfully iced the kicker, and New York got the win.
Detroit Lions 34, Minnesota Vikings 28
The Lions successfully avoided a trap game against the rival Vikings. Minnesota came out playing very well, and it really came down to the last minute, with a big stop by Detroit. They have lost to all of the top three seeds in the playoffs, and will have a chip on their shoulder, currently as a wild card.
Atlanta Falcons 31, Carolina Panthers 23
Atlanta is playing very well lately, and would be a higher seed if it weren't for the fact that they're in the same division as the Saints. The Panthers proved to be game opponents, but Atlanta came out on top in the end, and they are solidly in the wild card hunt.
A look at the current NFC seeding below: