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NFL Playoff Picture 2011, Week 14: If The Season Ended Today

The regular season is quickly coming to an end and many teams are currently jockeying for playoff positioning in the NFC. With the Green Bay Packers essentially clinching the No. 1 seed and home field advantage throughout, there will be a wild dash to the finish between the San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints and Dallas Cowboys for the No. 2 seed and a first round bye.

Entering week 14, the playoff picture has the 49ers (10-2) at the No. 2 seed and the team currently has a one-game advantage over the Saints, who enter with a record of 9-3. The Cowboys (7-5) will likely have to win the rest of their remaining games if they hope to earn home field advantage, and even then they are still likely to end up with the No. 3 or No. 4 seed.

Four teams in the NFC appear to be in contention for the two wild card spots. The Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions all feature an identical record of 7-5, while the New York Giants are one game back at 6-6.

Right now, many feel the three best teams in the conference are the Packers, 49ers and Saints. With these three unlikely to meet up until the divisional round, the next four weeks are absolutely huge as they attempt to earn the highest seeding possible. San Francisco benefits from a favorable schedule the rest of the way (@ Arizona, Pittsburgh, @ Seattle, @ St. Louis) and the team could be well on their way to the No. 2 seed in the NFC.

For more on the 49ers, check out Niners Nation.