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Week 13 NFC playoff picture: Status quo on top, but changes in the Wild Card race

After beating Seattle in Week 12, the Washington Football Team sits just behind the Cowboys in the NFC East, and Mike Florio and Chris Simms could see them putting up a fight with Dallas for the division crown.

Week 12 ended with Washington beating Seattle 17-15 on Monday night and that win led to a change in the makeup of the Wild Card race in the NFC.

Washington’s third straight win has lifted them to the No. 7 position in the conference with six weeks left in the regular season. They also dug themselves out of a deep hole to win the NFC East last year, so it’s a familiar path for Ron Rivera’s team to follow during the stretch run this year.

Sunday also saw the 49ers jump up to a Wild Card spot by beating the Vikings, who opened play as the No. 6 seed and will now need to win and get help to climb back into a playoff spot. The Saints also tumbled out of playoff position when they lost to the Bills on Thanksgiving, but they join several other teams that still have life in a very tight race for Wild Card spots in the NFC.

There weren’t any changes in the races for divisional titles and here’s how everything shakes out heading into Week 13:
1. Cardinals (9-2) They hope to have quarterback Kyler Murray and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins back as they try to close out the year with a top seed and bye in the first round of the playoffs.

2. Packers (9-3) Quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ toe may be painful, but his play remained sharp and he’ll now get some rest during the Packers’ bye week.

3. Buccaneers (8-3) A strong second half lifted them to a win over the Colts and beating Atlanta this weekend would put them on the doorstep of clinching the division.

4. Cowboys (7-4) They expect to have several players back in the lineup this Thursday as they try to snap a two-game losing streak and solidify their NFC East lead heading into the final weeks of the season.

5. Rams (7-4) Unlike the Cowboys, they don’t have reinforcements on the way to help them end their own losing streak but they shouldn’t need them to right the ship against the Jaguars.

6. 49ers (6-5) Their running game has propelled them to three straight wins and they’ll try to keep things rolling against the reeling Seahawks this weekend.

7. Washington (5-6) Five NFC East games in the final five weeks will likely decide their fate, but the Raiders are up first this weekend.

8. Vikings (5-6) The schedule offers them a golden opportunity to rebound by sending them to Detroit this weekend.

9. Falcons (5-6) They haven’t beaten a team that currently has a winning record this season and that will likely have to change this weekend for the Falcons to harbor serious playoff hopes.

10. Saints (5-6) Four straight losses have the team set to make a quarterback change in an attempt to salvage their season.

11. Eagles (5-7) A sloppy offensive performance sunk them against the Giants, but they’ll be back at the Meadowlands this weekend with a chance to rebound against the Jets.

12. Panthers (5-7) Christian McCaffrey’s latest injury and Cam Newton’s putrid performance over the weekend have the Panthers trending the wrong way entering their bye week.

13. Giants (4-7) The offense didn’t take leaps and bounds without fired offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, but they got a win that keeps some hope alive in Jersey.

14. Bears (4-7) While head coach Matt Nagy didn’t get fired after squeezing past the Lions, the outlook doesn’t look much brighter after the Thanksgiving victory.

15. Seahawks (3-8) It’s now three straight losses since quarterback Russell Wilson returned to the lineup and the Seahawks are just about out of lives.

16. Lions (0-10-1) If the Seahawks keep going on their current path, Week 17 in Seattle may offer them their best chance at a win this season.