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NFC Playoff Picture: 3 Teams Can Clinch Playoff Spots in Week 15

EAGAN, Minn. — We're down to the final three weeks of the 2019 regular season, and only nine teams remain in contention for making the postseason.

Only one team — New Orleans — has guaranteed its postseason berth. The Saints have already locked up the NFC South but missed an opportunity to take the conference lead by losing 48-46 at home Sunday against the 49ers.

Three teams — San Francisco, Green Bay and Seattle — can clinch postseason berths.

The Vikings remain in the No. 6 overall spot and would visit the Saints in the Wild Card round if the playoffs started this week.

View images of the Vikings and Lions in Big Head Mode as the team defeated Detroit 20-7 on Sunday.

Here's a look at the NFC standings, along with the remaining schedules, win percentages of upcoming opponents and a status update as we head into Week 15. There's also a note on the ways in which the 49ers, Packers and Seahawks can clinch playoff spots.

1. San Francisco 49ers (11-2)

12/15 ATL (4-9)

12/21 LAR (8-5)

12/29 @ SEA (10-3)

Remaining foes' combined records: 22-17

Opponents' win percentage: .564

Status: The 49ers surged back to the top seed with a 30-yard field goal by Robbie Gould as time expired against the Saints. San Francisco drove 63 yards in 53 seconds.

Ways to clinch a postseason spot:

SF win or tie OR LAR loss or tie OR MIN loss and GB loss


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2. Green Bay Packers (10-3)

12/15 CHI (7-6)

12/23 @ MIN (9-4)

12/29 @ DET (3-9-1)

Remaining foes' combined records: 19-19-1

Opponents' win percentage: .500

Status: If the Packers defeat the Bears, it will be incredibly tough for Minnesota to surpass Green Bay for the NFC North crown. The Vikings need to win their three remaining games and have the Packers lose to or tie with the Bears or Lions.

Ways to clinch a postseason spot:

GB win and LAR loss/tie OR GB tie and LAR loss

3. New Orleans Saints (10-3)

12/16 IND (6-7)

12/22 @ TEN (8-5)

12/29 @ CAR (5-8)

Remaining foes' combined records: 19-20

Opponents' win percentage: .487

Status: New Orleans can still finish as the 1, 2 or 3 seed. The Saints will face Colts and Titans teams still alive in the AFC and a Panthers team that is out of the picture.

4. Dallas Cowboys (6-7)

12/15 LAR (8-5)

12/22 @ PHI (6-7)

12/29 WAS (3-10)

Remaining foes' combined records: 17-22

Opponents' win percentage: .436

Status: In spite of losing seven times in 10 games, the Cowboys remain ahead in a two-team standoff with the Eagles for the NFC East.

5. Seattle Seahawks (10-3)

12/15 @ CAR (5-8)

12/22 AZ (3-9-1)

12/29 SF (11-2)

Remaining foes' combined records: 19-19-1

Opponents' win percentage: .500

Status: Seattle led the NFC West for one week and will try to reclaim top-billing because of the gargantuan benefits associated with being a 1 or 2 seed compared to being a Wild Card team. Games against the Panthers and Cardinals should help set the stage for Week 17.

Ways to clinch a postseason spot:

SEA win and LAR loss or tie OR SEA win and MIN loss OR SEA win and GB loss and MIN tie OR SEA tie and LAR loss

6. Minnesota Vikings (9-4)

12/15 @ LAC (5-8)

12/22 GB (10-3)

12/29 CHI (7-6)

Remaining foes' combined records: 22-17

Opponents' win percentage: .564

Status: The Vikings hit the road one more time against a Chargers team that beat the Packers and Bears earlier this season. Los Angeles scored a whopping 45 points in Jacksonville but suffered elimination from postseason contention on Sunday.

View photos of the Vikings 53-man roster for the 2019 season.

7. Los Angeles Rams (8-5)

12/15 @ DAL (6-7)

12/21 @SF (11-2)

12/29 AZ (3-9-1)

Remaining foes' combined records: 20-18-1

Opponents' win percentage: .526

Status: The Rams are in a resurgence but can't completely control their own destiny. Three wins (independent of all other games) would give them a 91-percent chance of making the playoffs, according to this playoff predictor from

8. Chicago Bears (7-6)

12/15 @ GB (10-3)

12/22 KC (9-4)

12/29 @ MIN (9-4)

Remaining foes' combined records: 28-11

Opponents' win percentage: .718

Status: Heading into Week 15, the Bears have a 2-percent chance of making the playoffs according to Three wins get that likelihood up to 31 percent and even give them a 7-percent shot at the NFC North.

9. Philadelphia Eagles (6-7)

12/15 @ WAS (3-10)

12/22 DAL (6-7)

12/29 @ NYG (2-11)

Remaining foes' combined records: 11-28

Opponents' win percentage: .282

Status: The Eagles are looking for their second consecutive December surge into the playoffs.

The following teams have been eliminated:

10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7)

12/15 @ DET (3-9-1)

12/21 HOU (8-5)

12/29 ATL (4-9)

Remaining foes' combined records: 15-23-1

Opponents' win percentage: .397

Status: Three consecutive wins by the Buccaneers were not enough to undo a four-game skid that started in October and continued into November, but they can finish Bruce Arians' first season at the helm with a winning record.

11. Carolina Panthers (5-8)

12/15 SEA (10-3)

12/22 @ IND (6-7)

12/29 NO (10-3)

Remaining foes' combined records: 26-13

Opponents' win percentage: .667

Status: Five losses in a row, including Sunday against Atlanta after parting ways with Head Coach Ron Rivera, have left Carolina trying to play spoiler down the stretch.

14. Atlanta Falcons (4-9)

12/15 @ SF (11-2)

12/22 JAX (4-9)

12/29 @ TB (6-7)

Remaining foes' combined records: 21-18

Opponents' win percentage: .538

Status: The Falcons completed a season sweep of the Panthers but are looking ahead to 2020. Atlanta is 3-2 in division games and 1-7 against all other teams.

13. Detroit Lions (3-9-1)

12/15 TB (6-7)

12/22 @ DEN (5-8)

12/29 GB (10-3)

Remaining foes' combined records: 21-18

Opponents' win percentage: .538

Status: There was some consternation that the Vikings didn't blow out the Lions, but the 13-point difference on Sunday was the largest margin of defeat for Detroit in 2019.

14. Arizona Cardinals (3-9-1)

12/15 CLE (6-7)

12/22 @ SEA (10-3)

12/29 @ LAR (8-5)

Remaining foes' combined records: 24-15

Opponents' win percentage: .615

Status: The Cardinals have dropped six consecutive games, three of which have been by six or fewer points, and three by double-digits.

15. Washington Redskins (3-10)

12/15 PHI (6-7)

12/22 NYG (2-11)

12/29 @ DAL (6-7)

Remaining foes' combined records: 14-25

Opponents' win percentage: .359

Status: Washington could play a pivotal role in whether the NFC East Champion is Philadelphia or Dallas.

16. New York Giants (2-11)

12/15 MIA (3-10)

12/22 @ WAS (3-10)

12/29 PHI (6-7)

Remaining foes' combined records: 12-27

Opponents' win percentage: .308

Status: The Giants had the Eagles on the ropes on Monday Night Football but a 23-17 loss in overtime after blowing a 17-3 halftime lead kept Big Blue winless since Sept. 29.