It's Sunday morning, and so this weekly feature returns. The current NFC Wild Card standings (drumroll please...)
1. Philadelphia Eagles 7-4 (6-2 in conference)
2. Green Bay Packers 7-4 (6-3 in conference)
3. NY Giants 6-5 (4-3, or .571 in conference)
4. Atlanta Falcons 6-5 (5-4 or .555 in conference)
You can ignore pretty much everyone else except the 49'ers, who, in recent weeks on this blog, have been cited as possible threats to the Cardinals in the NFC West. If the season ends, say, with both the Cards and 49'ers at 10-6 or 9-7, this could complicate things. Overall, though, it looks pretty good for the Pack.
Here's how you should root this week:
1. The Eagles are in Atlanta to take on the Falcons. In a tough one, I'm going to have to recommend rooting for the Eagles. An Eagles win would make Atlanta 6-6, and all but out of the picture with both Michael Turner and Matt Ryan seriously injured. This is a good thing. It also makes the Eagles 8-4, and will maintain their current first place standing in the WC race, as the Packers are playing an AFC team. Even if they win, they will still be trailing in the conference record tiebreaker, you see. Oh well. There are other weeks to try to take that top spot.
2. The Giants are at home to take on the Cowboys. Cowboys all the way in this one. A win would make them 9-3, making them de-facto favorites for the NFC East title. The Giants would be 6-6, having lost 6 of their last 7, and practically out of the playoff picture, much like the hypothetical Falcons.
3. The Vikings are in Arizona to take on the Cards. Root for the Cards. A win (as Brandon already explained) would make them more likely to rest their starters against us in Week 17. We want them to run away with the divison, on that note....
4. The 49'ers are in Seattle to take on the Seahawks. It'll never happen, but root for Matt Hasslebeck's crew. This, coupled with a Cards win, would effectively end the NFC West "race."
5. Packers need to win. Obviously.
If all this happens, we'll be sitting quite pretty. Now, so to not set myself up for disappointment, I'll point out that a loss to the Ravens would not be the end of the world. It doesn't effect our conference record, which is the primary tiebreaker, and our remaining schedule is fairly soft. That said, I think it would be a big win, and we should come out prepared to win this game on extra rest/planning against the inconsistent and banged-up Ravens.
The Eagles are really our only threat in this race, and I'm feeling pretty good. Now watch me get burned when the Packers flame out and lose three in a row.