Four NFL playoff spots at stake in last-weekend games


The National Football League's last four playoff berths will be decided by Sunday's final regular-season games, two of them showdowns in which the winner advances and the loser is done.

Chicago entertains Green Bay and Philadelphia will visit Dallas with the winner in each capturing a division crown and first-round home playoff game and the loser seeing their season conclude.

Dallas quarterback Tony Romo, who has a herniated disk in his back, is likely to be replaced by Kyle Orton when the Cowboys play host to the Philadelphia Eagles to decide the NFC East champion and a playoff spot.

"It's a health issue. We'll just see how he's feeling," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said of Romo, who had not practiced through Thursday.

"Certainly you want your quarterback to practice during the week. Tony has played a lot of football for us so you would give him more leeway than most."

It's the third year in a row in which the Cowboys will either make or miss the playoffs based upon their final game of the season, having fallen to Washington and the New York Giants the past two years.

Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers was named Thursday as the Packers' starter at Chicago against the team that sidelined him in a road triumph last month.

"This is a playoff game for us," Rodgers said. "It's all out there."

A victory gives the Bears or Packers the NFC North crown and spells the season's end for the loser of the NFL's oldest rivalry, which will be contested for the 188th time.

Seattle, Carolina and San Francisco have secured National Conference playoff spots with the Chicago-Green Bay and Dallas-Philadelphia winners joining them.

The sixth and final NFC spot will go to either New Orleans or Arizona. New Orleans can clinch the berth by winning at home over Tampa Bay but anything less would allow the Cardinals to take the final wildcard berth by beating visiting San Francisco.

Seattle can seal a home-field edge throughout the path to the Super Bowl with a home win over St. Louis but a loss opens the door for San Francisco to overtake them for the NFC West title.

Carolina needs a victory at Atlanta to clinch a first-round bye and the NFC South division crown.

In the American Conference, playoff spots have been clinched by division champions Denver, New England, Cincinnati and Indianapolis as well as wildcard qualifier Kansas City.

That leaves four teams -- Miami, Baltimore and San Diego at 8-7 and Pittsburgh at 7-8 -- vying for the last wildcard spot in a complicated mess where all of the clubs need help from results in other games to advance.

Miami needs a home victory over the New York Jets and either a loss by Baltimore at Cincinnati or a San Diego home victory over Kansas City to advance.

A win by reigning Super Bowl champion Baltimore would still need Miami or San Diego losing to keep the Ravens in the running to defend their crown. San Diego must win and have Baltimore and Miami lose.

Pittsburgh needs a win and losses by the other three contenders to reach the playoffs. If all four teams lose, the Ravens reach the playoffs.

Denver has clinched a first-round playoff bye, but must win at Oakland or have New England fail to beat visiting Buffalo to ensure the Peyton Manning-led Broncos have a home-field edge all the way to the Super Bowl.

Cincinnati could deny New England a first-round bye with a victory if the Patriots falter against Buffalo and Indianapolis could take the bye by beating Jacksonville if the Patriots and Cincinnati both lose.

© (c) 2013 AFP

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

GO BENGALS ! ! ! 2013 AFC NORTH CHAMPS ! ! ! Now we gotta root for the Bills to beat the Pats so we can get a bye the first week. WHO DEY ! ! !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

BTW, San Francisco will be visiting Arizona in the last game.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No Sochi Winter Olympic for me unless we go through the Super Bowl first. Go Broncos!!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

No Giants or Jets in the playoffs for a New York-area Super Bowl. Bummer!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

No Giants or Jets in the playoffs for a New York-area Super Bowl.

Wow.......some folks are truly dreamers.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Payton Manning returned to the top of the fantasy mountain by breaking Tom Brady's 2007 record with 51 touchdown passes last Sunday. He needs 266 yards to break Drew Brees' 2011 single-season yardage record of 5,476. Hope he does that this Sunday. We are so happy to have him here and I believe he loves Colorado and will retire here for kids.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

As a NorCal gal, sure glad that the 49ers are in the NFL playoffs again. Best wishes to QB Colin Kaepernick and the rest of the team! GO NINERS! And best wishes to QB Aaron Rodgers, as he's from NorCal, too.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Not from Seattle but I hope they go all they!!

The loudest crowd roar at a sports stadium is 137.6 dbA and was achieved by fans of the Seattle Seahawks, aka "Volume 12 - The Seahawks 12th Man" (USA), at Centurylink Stadium in Seattle, Washington, USA, on 2 December 2013.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites