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Monday, December 5, 2011
Looking at the playoff picture

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Even after Sunday’s loss to the Houston Texans, the Atlanta Falcons remain very much in the playoff picture. In fact, they’d be in the playoffs if they started today.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Falcons (7-5) currently would be the No. 6 seed in the NFC. The Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys also are 7-5. The Cowboys would be the No. 4 seed as the NFC East leader.

The Bears would get the No. 5 seed because they have a better conference record than the Lions, and Chicago beat Atlanta earlier this season. The Lions would be out of the playoffs at the moment.

The undefeated Green Bay Packers would be the No. 1 seed and the San Francisco 49ers would be No. 2. But the New Orleans Saints are only a game behind the 49ers.