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Saturday, December 1, 2012
XTRA910 audio: Peeking at playoffs

By Mike Sando

CHICAGO -- My latest spin around the NFC West with XTRA Sports 910 AM's Mike Jurecki and Dan Bickley closed with a question that caught me a bit off-guard.

Which teams from the NFC will reach the playoffs as wild cards?

I went with the NFC North runner-up and the Seattle Seahawks as my choices. Now, after having some time to go through every remaining game in the NFL, I've put together a scenario using ESPN's Playoff Machine.

This scenario had Seattle finishing 9-7 with losses to Chicago and San Francisco. We could reach the same outcome by giving Seattle a victory over one of those teams and a defeat in another game. My scenario had Tampa Bay finishing 8-8 with a defeat to New Orleans. Turning that road defeat against the Saints into a Tampa Bay victory would have bumped the Buccaneers into a 9-7 tie with Seattle in my scenario, but the Seahawks would have been the sixth seed.

The remaining weeks will offer up surprises, of course. Predicting the exact scenario isn't realistic, but it's fun trying. Under my scenario, which is featured in the chart, the Green Bay-Chicago winner in Week 15 would win the NFC North and the higher seed.

Here's the audio from the conversation on XTRA 910 AM.