Huddle Up

NFL News and Analysis with Andrew Perloff

Perloff
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  • 01:40 AM ET  12.03

Winning the final NFC wild-card berth is like finding lost drug money in No Country For Old Men or reaching the BCS Championship Game. Whoever gets there didn't earn it, doesn't deserve it and won't enjoy it as much as they thought.

At 8-4, the Giants have the first wild-card wrapped up. Three 6-6 teams and five 5-7 teams will vie for the last spot. Here's how I rank each team's shot at reaching the postseason:

LEGIT CONTENDERS

1. Vikings (6-6) - (at 49ers, Bears, Redskins, at Broncos) --  The Vikings' D should fare well against all four of the offenses it faces. Besides, the NFL wants Adrian Peterson in the playoffs. Just kidding, we all know officials don't determine the outcome of a game, which brings us to ...

2. Cardinals (6-6) -- (at Seahawks, at Saints, Falcons, Rams)  -- Can the Cardinals push aside the competition like they pushed Kellen Winslow out of bounds at the end of Sunday's victory over Cleveland? Winning at the Superdome in two weeks will be tough and the Rams aren't a gimme.

3. Saints (5-7) - (at Falcons, Cardinals, Eagles, at Bears) - The Saints should win next week, can make up a game on Arizona in Week 15, and finish up against beatable teams. If they run the table, they'll have a tie-breaker edge over the Vikes.

LONG SHOTS

4. Redskins (5-7) - (Bears, at Giants, at Vikings, Cowboys)  The winner of next Thursday's Bears-Redskins game has a shot because both teams face the Vikings. The Skins keep losing close ones, but have talent if they can hold it together emotionally.

5. Bears - (5-7) - (at Redskins, at Vikings, Packers, Saints) Chuck Norris would kick to Devin Hester.

NO SHOTS

6. Detroit (6-6) - (Cowboys, at Chargers, Chiefs, at Packers)  -- When they were 6-2, I predicted they'd finish 8-8. I knew I was too optimistic

7. Eagles (5-7) - (Giants, at Cowboys, at Saints, Bills) - Disney is working on an A.J. Feeley film called Vincible.

8. Panthers (5-7) - (at Jaguars, Seahawks, Cowboys, at Bucs) - Insert FCC-required Vinny Testaverde joke. How about: This year, the playoffs are no country for old men.  And with that, let's go to your opinion on the messy NFC wild-card race ...

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