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It's Not Over Till It's Over

Key playoff teams, their remaining schedules:

Falcons Cowboys Giants Cardinals Eagles
(6-7) (8-5) (7-6) (8-5) (9-4)

Week 15: @Jets @Saints @Redskins @Lions Niners

Week 16: Bills @Redskins Panthers Rams Broncos

Week 17: @Bucs Philadelphia @Vikings Packers @Cowboys

FINISH?: (7-9) (9-7) (9-7) (10-6) (11-5)

Let's assume that the Cardinals and Eagles will win their divisions. The 49ers can't catch the Packers for a wild card spot so forget about the Packers. If the 49ers can
win their last three games, they are 9-7 with an 8-4 conference record. Based on the schedules of the above teams, the FINISH records are a guess. That would give the Cowboys and Giants, the same record as the 49ers (9-7). The Cowboys and Giants conference records would both be 7-5. By virtue of wild-card tie breaking rules, we would get in with a better conference record.

Now let's assume for the moment that the 49ers lose to Philadelphia and win their last two games, finishing with an 8-8 record. It's still conceivable, that the Cowboys could lost their last three games and Giants only winning 1 of their last three, which puts them at 8-8. But again because all three teams are playing within the conference the last three games, we get in with a 7-5 conference record as opposed to 6-6 for the Cowboys and Giants.

If Atlanta runs the table, we pretty much are out. However if they win 2 of three and we run the table, we have a good shot.
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