The Cowboys gave their playoff hopes a big boost by beating the Saints on Thursday night. And they boosted the Rams as well.
The Rams have leapfrogged the Saints and moved into the top spot in the NFC after New Orleans lost at Dallas. Although the Saints own the head-to-head tiebreaker and will earn the top seed if the two teams finish tied, the Rams are now a half game ahead of the Saints heading into Week 13.
Here’s how the playoff picture looks after Thursday night:
1. Rams (10-1): They have an easy schedule the rest of the way, starting with Sunday at Detroit, so they have a good chance of finishing ahead of the Saints in the standings.
2. Saints (10-2): Still the favorites to earn a bye week, but now they have an uphill climb to home-field advantage.
3. Bears (8-3): The inside track to the No. 3 seed, but can they catch the Saints for a bye?
4. Cowboys (7-5): Now owns sole possession of first place in the NFC East.
5. Vikings (6-4-1): If they keep winning, they maintain a half-game lead in the wild card race.
6. Washington (6-5): Owns the wild card tiebreaker over Seattle based on NFC record, and over Carolina based on head-to-head.
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
7. Seahawks (6-5): Has the tiebreaker over Carolina thanks to Sunday’s head-to-head win.
8. Panthers (6-5): Two straight losses in games they easily could have won have severely hurt their playoff chances.
9. Eagles (5-6): Pulling out the comeback win against the Giants means they’re not dead yet in the NFC East.
10. Packers (4-6-1): When they signed Aaron Rodgers to his huge new contract they thought they’d be playoff contenders for years to come. In Year One of the contract, they’re not.
11. Falcons (4-7): Their Thanksgiving loss was the final nail in the coffin.
12. Buccaneers (4-7): Jameis Winston‘s best game of the season was too little, too late.
13. Lions (4-7): Their Thanksgiving loss was the final nail in the coffin.
14. Giants (3-8): Stuck in last place in the NFC East.
15. Cardinals (2-9): Swept the 49ers for their only two wins of the season.
16. 49ers (2-9): The worst team in the NFC.