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DOWN THE STRETCH

Despite Monday’s loss, the Vikings appear to be in decent shape to make the NFC playoffs; they have a one-game lead on the Rams for the second wild card, and Los Angeles still has to play Seattle, Dallas and San Francisco. As for seeding … the Packers can win the NFC North even if they lose to the Vikings simply by winning their other three games. Here are the remaining schedules for the six teams currently in NFC playoff position (New Orleans has already won the NFC South):

1. NEW ORLEANS (10-2)

South champion

Dec. 8: vs. San Francisco (10-2)

Dec. 16: vs. Indianapolis (6-6)

Dec. 22: at Tennessee (7-5)

Dec. 29: at Carolina (5-7)

2. SEATTLE (10-2)

West leader

Dec. 8: at L.A. Rams (7-5)

Dec. 15: at Carolina (5-7)

Dec. 22: vs. Arizona (3-8-1)

Dec. 29: vs. San Francisco (10-2)

3. GREEN BAY (9-3)

North leader

Dec. 8: vs. Washington (3-9)

Dec. 15: vs. Chicago (6-6)

Dec. 23: at Vikings (8-4)

Dec. 29: at Detroit (3-8-1)

4. DALLAS (6-6)

East leader

Dec. 5: at Chicago (6-6)

Dec. 15: vs. L.A. Rams (7-5)

Dec. 22: at Philadelphia (5-7)

Dec. 29: vs. Washington (3-9)

5. SAN FRANCISCO (10-2)

First wild card

Dec. 8: at New Orleans (10-2)

Dec. 15: vs. Atlanta (3-9)

Dec. 21: vs. L.A. Rams (7-5)

Dec. 29: at Seattle (10-2)

6. VIKINGS (8-4)

Second wild card

Dec. 8: vs. Detroit (3-8-1)

Dec. 15: at L.A. Chargers (4-8)

Dec. 23: vs. Green Bay (9-3)

Dec. 29: at Chicago (6-6)