By MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM
NFC top contenders
The Falcons (11-2), the only NFC team to have clinched a playoff berth, would be the No. 1 seed with a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the conference playoffs. Atlanta would open the playoffs on Jan. 12 or 13 against the lowest-seeded winner from the NFC Wild Card round.
The 49ers (9-3-1) would be the No. 2 seed with a first-round bye. San Francisco would open the playoffs on Jan. 12 or 13 with a home game against the highest-seeded winner from the NFC Wild Card round.
NFC Wild Card picture
The third-seeded Packers (9-4) would play host to sixth-seeded Bears (8-5) on Jan. 5 or 6. The Seahawks, seeded No. 5, would play at the fourth-seeded Giants (8-5) on Jan. 5 or 6.
The other teams with a realistic chance of still earning a Wild Card berth are the Redskins (7-6), Cowboys (7-6), Vikings (7-6) and Rams (6-6-1). The Buccaneers (6-7) and Saints (5-8) also are mathematically still alive.
How Vegas views the