Sizing up the early NFC playoff standings

The NFC playoff picture is taking shape heading into the final six weeks of the season.

2012 Remaining Schedules

Seattle is one of the leading wild-card contenders at present, but the Seahawks could still win the NFC West and its automatic berth. The team would qualify for the playoffs as the NFC's sixth and final seed if the season were finished already.

Seattle, Minnesota and Tampa Bay are tied with 6-4 records.

Head-to-head tiebreakers come into play if one team has defeated or lost to both other teams. Conference record is the next tiebreaker.

In this case, Minnesota lost to both Seattle and Tampa Bay. That would eliminate the Vikings from consideration. Seattle would then prevail over Tampa Bay based on superior record against NFC opponents.

Of course, much will happen before any tiebreakers come into play.

The first chart shows the remaining schedules for the Seahawks, Buccaneers and Vikings. The first column includes week numbers. The final row shows strength of remaining schedule, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

The second chart shows current NFC order. "SOS" refers to strength of schedule. "SOV" refers to strength of victory.

2012 NFC Playoff Seeding Through Nov. 18, 2012