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NFC news and notes

The NFC prepares as the NFL is mid-way through the season. (photo/

We are about midway through the 2013-2014 NFL season and it seems every division in the NFC is still up for grabs.

The NFC West contains two of the most dominant teams in the league. Those teams, the San Francisco 49ers (5-2) and the Seattle Seahawks (6-1) are embroiled in a race for the division lead. The 49ers are a game behind Seattle and have already lost to the Seahawks in a drubbing at Seattle's Century Link Field. San Francisco likely needs to get a win against Seattle at home in week 14, and if not they will probably make the playoffs as a wild-card team. The St. Louis Rams (3-4) just lost their starting quarterback, Sam Bradford, for the season to a torn ACL.

Lastly, the Arizona Cardinals have no offensive-line and change seems imminent this coming off-season. The NFC East is still up for grabs, but the Dallas Cowboys (4-3) look like the favorite at this point. They were tied with the Philadelphia Eagles (3-4) going into the weekend and were able to come up with a win against those same Eagles in Philly. The New York Giants (0-6 prior to their game Monday night) are a mess and Eli Manning is in the midst of his worst season as a pro.

A team to keep an eye are the Washington Redskins (2-4), as Robert Griffin III looks to be returning to last year's mid-season form and they could start to begin closing the gap on the Cowboys in the second half of the season. Last year Washington began the season 3-6 and ended up roaring back to capture the division crown. The NFC South is probably the only division in the conference that seems to be a little lopsided.

The New Orleans Saints' (5-1) offense looks to be unstoppable up to this point and they look like team that could make a deep run into the playoffs. But, the Atlanta Falcons (2-4) should not be counted out just yet. They have been a disappointment so far but they are loaded with talent and could begin to string wins together, although the loss of wide-receiver Julio Jones is a huge one. The Carolina Panthers (3-3) seem to be year or two away from being a legitimate contender and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-6) are arguably the most disappointing team in the NFL.

The final division is the NFC North, which appears that it may come down to the end of the season with no team establishing themselves as a clear-cut favorite as of yet. The Green Bay Packers (4-2) are in the lead but the Detroit Lions (4-3) and Chicago Bears (4-3) are nipping at their heels. The oft-injured Reggie Bush could be a key to the Lions success, if he can stay healthy. The Bears are also missing a few key players on defense and starting quarterback Jay Cutler could be out for an extended period of time, which could spell doom for their playoff hopes. The Minnesota Vikings look to be going with Tampa Bay castoff Josh Freeman for the remainder of the season and look to be too far behind to make up enough ground for a shot at the playoffs.

It is important to note that there is still a lot of football to be played and still enough time for some of the bottom teams to make a run. Enjoy the second half of the season; with the parity throughout the NFC, it should be fun to watch.

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