Figuring out the National Football League playoff situation entering the final weekend of the season is anything but simple.
With that in mind, here is a team-by-team guide to the remaining four berths, as formulated by NFL officials. Already into the 16-team tournament are, in the NFC, Washington, Dallas, Green Bay, Atlanta, St. Louis and Minnesota, and in the AFC, Los Angeles Raiders, Cincinnati, Miami, New York Jets, San Diego and Pittsburgh.
In the NFC:
Tampa Bay (4-4 and 2-3 in the NFC) will qualify with a victory or a tie against Chicago. If the Buccaneers lose, they'll need a miracle.
San Francisco (3-5 and 2-2) will qualify with a victory over the Rams (the only NFC team not in playoff contention), as long as Philadelphia and New York Giants don't play a tie game today. If the Giants and Eagles play to a tie, the 49ers still can qualify, but don't bet on it. If the 49ers lose, they are out.
Chicago (3-5 and 2-4) will qualify with a victory over Tampa Bay and a loss by San Francisco or Detroit. If the Bears lose, they are out.
Detroit (3-5 and 3-4) will qualify by beating Green Bay, as long as Tampa Bay or San Francisco loses. Of course, there is a hitch: the Lions also could be knocked out if they win and if Dallas, Chicago, New Orleans, Philadelphia and San Francisco all lose. If the Lions lose, they are out.
New Orleans (3-5 and 2-5) probably would qualify with a victory over Atlanta, as long as Detroit and San Francisco both lose. But they could still be out, if both Chicago and the Giants lose and Minnesota beats Dallas. If the Saints lose, they are out.
The New York Giants (3-5 and 2-5) will qualify with a victory over Philadelphia and losses by Detroit, New Orleans and San Francisco. The Giants even have a second path in: they will qualify if they win and Dallas, Chicago, New Orleans and San Francisco all lose. If the Giants lose, they are out.
Philadelphia (3-5 and 1-4) will qualify with a victory over the Giants and losses by Detroit, New Orleans and San Francisco. The Eagles, likewise, have a second path: they get in with a victory as long as Dallas, Chicago, Detroit and San Francisco lose. If the Eagles lose, they are out.
San Francisco is the key team. If the 49ers win, it won't matter what the Eagles, Saints or Giants do, narrowing the remaining teams to four very quickly.
In the AFC:
The winner of the Buffalo-New England game will qualify and the loser will be eliminated. Then the final playoff berth will go to Cleveland regardless of the outcome of its game against the Steelers.
The only way Cleveland (4-4) will not qualify is if the Browns lose to Pittsburgh and the Bills-Patriots game ends in a tie. In that case, Cleveland would finish with a 4-5 record, compared to the Bills and Patriots at 4-4-1 each.
Art Monk probably has a gripe about not making the Pro Bowl. Only one other NFC receiver, Dwight Clark, has caught more passes this season. And John Jefferson, who made the NFC team, has nine fewer receptions than Monk, for nine less yards.