Green Bay Packers: Playoff picture following Week 14 win over Seahawks

The Green Bay Packers’ win doesn’t pull them any closer to their playoff rivals, but it ensures they’re still in position to make a run.

Winning out might be the Packers’ only way into the playoff dance, but after not only their result on Sunday, but the manner in which they dispatched of the Seattle Seahawks, inspires belief they can achieve this goal.

Even with a perfect finale to the regular season, Green Bay would need help from elsewhere, whether to win the NFC North or earn a wild-card berth.

Let’s make some sense of the cloudy NFC playoff picture.

The division

Detroit moved to 9-4 with a late victory over Chicago. They are two wins ahead of Minnesota and Green Bay (both 7-6). The Vikings needs the Lions to lose out, as Detroit owns the head-to-head tiebreaker between the two.

Minnesota’s victory over Jacksonville puts them above .500, but their hopes of a playoff return appear slim. Not only is it improbable they win the NFC North given the tiebreaker scenarios, but they have also played poorly of late.

This feels like a straight out fight for the division between the Lions and Packers. Detroit can seal it by beating the Giants and Cowboys, but one defeat from the two would open the door for a Week 17 decider.

Lions final three: at NY Giants, at Dallas, Green Bay

Vikings final three: Indianapolis, at Green Bay, Chicago

Packers final three: at Chicago, Minnesota, at Detroit

The wild-card race

1

Dallas Cowboys

11-2

2

Detroit Lions

9-4

3

Seattle Seahawks

8-4-1

4

Atlanta Falcons

8-5

5

New York Giants

9-4

6

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

8-5

In the hunt

7

Washington Redskins

7-5-1

8

Minnesota Vikings

7-6

9

Green Bay Packers

7-6

All that really matters here is the wild-card situation. Winning the division would of course place the Packers inside the top-four, but a playoff bye is extremely unlikely at this point.

Let’s assume for a moment the Lions win their next two and leave the Packers stranded in the NFC North. Green Bay would then need to earn a wild-card berth.

If the Packers can make up two games on the Giants, they would rank higher based on the head-to-head tiebreaker. Green Bay defeated New York at Lambeau in Week 5.

More realistic is grabbing the sixth seed currently held by Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers have won five straight but roll into consecutive road tilts with the Cowboys and Saints. Tampa holds the tiebreaker over Green Bay due to a higher winning percentage in common games.

Washington remains a problem as they also hold the tiebreaker over Green Bay. Washington hosts Carolina and the NY Giants with a road trip to Chicago in its final three.

Winning out would ensure the Packers finish above the Vikings.

Giants final three: Detroit, at Philadelphia, at Washington

Bucs final three: at Dallas, at New Orleans, Carolina

Redskins final three: Carolina, at Chicago, NY Giants

Vikings final three: Indianapolis, at Green Bay, Chicago

The Panthers and Bears are set to play a key role in the NFC playoff picture.

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