Atlanta Falcons
Green Bay Packers: Playoff picture entering Week 17
Atlanta Falcons

Green Bay Packers: Playoff picture entering Week 17

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 1:26 p.m. ET

It’s win-and-in for the Green Bay Packers.

Running the table requires just one more victory, this Sunday at Detroit, that would send the NFC North crown back to Green Bay. The Packers won a fifth straight at home to the free-falling Vikings in Week 16.

In contrast to it’s AFC neighbors, the NFC is far from settled. Outside of Dallas, who clinched home-field last week, all but the fifth seed is up for grabs.

The Packers can finish as high as the third seed or miss out on playoffs completely. Let’s make some sense of the NFC entering the regular season finale.


The division

It’s all straight forward in the NFC North. Minnesota and Chicago are eliminated, leaving Green Bay and Detroit to battle it out for the crown on Sunday Night Football.

A Packers win or tie would seal the division. The Lions must win. It’s worth noting the Packers enter this game with two extra days of rest than their hosts.

Green Bay lead the NFC North following Detroit’s loss to Dallas on Monday night.

The wild-card race


Dallas Cowboys

13-2Clinched NFC East. Secured home-field advantage throughout playoffs.2

Atlanta Falcons

10-5Clinched NFC South.3

Seattle Seahawks

9-5-1Clinched NFC West.4

Green Bay Packers


New York Giants

10-5Clinched wild-card berth. Locked in fifth seed.6

Detroit Lions


In the hunt


Washington Redskins


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

We can forget about Dallas and Atlanta. The Cowboys have wrapped up the top seed.

Although the Falcons need a win to secure a first-round bye, the Packers are a game behind and don’t hold the tiebreaker, making it impossible to finish above them.

Atlanta, Seattle, and Detroit can all finish as the NFC’s second seed. The Falcons need a win, but a loss and Seahawks win would put Seattle at No. 2. Detroit needs to beat Green Bay with both Atlanta and Seattle losing.

Washington will secure a playoff berth by beating the New York Giants, unless Green Bay ties with Detroit. Assuming there is a winner between the Packers and Lions, the Redskins would make the postseason with a win.

Tampa Bay is essentially out of contention, but can still make the playoffs through a highly unlikely set of results. Here’s how they can do it:

How Packers can clinch playoff berth

Win. Victory at Detroit would secure no worse than the fourth seed for Green Bay. If Seattle lose to San Francisco, the Packers would move up to the third seed.

If the Packers lose, they will still make the playoffs as a wild card if the Giants beat Washington.

Key games to watch in Week 17

Carolina at Tampa Bay – New Year’s Day, 1 p.m. ET

NY Giants at Washington – New Year’s Day, 4:25 p.m. ET

Green Bay at Detroit – New Year’s Day, 8:30 p.m. ET

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