The Packers’ journey to the playoffs for all intents and purposes began a few weeks back and several times, it seemed dead. But this is not the truth anymore. The Green Bay Packers are alive. They aren’t in control of their own destiny by any means, but they have a chance. Actually, they have three different paths they can take on their way to the playoffs:
- The Best Path
- The Almost Best Path
- The Least Likely Path
By going over these scenarios, hopefully a Packers fan will know exactly who to root for in the coming weeks.
The Best Path to the Playoffs
In this scenario, the Packers win out against the Dolphins, Vikings, and the Lions. The Washington Commanders lose out to the 49ers, Browns, and Cowboys. The NY Giants lose out to the Vikings, Colts, and the Eagles. The Seahawks lose just one to either the Chiefs, Jets, or the Rams. The Lions can just lose one in this scenario which will need to happen against the Packers. If the Lions lose more, then cool beans, but it isn’t necessary.
Why is this the Best Path? This path is the most guaranteed route the Packers make the playoffs. The Giants and Commanders simply lose out. This also should give the Packers the 6th seed and not the 7th seed. This will allow the Packers to play Minnesota in the first round over the 49ers. This is a good thing because: One, the 49ers are going to end up with the 2nd seed and two, the Packers don’t need to play the 49ers in the Wild Card Round. They would much rather play the Vikings.
The Almost Best Path
The Almost Best Path is very much like The Best Path but the Giants don’t lose out. This path is the most likely way the Packers make the playoffs. In this scenario, the Packers still win out but the Commanders lose just two games against two of the following three: 49ers, Browns, and Cowboys. This situation is likely because the Commanders are not playing well and they will be playing against probably the best team in the NFC right in the 49ers, a suddenly somewhat hot Browns team, and a Cowboys team looking like contenders.
The Cowboys might not have a ton to play for in Week 18, so make sure to root for the Cowboys to continue to win. Root for the Eagles to drop some to give the Cowboys a reason to play their starters in Week 18.
The Seahawks in this path to the playoffs need to lose just one game. Thankfully they are playing the Chiefs on Saturday.
This path to the playoffs allows the Packers to get into the tournament as the 7th seed. As previously mentioned, this will more than likely force them into a Wild Card matchup against the 49ers – though in a very unlikely situation they could be playing the Cowboys. But more than likely they will face the 49ers.
The Least Likely Path to the Playoffs
This path is the least likely path to the playoffs because it means the Packers lost one game to either the Dolphins or the Vikings. They cannot lose two games and in any scenario they have to win against the Lions in Week 18. If the Packers find themselves with a loss to the Dolphins or the Vikings, then they will need more help. This help can occur if the Commanders lose out. The Commanders cannot win another game if the Packers lose to the Dolphins or the Vikings. If they win just one game in this situation, then they eliminate the Packers.
The Least Likely Path has a divergence in it as well where the Packers path is even harder. If the Packers beat the Dolphins but lose to the Vikings, then they will need the Seahawks to not only lose two games but the Seahawks have to lose one of those two games to the Rams in Week 18. Even if the Seahawks lose both games to the Chiefs and Jets, they will still need to lose to the Rams because of NFC tie breakers as the Seahawks and Packers will both be 8-9.
If the Packers lose to the Dolphins and not the Vikings then the Seahawks will not have to lose to the Rams. They’ll simply need to just lose two out of their remaining three games.
So Who Do Packers Fans Root For?
First things first, root for the Packers to win out. If they do this, then they will more than likely make the playoffs.
- Week 16: Root for the Chiefs to beat the Seahawks, the Vikings to be the Giants, and the 49ers to beat the Commanders.
- Week 17: Root for the Colts to beat the Giants, Jets to beat the Seahawks, and the Browns to beat the Commanders.
- Week 18: Root for the Eagles to beat the Giants, Cowboys to beat the Commanders, and (if you randomly want to see the Lions and Packers make the playoffs) the Rams to beat the Seahawks.
So, the Packers have a chance. If they win out, their chances are great! If they lose one to either the Dolphins or Vikings, then it gets even harder (still possible). If they lose two or lose to the Lions in week 18 (assuming the Lions win out), then the Packers will officially be eliminated. They can be eliminated this weekend if the Packers lose to the Dolphins and the Commanders beat the 49ers.
Ultimately, just win.
“Shoot for the Moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” – Norman Vincent Peale——————
Damon is a diehard, fully-immersed cheesehead who currently lives in southern Missouri. He teaches at a local high school and has a family YouTube channel about all things Packers. You can follow him on twitter at @packersfamily and on YouTube at The Packers Family.