If you would have told me three games ago, just before the Green Bay Packers faced the Los Angeles Chargers, that we would be in a position to talk about playoff scenarios come week 14, then I would have called you a liar. Yet here we are. The Packers find themselves, yet again, in a position to make a late run into the playoffs.
I did an article like this last year around this time because somehow, some way, the Packers found themselves in position to make the playoffs after a rough start. Last year, I didn’t even consider the writing this article until Christmas Eve. Only, they are in a way better position this year! So, let’s run it back.
Last year, I broke the Packers paths down to the playoffs down to three different paths. Let’s do something similar this year:
- The Best Path
- The “I’ll Take It” Path
- The Worst Path
All paths in this scenario lead to the playoffs. It’s pretty obvious what would have to happen for the Packers not to make the playoffs, and that is for them to lose. If the Packers win out, then they are in. No matter what.
Playoff?! Best Path
So, for this to be the best path, the Packers need to do the obvious: win. And not just win some. Nope, they need to win out. And they need some help. “Well, Damon, if the Packers win out then they are in. Why do they need some help?”
I’m glad you asked. This isn’t just about making the playoffs. Oh, no. This is winning the division, which is still out there to be achieved! Let’s go over what needs to happen in this scenario.
This playoff path is a long shot, but who cares? There’s still a chance. So, what needs to happen?
- The Packers need to win out
- The Lions need to lose at least four out of the next five
Is this possible? Well, it is. The Packers play winnable games against the Giants, Buccaneers, Panthers, Vikings, and Bears. The Lions play against the Bears, Broncos, Vikings, Cowboys, and Vikings again. The Lions schedule is not as easy as the Packers. To make this even more of the best path, the Lions one win needs to be against the Vikings to help keep them out of the playoffs. This is what the NFC playoffs would like in this scenario:
As you can see, the Packers would be the third seed and would host the Lions in the wildcard round. This scenario also sends the Rams to play against the 49ers, which is good because they are division rivals and if anybody could upset that powerhouse, it would be the Rams.
The “I’ll Take It” Path
This path feels like the most likely path. It gives the Packers the sixth seed and makes them a wildcard team. For this path, the Packers can lose one, and in some cases even two games. Just depends on who they lose to. For this to happen, the Seahawks need to lose the next two games against the 49ers and the Eagles – very likely. And then the Vikings need to lose three out of the next five games. All of this is very much possible.
Here is an example of what the seeding could like. I even have the Packers losing two games in this scenario:
We really need to root for the Seahawks and Vikings to lose. Of course, rooting for the Rams to lose would be good, too.
Worst Case Playoffs Ru
Of course, anything could happen if the Packers make it in the big dance, and even the worst case playoff scenario is better than not making it at all. But this is the worst case scenario for the Packers:
The Vikings win three or more games and the Packers lose at least two games, one of which is to the Vikings. If this were to happen, then the Packers would make it as the seventh seed. This would pit them against either the (barf) 49ers or the Eagles.
It would be cool if the Packers could go into Santa Clara with Jordan Love and upset the 49ers, but I wouldn’t want to risk it right away.
One last scenario, which is possible, is that the Packers could end up with the 5th seed. If the Packers win out and the Cowboys lose three out of their last five, then the Packers would play an NFC South team in the wildcard round. The Cowboys play the Eagles, Bills, Dolphins, Lions, and Commanders. So, this scenario is possible for sure.
So to recap, you need to root for these teams to lose:
And of course, you need to root for the Packers to win.
Go Pack Go!——————
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.