On Sunday the Packers won while the Bears, Lions and Vikings all lost as Aaron Rodgers added to his legend. It was a good day, and vastly improves Green Bay’s chances to qualify for postseason.
Colin Cowherd now endures another week without digging dirt from ex-teammates about Rodgers. The Packers now ‘control their own destiny’ for the NFC North crown should they beat the Vikings and Lions over the next fortnight and finish 10-6. Green Bay would likely finish as a four seed and host the New York Giants in a first round playoff game.
The Packers could finish as high as a number two seed and earn a first round bye. Green Bay would have to win out coupled with two Seattle losses, two Atlanta losses and possibly one Tampa Bay loss. That is asking a lot.
Should Green Bay defeat the plummeting Vikings at home on Saturday, look for the Week 17 game in Detroit to air on Sunday Night Football.
CAN GREEN BAY WIN THE DIVISION AT 9-7?
A home loss to Minnesota does not necessarily doom the Pack, provided the Lions lose at Dallas next Monday night. Then Week 17 still decides the division. The Vikings can finish 9-7, but are eliminated from division title consideration. Should the three teams finish at 9-7 the Packers would prevail due to a 4-2 divisional record. In head-to-head play, the Vikings would have swept the Packers who swept the Lions who swept the Vikings.
Minnesota needs monumental help on multiple fronts to get a wild card spot, which includes two Packers losses.
CAN GREEN BAY GET A WILD CARD AT 9-7?
If the Packers beat Minnesota but lose in Detroit, the waters become much murkier with Washington and Tampa Bay in the mix.
Starting with Monday night’s home game v. Carolina, Washington would have to lose two of their last three contests to finish 8-7-1. The Dan Snyder-owned team will also be slightly favored in Chicago and against a Giants team likely be locked into the number five seed.
The Packers would also need Tampa Bay to lose at least once. Should Green Bay and the Buccaneers finish tied at 9-7 the scenario becomes complex as both teams finished 3-2 against common opponents and would be 7-5 in conference.
The next criteria involves ‘strength of victory’ and currently too close to call. Should Carolina beat Washington, both the Pack and Bucs would have 49 1/2 wins over the eight teams they have beaten. Should strength of victory end tied, strength of schedule would be the next determining factor, Green Bay holds a slight edge there (115 wins of their 16 opponents v. Tampa’s 111).
Combined conference rankings (or league rankings if necessary) for net points scored and allowed would be the tie-breaker after strength of schedule . The criteria of net points was deemphasized by the league following the 1999 season when the Packers and Carolina Panthers ran up the score in their respective season finales played simultaneously.
However, it is highly unlikely much math will be needed to determine the Packers ultimate playoff fate.