Packers Playoff Picture: NFC North Winner-Take-All in Chicago

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Somehow, despite a Packers loss to the Steelers, a win next week still earns Green Bay an NFC North title.

The unlikeliest of scenarios is playing itself out right now in the NFC North. As was established and discussed ad nauseum before today's Packers-Steelers game, the Packers could win the division with two straight wins over said Steelers and the Chicago Bears next week.

Instead, the Packers lost to Pittsburgh in agonizing fashion, but were bailed out by a pair of NFC East teams. Before Green Bay's game finished, the Detroit Lions lost in overtime to the New York Giants, completely eliminating them from competition in the division and for the playoffs in general. That loss dropped Detroit to 7-8. With the Packers' loss dropping them to 7-7-1, the Bears would have been able to clinch the division with a win in Philadelphia against the Eagles.

Instead, the Eagles took an early commanding lead, jumping out to a 21-0 advantage in the first quarter, and are coasting with a 40-11 lead at the time of this publication. With the Bears facing a 29-point deficit, it's pretty safe to assume that Philadelphia will hold on and knock the Bears down to 8-7.

This sets up a winner-take-all matchup in Soldier Field next Sunday between the Packers and Bears for the NFC North title, a game which has been moved from its original Noon Central kickoff time to 3:25 PM instead.

As for playoff seeding, the Packers can do no better than the #4 seed in the NFC. The winner of next week's Eagles-Cowboys game will finish either 9-7 or 10-6, and the Packers would sit at 8-7-1 with a win. Here's a breakdown of the seeding possibilities for the NFC North teams with next week's games:

Packers-Bears winner Eagles-Cowboys winner Seeds
Packers Eagles Eagles 3, Packers 4
Packers Cowboys Cowboys 3, Packers 4
Bears Eagles Eagles 3, Bears 4
Bears Cowboys Bears 3, Cowboys 4

Get those cheeseheads ready for Sunday afternoon, Packers fans, because the playoff hunt is still not over.

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