Looking at playoff seeding just halfway into the NFL season may be a foolish exercise, but it's still worth examining to see just what a team needs to do in order to make it into the tournament and who to root for or against in the coming weeks. Thus, with the Green Bay Packers very much in the thick of things in the NFC after nine weeks, let's take a quick look at how the seeding looks as of today.
|1||Arizona Cardinals||7-1||Leading NFC West|
|2||Detroit Lions||6-2||Leading NFC North; wins conference record tiebreaker over PHI (5-1 vs. 3-2)|
|3||Philadelphia Eagles||6-2||Leading NFC East|
|4||New Orleans Saints||4-4||Leading NFC South|
|6||Seattle Seahawks||5-3||Wild-Card; wins head-to-head tiebreaker over GB|
|7||Green Bay Packers||5-3|
|8||San Francisco 49ers||4-4|
|10||New York Giants||3-4||Play Indianapolis Colts on Monday Night in week 9, would move up to #9 with win|
|12||Chicago Bears||3-5||Wins conference record tiebreaker over STL (2-2 vs. 3-4)|
|13||St. Louis Rams||3-5|
|16||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1-7|
That's right, currently, the Packers sit in a tie for the final wild-card spot with the team that beat them in week one, the Seahawks. Seattle's schedule is tough down the stretch - they still have a game against the 5-3 Chiefs, two games each against the Cardinals and 49ers, and a game at the Eagles (when Nick Foles might be back), so there is a good chance that they'll lose a handful of those games.
As for the other wild-card spot, the Packers are a half-game behind Dallas, whose bye comes in week 11. Dallas, on the other hand, has a pair of games against the Eagles, plus a trip to Chicago and a home game against the 5-3 Colts.
Of course, the easiest way to get in would be to catch the Lions and win the NFC North. Obviously, this would likely require a win at Lambeau Field in week 17, but the Packers would definitely want to pick up another game on Detroit at some point to win it outright and avoid going to a tiebreaker scenario. The ideal situation would be for the Lions to lose an additional divisional game (of which they have three others remaining besides week 17), which could significantly help the Packers in that tiebreaker.
For now, cheer for whoever's playing against the Cowboys, Seahawks, and Lions, though that's assuming you wouldn't already.