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NFC Playoff Picture, Week 12: Packers hold 3rd seed in NFC after win in Minnesota

Thanks to a big win on Sunday, Green Bay can earn a first-round bye if they win out.

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers took back control of the NFC North on Sunday, defeating the Minnesota Vikings 30-13 and pulling back into a tie for the division lead. However, by virtue of the head-to-head win, the Packers currently own the tiebreaker for now. The two teams close the season at Lambeau Field in week 17, however, in a game which will almost certainly have seeding implications and may result in an NFC North title being on the line.

While the division is the top priority, the Packers also would like to earn a first-round bye in the NFC. Currently, they are the third seed, which keeps them playing on Wild-Card weekend, but if the Packers were to win out they would do no worse than the second seed and a bye. This is because the Packers are a game behind the second-seeded Cardinals, but the two teams have a head-to-head game in week 16 in Arizona. If the Packers win that game, they should be in an excellent position to earn the second seed in the NFC.

Here's how things look for now:

NFC Playoff Seeding

  1. Carolina Panthers (10-0, NFC South leader)
  2. Arizona Cardinals (8-2, NFC West leader)
  3. Green Bay Packers (7-3, NFC North leader)
  4. New York Giants (5-5, NFC East leader)
  5. Minnesota Vikings (7-3, Wild Card)
  6. Atlanta Falcons (6-4, Wild Card)
Next up:

SeahawksBuccaneers (5-5)
Eagles, Washington, Bears, Saints, Rams (4-6)
Cowboys, Lions, 49ers (3-7)

In the other conference, the top-seeded Patriots play the last team in, the Bills, tonight in Foxboro. If the Bills win, they're in good position for a Wild-Card spot, but if they lose they're in a mess of four teams all with identical 5-5 records.  Here's how things look at present:

AFC Playoff Seeding

  1. New England Patriots (9-0, AFC East leader)
  2. Cincinnati Bengals (8-2, AFC North leader)
  3. Denver Broncos (8-2, AFC West leader)
  4. Indianapolis Colts (5-5, AFC South leader)
  5. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4, Wild Card)
  6. Buffalo Bills (5-4, Wild Card)
Next up:

Jets, Texans, Chiefs (5-5)
Dolphins, Jaguars, Raiders (4-6)
Ravens (3-7)
Browns, Titans, Chargers (2-8)