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The Packers’ playoff scenarios entering Week 17

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The Packers can fall anywhere from the No. 3 seed to out of the playoffs.

Detroit Lions v Green Bay Packers Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

With the Dallas Cowboys’ 42-21 win over the Detroit Lions now in the books, the fans of the Green Bay Packers can turn their attention to Week 17 and the various playoff scenarios therein.

As readers of Acme Packing Company likely already know, Sunday night’s showdown between Green Bay and Detroit, both 9-6 entering the season finale, will determine which team earns the NFC North title and resulting playoff berth. The Packers defeated the Lions at Lambeau Field in Week 3 and would retain the tiebreaker by repeating the feat this weekend at Ford Field. The Packers would also take the division if the game ends in a tie.

However, the Packers can also qualify for the postseason if Washington loses to the New York Giants and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fall to the Carolina Panthers. Additionally, the Buccaneers could win next week but lose the overall strength-of-victory tiebreaker, allowing the Packers to make it in as long as the Giants defeat Washington. Green Bay will know whether it has clinched a playoff berth before it kicks off its game against Detroit.

Though the Packers cannot obtain a first-round bye, they can still mathematically clinch the No. 3 seed in the NFC. The Seattle Seahawks would have to lose to the 2-13 San Francisco 49ers for that to happen, however. More likely, the winner of the NFC North will earn the fourth seed. If the Packers lose to the Lions but reach the playoffs as a wild-card team, they would enter as the sixth and final seed in the conference.

Jason B. Hirschhorn is an award-winning journalist and Pro Football Writers of America member. He covers the NFL for Sports on Earth and SB Nation. He also serves as the senior writer and editor for Acme Packing Company, a Green Bay Packers blog.