With all of the NFC’s teams having played their week eight games, and most of those franchises hitting the midpoint of their seasons, it’s time to start looking at the playoff standings around the NFL. The Green Bay Packers sit in great position, fighting with two other teams to jockey for position for a first-round bye when the season wraps up.
The Packers do sit on the outside looking in, holding the third seed in the NFC at present based on tiebreakers. Green Bay’s 7-1 record matches that of the New Orleans Saints, but a greater number of conference wins gives the Saints the lead for the time being. Both of those teams trail the 49ers, however, who remain undefeated at 7-0 after a complete domination of the Carolina Panthers on Sunday afternoon.
The Packers will get a clear shot at the Niners in a few weeks, however. The two teams play in week 12 out in Northern California, giving both sides a chance for a big head-to-head win over the other. For now, the Packers will attempt to hold serve against the Chargers and Panthers in the next two weeks before their bye week gives them a break heading into that game in Santa Clara.
Here’s a look at the playoff picture at present, which would feature the Packers hosting a certain divisional rival in the Wild Card round.
- San Francisco 49ers - 7-0 (NFC West leader)
- New Orleans Saints - 7-1 (NFC South leader)
- Green Bay Packers - 7-1 (NFC North leader)
- Dallas Cowboys - 4-3 (NFC East leader)
- Seattle Seahawks - 6-2 (Wild Card)
- Minnesota Vikings - 6-2 (Wild Card)
* Saints win tiebreaker with Packers based on better conference record (6-1 vs. 5-1); Seahawks own tiebreaker with Vikings based on better conference record (3-1 vs. 5-2)
Meanwhile, the rest of the conference is stacking up behind the Seahawks and Vikings in an effort to track down one of those Wild Card teams. The only division with a non-playoff team within a game of the leader is the NFC East, as the Eagles are a half-game back of Dallas at 4-4, but behind by a head-to-head tiebreaker win.
7. Los Angeles Rams (5-3)
8. Carolina Panthers (4-3)
9. Philadelphia Eagles (4-4)
10. Detroit Lions (3-3-1)
11. Arizona Cardinals (3-4-1)
12. Chicago Bears (3-4)
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-5)
14. New York Giants (2-6)
15. Atlanta Falcons (1-7)
16. Washington (1-7)