For the remainder of the 2019 regular season, APC will monitor the other games around the NFL to identify which games can help the Green Bay Packers’ playoff positioning. This installment addresses the games taking place in week 12.
The most important game for the Green Bay Packers this week is, of course, their own. A matchup with the 9-1 San Francisco 49ers looms large for the NFC playoff race as teams jockey for position with six weeks remaining in the season. And while the Packers can move into the top spot this week with a victory, there are plenty of other games around the conference that will play a part in what seed the green and gold will have to end the season.
Here are the important games to keep an eye on this weekend and who to root for to help the Packers in their quest for home-field advantage in the 2019 NFC playoffs.
Root for: Panthers
The Packers and Saints are tied on record at 8-2, sitting even for the second seed in the NFC behind the 9-1 49ers. The Packers currently own the tiebreaker between the two teams based on a superior conference record, but it would be best to avoid any tiebreaker scenarios if possible.
A Panthers win here would help the Packers on those tiebreakers as well, however. Green Bay beat Carolina before the bye, and a Saints loss this week would be the first loss by either team against a common opponent. On the topic of common opponents, New Orleans also has a second game coming up against Carolina (in week 17) and a big one in San Francisco (week 14), while the Packers’ contests against the 49ers and Bears (week 15) are their only remaining games that fit the bill.
Root for: Eagles
As discussed earlier this week, there is one team that could keep the Packers from the top seed even if Green Bay wins out to finish 14-2, and that is the Seahawks. This game would be a massive help for the Packers and the other NFC contenders — particularly the 49ers, who would either stay a game up on Seattle or would expand their lead to two games, depending on the result of Sunday night’s game.
As with the first game above, Philly getting the win also helps the Packers on tiebreakers as well; it would give Seattle a matching loss against a common opponent, since the Packers lost to the Eagles in week four. To make things more interesting, four out of the Seahawks’ final six games come against shared opponents with the Packers: at Eagles, vs. Vikings (week 13), at Panthers (week 15), and vs. 49ers (week 17).
Root for: Patriots
This is purely an NFC/AFC decision. The Cowboys lead the NFC East, and while the Packers have two games plus a head-to-head win in hand, Dallas could theoretically sneak ahead of Green Bay down the line if they go on a winning streak. Therefore, pull for the AFC team in this matchup, even if it is ugly or painful to do so.