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 13.
After suffering a tough loss in San Francisco last week, the Green Bay Packers get a chance to rebound against the New York Football Giants. The Giants have struggled on offense all season, so this game is prime for the Packers’ defensive unit to get back on track. They were not bad against the 49ers, at least early on in the game, but they did give up some big plays and got no help from the offense.
The NFC playoff picture is getting more clear, as it seems the six teams that will make it have separated themselves. However, these last few games matter because not only can the 5 & 6 seed Seahawks and Vikings still take first place in their divisions, they can even get the #1 seed if everything goes right. Only two games separate the top seed and the lowest seed, though one division leader sits four games back of the top spot.
The Packers can still secure a first round bye and a home playoff game if results go their way. Here is who to root for in week 13 as the Packers try to get those results they need.
Thanksgiving is a time for being with family and eating good food, but it is also time for Football. There are three games on Thanksgiving where the outcome will help the Packers.
Chicago Bears @ The Detroit Lions
Root For: Detroit Lions
The Bears currently sit at 5-6 and third place in the NFC North. However, the Lions are 3-7-1 and are in last place in the division. So, while you get ready to eat, cheer for the Lions.
The Bears can still win they NFC North. it is a loooooong shot, but its possible. If the Lions win on Turkey Day, and the Packers win, it will all but shut the door on the Bears. Yes, rooting for the Lions is hard, but the ends justify the means.
Buffalo Bills @ The Dallas Cowboys
Root For: Buffalo Bills
The Cowboys are currently the 4th seed because they lead in the NFC East, even though they have the worst record out of all the current playoff teams. They sit with a 6-5 record, two games behind the Packers (well, really three because Green Bay beat them) so catching the 3rd seed might be difficult.
If the Bills win and Packers win, this will all but secure at least a three seed for the Packers if they end up winning the division.
Root For: Atlanta Falcons
The Saints are currently the No. 2 seed in the NFC and hold a one game lead over the Packers. So a loss to the Falcons and a win by the Packers will have them in a tie. That is where things can get complicated because they did not play each other.
It would come down to who has a better record in the conference, and that would be the Packers if the Saints lose this week. If they have the same conference record at the end, It then comes down to common teams they have played, and the Packers and Saints have both beat all of their common opponents so far — though the Saints get the 49ers next week.
Out of all the games this week, this might be the most important one for the Packers.
Sunday Early Game
San Francisco 49ers @ Baltimore Ravens
Root For: Ravens
After the 49ers beat the Packers, they now have a two-game lead on Green Bay for the top seed, so the Packers will need all the help they can get to secure home field. If the Niners lose this game and the Seahawks win, the 49ers fall to the 5th seed, and would most likely have a date with the Cowboys in Jerry World if the seeding in the NFC holds.
The 49ers are better than the Packers in all tie breaking categories, so they need to lose three of their final five games for the Packers to even have a shot at the top seed.
Monday Night Football
Seattle Seahawks @ Minnesota Vikings
Root For: Seahawks
It may seem odd to root for the team with the better record than the Packers, but the number one priority should be winning the NFC North. The Packers and Vikings have the same record, but the Packers own the tiebreaker because they already beat them once.
If the Vikings lose this game and the Packers win, the game in Minneapolis in week 16 would be the nail in coffin on the NFC North for the Vikings if the Packers win.
As for the Seahawks, they are in second in their division, meaning they are still a Wild Card team. If they win and the 49ers lose, the Seahawks will be in position for a first-round bye in the NFC and 49ers will be the 5th seed.
If the Vikings end up with the 6th seed and Packers end up with the 3rd, they will have a rematch at Lambeau on Wild Card weekend.