No, the Green Bay Packers cannot clinch a playoff spot this weekend. The Packers’ upcoming showdown with the Detroit Lions in week 18 ensures that Green Bay absolutely must win that game in order to have a chance to make the postseason. However, there are a couple of scenarios that could eliminate the Packers from playoff contention this weekend and that therefore keep Sunday afternoon’s game against the Minnesota Vikings squarely in the must-win category.
A loss by the Packers combined with either a Lions win over the Chicago Bears or a Washington Commanders victory over the Cleveland Browns would officially eliminate the Packers, which would set up some interesting decisions for that week 18 matchup. Of course, the Packers are currently favored at home against Minnesota on Sunday, and a win keeps them right in the thick of the mix.
In fact, if the Packers win and the Commanders lose, that means that the Packers will control their playoff fate against Detroit. Making things even more fascinating is that there is a viable scenario in which either Packers-Lions winner makes the playoffs with the loser being eliminated, which could set up the NFL to put that game in prime time a week from Sunday. That would require both Green Bay and Detroit to win this week along with losses by both the Commanders and the Seattle Seahawks (against the New York Jets).
Strap in for a fascinating NFL Sunday on New Year’s Day, folks!
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers not concerned about knee injury | Packers.com
Rodgers missed practice on Wednesday but expects Thursday and the rest of the week to be "business as usual."
Aaron Jones, A.J. Dillon have put up high marks for rushing production | Packers Wire
The two runners were thought of as being among the best tandems in the NFL before the season and they have largely lived up to that billing. They've even done something that only three other pairs in franchise history have ever accomplished: rushing for 650 yards each while recording five touchdowns apiece.
Five NFL units peaking at right time: Bills’ run game, Ravens’ defense, more - The Athletic ($)
The Packers' special teams unit, which we discussed in more detail in yesterday's curds, gets a mention here as well.
'Prime Time' Rasul Douglas keeps saving Packers with late-game INTs - ESPN
Douglas keeps recording game-clinching interceptions, with six of his nine picks as a Packer coming in the fourth quarter and three taking place inside the last two minutes of the game.
NFL playoff scenarios for Week 17: How this week’s results could change the playoff picture - The Athletic ($)
The Packers can't clinch a playoff spot of their own on Sunday, but a win would knock the Vikings out of the running for the NFC's #1 seed.
Boston family puzzled over Best Buy tablet boxes stuffed with roofing shingles – Boston 25 News
Always check the box that purports to contain a laptop for its actual contents before wrapping it up as a Christmas gift!