clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cheese Curds, 1/6: Damar Hamlin’s improvement, Packers’ possible playoff scenarios

As the regular season nears its end, those following Hamlin’s progress got a fantastic update on Thursday.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Fans Gather Outside Highmark Stadium Following Hospitalization of Buffalo Bills Player Damar Hamlin Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

Playoffs? Yes, it’s time to talk about playoffs, even with one game to go. The Green Bay Packers need to take care of business on Sunday night against the Detroit Lions, but if they do so they’ll be the seventh and final seed in the NFC bracket and will go on the road to face whoever ends up as the #2 seed.

Who could that be? There are four possibilities, and there’s reason to think that the current, red-hot Packers could beat any one of them. The Vikings and Cowboys? Green Bay has already beaten both of those teams. The 49ers? What are they really, with Brock Purdy at quarterback? And then there are the Eagles, against whom the Packers went toe-to-toe on Sunday Night several weeks back, putting up 33 points and nearly mounting a fourth-quarter comeback with Jordan Love under center.

The 2-seed scenarios are pretty clear at this point, and it feels like a trip to San Francisco is the most likely possibility for whoever ends up as the #7. But it’s worth being aware of and preparing for all possibilities. One thing is certain: the rest of the seeding will be determined before kickoff between the Packers and Lions.

But before we dive into the football news, it’s worth reminding everyone of the great news that came out of Cincinnati on Thursday, where Damar Hamlin is awake and on the road to recovery.

Damar Hamlin begins to awaken, moving hands and feet, doctors say | ESPN
This was a tremendous development, as Hamlin was said to be communicating with doctors by writing, since he was still intubated. (UPDATE: his breathing tube was reportedly removed on Friday morning as he is now able to breathe on his own!) His road to recovery is still long, but he appears to be "neurologically intact," surely due in part to how quickly the Bills' medical staff identified the issue on the field and began CPR.

Packers’ possible paths: Here’s full rundown on No. 7 & 2 seeds for NFC playoffs |
If the Packers do win on Sunday night, it appears that they're most likely to take a trip to San Francisco, who can clinch the #2 seed by winning and the Eagles beating a Giants team that will be sitting many of its starters.

Breaking down the 5 biggest plays that keyed the Packers’ turnaround this season - The Athletic ($)
Christian Watson's first touchdown against the Cowboys, Dean Lowry's field goal block, and Jarran Reed's forced fumble in Miami will all be among the plays that we remember from this season.

Player input is key in Joe Barry’s Packers defense | Packers Wire
Barry said on Thursday that he and Jerry Gray reached out to the players for their suggestions early on last week and worked those ideas into the game plan against the Vikings. Clearly, it worked.

Key Matchup: Packers’ Defense vs. Lions QB Jared Goff - Sports Illustrated
The Packers have forced 12 turnovers in the last 4 games. The Lions have just one giveaway in their last five. Something's got to give, right?

Melted butter clogs historic canal and storm drains after dairy plant fire in Wisconsin - CBS News
A river of butter sounds like a Wisconsinite's dream, but believe it or not, it's actually a bad thing!