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Week 13 Packers Playoff Rooting Interest Guide

The non-Green Bay quarterback the Packers most need to pull through with a win this week is...Joe Flacco?

Cleveland Browns v Denver Broncos Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Depending on which model you’re looking at, the Green Bay Packers have about a 40 to 60 percent chance to make the playoffs in an ever-changing NFC following their win against the Detroit Lions. Now that the Packers are firmly “in the hunt,” let’s look at the games that will most impact the team’s playoff odds in Week 13 and the rationale for the rooting interests.

First, though, here’s the overall standings in the NFC.

NFC Standings

  1. Philadelphia Eagles: 10-1 (NFC East leader)
  2. Dallas Cowboys: 9-3
  3. San Francisco 49ers: 8-3 (NFC West leader)
  4. Detroit Lions: 8-3 (NFC North leader)
  5. Minnesota Vikings: 6-6
  6. Seattle Seahawks: 6-6
  7. Atlanta Falcons: 5-6 (NFC South leader)
  8. Green Bay Packers: 5-6
  9. Los Angeles Rams: 5-6
  10. New Orleans Saints: 5-6
  11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 4-7
  12. New York Giants: 4-8
  13. Chicago Bears: 4-8
  14. Washington Commanders: 4-8
  15. Arizona Cardinals: 2-10
  16. Carolina Panthers: 1-10

Packers vs. Chiefs

The angle: Go Packers

This should go without saying, but Packers fans should be rooting for the team to beat the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football, assuming they want their team to make the postseason. According to The New York Times’ playoff machine, the playoff leverage in this game swings 24 percent for the Packers, depending on the result. If they win, they have a 72 percent chance to make the postseason. If they lose, it drops down to 48 percent.

Browns vs. Rams

The angle: root against the Rams

We’ll get into the NFC South teams in a second, but the teams breathing down the neck of the Packers are the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams. Even if the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks do stumble down the stretch, the Packers need to make sure that they aren’t passed up by the Rams and Saints.

Luckily, the Packers have head-to-head victories over both teams, which would help them in a tie-breaker scenario. With that being said, the biggest game for the Packers, outside of their own, this week is the Cleveland Browns vs. the Rams. If the Rams lose, the Packers’ playoff percentage jumps to 59 percent. If Los Angeles wins, though, Green Bay’s percentage drops to 52 percent. Currently, the playoff machine gives the Rams a better chance to make the postseason than the Seahawks, which just goes to show you how quickly things are changing in the NFC.

NFC South Games

The angle: root against all non-Panthers teams

There’s a decent chance that the Packers, as either the sixth or seventh seed in the NFC, actually end up finishing with a better record than whoever wins the NFC South this year and punches in a ticket as the fourth seed in the conference. The Saints, Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are all still alive in their divisional race and are hanging around “in the hunt” for a wildcard spot.

To make this short: You are rooting against the non-Carolina Panthers NFC South teams this week and for the foreseeable future. Lions-Saints, Panthers-Buccaneers and Falcons-Jets all carry between a two or three playoff probability swing for the Packers’ postseason chances, making these cluster of games the most important non-Green Bay matches outside of Browns-Rams. None of the other games, league-wide, will even impact the Packers’ playoff odds by a full percentage point.