In the simplest terms, the Green Bay Packers face a “win-and-in” situation against the Chicago Bears this weekend, as Green Bay would clinch a playoff spot in the NFC with a victory. That’s not the only way they can make the postseason, though.
Even if the team loses, they can still earn a road wild card spot in the playoffs. How? They’re going to need a decent bit of help. According to the NFL playoff scenarios sent by the league in a press release, here are the two scenarios in which the Packers could make the postseason despite losing to the Bears:
- Vikings loss or tie
- Seahawks loss
- Saints loss
Let’s break this one down real quick. First of all, the Packers need to avoid getting jumped by a non-NFC South-winning NFC South team. That’s why the Buccaneers and Saints, who are both 8-8 at the moment, are key factors in these scenarios.
The Seahawks, like the Buccaneers, Saints and Packers, also enter this week at 8-8. To avoid Seattle jumping Green Bay in the standings, assuming Green Bay loses to the Bears in this scenario, the Packers need the Arizona Cardinals to win at home. The good news: Despite the team being 4-12, the Cardinals are coming off a win against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The final piece of the puzzle here is making sure that the Vikings don’t finish the season with a tied record with the Packers. Despite splitting the series 1-1 during the regular season, the Vikings would have a tie-breaker down the line if they and the Packers both finished the year with an 8-9 record.
A Packers tie this weekend would also lead to a couple of scenarios where the team could make the playoffs, too. Here they are:
- Seahawks loss or tie
- Saints loss or tie
- Seahawks loss
- Buccaneers loss
- Seahawks tie
- Buccaneers loss or tie
I highly doubt that any of these scenarios play out on Sunday, but it’s something worth bouncing around in the back of your mind this week. Anyway, the Packers can simply take care of business against the Bears and none of this will be relevant.