Green Bay Packers playoff scenarios reveal that the team still has a shot at winning the NFC North, but that the team can no longer qualify for a first-round bye. As the Packers schedule shows, there is only one game left to decide whether the Packers even make the 2017 NFL Playoffs. The Packers head out on the road to play the Detroit Lions in what boils down to a must-win situation for quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his team.
The Packers picked up a huge Week 16 victory, beating the Minnesota Vikings 38-25 to improve to 9-6 on the season. It was the fifth straight victory for the Packers, making them one of the hottest teams in the NFL. After losing a fourth straight game back in Week 11, it has seemed like the Packers would soon be eliminated from the postseason. Instead, the team has battled back to being one win from clinching a division title.
There are two very important Week 17 games that play into the Green Bay Packers’ playoff scenarios. The first is a grudge match with the Detroit Lions, where the Packers can clinch the division and a first-round home playoff game. The other important game is the Washington Redskins vs. New York Giants. If the Packers lose to the Lions and the Redskins beat the Giants, then it will be Washington heading to the 2017 NFC Playoffs instead of Green Bay.
The alternative ending to Week 17 could be the Packers and Redskins both losing to end the regular season. If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Carolina Panthers, things could then get really interesting. At that point, the Packers and Buccaneers would have identical records, while the Redskins would be eliminated. As it currently stands, Green Bay wins the tie break over Tampa Bay based on the strength of victory. That could shift based on other Week 17 results, but the Packers have a clear advantage going into that final weekend.
The other Green Bay Packers playoff scenarios all depend on how other Week 17 games turn out as well. If the Packers beat the Lions, the Seattle Seahawks beat the San Francisco 49ers, and the Atlanta Falcons beat the New Orleans Saints, then the Packers become the No. 4 seed in the NFC. That would mean a first-round playoff game against the top Wild Card team in the NFC. That spot is held by the New York Giants, setting up an interesting first-round matchup to see which team advances to play the Dallas Cowboys in the divisional round.
If the Seahawks lose to the 49ers in Week 17, while the Packers beat the Lions, then Green Bay could grab the No. 3 seed in the NFC. This would allow the team to host the second Wild Card team, which could be either the Detroit Lions or Washington Redskins. It would also create a second-round game where the Packers could avoid playing the Cowboys on the road. Winning in the Wild Card round would advance them to play the Atlanta Falcons instead. That might be a more favorable matchup for the Packers at this point.
While the most important thing for the Packers to focus on in Week 17 is beating the Detroit Lions, it won’t keep fans from rooting against the Washington Redskins. A lot of fresh New York Giants fans are going to be in Wisconsin this weekend, with the hopes of keeping the Redskins from even making it to the postseason. Simply beating the Lions will grant Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers another NFC North divisional title, which would guarantee a huge home field advantage for at least one game during the 2017 NFL Playoffs.
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