Green Bay Packers playoff chances heading into Week 17
The Green Bay Packers playoff chances are still alive on New Year’s Day. That’s a remarkable accomplishment by the Packers, whose odds took a severe dip on Thanksgiving weekend when they lost to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football. Since that game, the Packers have won three straight. They’re playing their best football all year. And their playoff odds have steadily risen through the month of December.
According to The New York Times, the Packers have a 32-percent chance to make the playoffs. While having one-third of a chance to make the playoffs isn’t where the Packers thought they’d be in Week 17 this summer, they’ll take it after numerous injuries and spending most of the season with a losing record. We’ll break down what the Packers need to have to happen in the next two weeks.
Most accessible paths for the Packers to make the playoffs
Thirty-two percent might not seem like great odds, but they’re really much higher if the Packers win out. They mainly control their destiny, although they do need some help. According to the NYT, if the Packers beat the Minnesota Vikings Sunday, they have a 54 percent chance to make the playoffs. If they win Sunday and then beat the Detroit Lions next week, their chances improve to 86 percent. If the Packers lose this week, their chances fall to just 4 percent if they beat the Lions next week.
The easiest way for the Packers to make the playoffs is to win out and have the Washington Commanders lose to either the Cleveland Browns this week or the Dallas Cowboys next week. The second way is for the New York Giants to lose out the next two weeks and the Packers to win out.
A much harder way for the Packers to get in the playoffs involves them losing in Week 17. They’d need the Lions to lose this week and then fall to the Packers in Week 18 while the Commanders lose out.
NFL Playoff Scenarios has an updated list of what each NFL team in playoff contention needs to have to happen to reach the playoffs. The Packers have several scenarios where they could get a higher seed in the playoffs in the next two weeks.
The Packers can be eliminated Sunday
While the Packers cannot clinch a playoff spot in Week 17, they can be eliminated from the postseason Sunday. All of those scenarios involve the Packers losing, so again, it’s essential they beat the Vikings Sunday, as that guarantees they stave off elimination until Week 18.
If the Packers lose and the Lions beat the Chicago Bears, they’re eliminated. If the Packers lose and the Commanders beat the Browns, the Packers are out. The Green Bay Packers Playoff chances would pretty much die at Lambeau Field Sunday if they can’t beat the NFC North division winner.
The Packers have a pretty good chance to make the playoffs as long as they win their next two games. And at 7-8, that’s the best fans could hope for heading into Week 17. As long as the Packers continue to play as they did in December, we should be watching them play later in January than we thought heading into the Christmas season.