Prior to the 2023 NFL season, many Green Bay Packers players told the media that their expectation was to win the NFC North and return to the playoffs. Last year, the final season with Aaron Rodgers as the starting quarterback, the Packers finished 8-9 and fell short of the seventh and final spot in the NFC playoffs. While the 2023 season was expected to be one of learning and growth with Jordan Love, however, they still expected to return to the postseason.
For a while, it did not seem like that would be the case. After losing four straight games, the Packers were 2-5 and fading fast. However, they have won three of their past four games as Love and his rookie pass catchers have shown the growth and chemistry that everyone hoped they would have.
Fortunately for the Packers, the rest of the NFC is mediocre this season. The Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints are tied for the NFC South lead (with Atlanta holding the tie-breaker) with 5-6 records, the same record Green Bay has.
The Green Bay Packers Can Jump Into the NFL Playoff Bracket After the Seattle Seahawks Loss to the Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys, led by former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, won a thrilling Thursday night game against the Seattle Seahawks. This outcome directly affects Green Bay’s playoff picture.
On the one hand, the Cowboys widened their lead on the NFC’s first Wild Card spot by improving to 8-3. The Philadelphia Eagles lead the NFC East with a record of 10-1.
On the other hand, however, the outcome dropped the Seahawks to 6-6 and into the seventh and final spot in the NFC Playoff picture. The Minnesota Vikings are in the sixth spot with an identical 6-6 record. They own the tie-breaker over Seattle because they have a better record than the Seahawks against NFC opponents.
If the Packers were to pull off an upset of the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night, they would also move to 6-6 and would leapfrog the Seahawks in the playoff standings. This is because Green Bay would also have a better winning percentage in conference games than Seattle.
The Vikings have a Bye Week this week, so the final playoff spot is the highest one the Packers can attain this week.
Other Teams the Green Bay Packers Need to Watch in the Standings
The New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams each have 5-6 records. However, the Packers beat both teams this year and thus own the tie-breaker over both teams. Given their similar records, though, Green Bay will be keeping an eye on how they perform for the remainder of the season.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, whom the Packers play at Lambeau Field on December 17, are one game behind the Packers with a 4-7 record.
Should the Saints take the lead in the NFC South and the Falcons end up with the same record as the Packers, Atlanta would hold the tie-breaker over Green Bay due to winning their Week Two matchup.
For the Packers though, the path to the playoffs is clear: win and they’re in. That will certainly be a tall task with Kansas City, the defending Super Bowl Champions coming to town, but the rest of their schedule following this week is favorable, with games against the New York Giants, Tampa Bay, the Carolina Panthers, Vikings, and Bears.