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Packers Post-Season Likely Rides on Vikings Game

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Packers Post-Season Likely Rides on Vikings Game

If the Green Bay Packers are going to repeat as NFC North Champions for a fifth-consecutive season it will likely be decided in a showdown with the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field on January 3rd.

For fans of the Green Bay Packers the post-season has become an expected extension of the regular season.  Under the leadership of head coach Mike McCarthy and General Manager Ted Thompson the team has earned its way into the playoffs by laying claim to the NFC North crown the last four straight seasons – the first time the Packers have won four straight division titles since the league went to the divisional format in the Vince Lombardi era (1967).  The four-straight titles is an impressive feat that no other NFC team has duplicated over that time and only two others in the AFC (New England – Denver) have duplicated.

From 2009-2014 McCarthy has lead the Packers to one of the most successful records in team history, including a 73-33-1 record (.687) which also takes into account playoff appearances. The 73 total victories from 2009-14 ranks number two in the NFL trailing only the New England Patriots who totaled 80 over the same period of time.  Making the playoffs after the 2014 season was the Packers’ sixth straight playoff appearance.  Other than Green Bay, only New England has accomplished that feat. The mark of six-consecutive playoff appearances is tied for number-one in franchise history (1993-1998).

This season the NFC North has become a two-team race between the Packers and the Minnesota Vikings.  The Packers (9-4) now boast a one game lead over the Vikes (8-5) and currently own the tie-breaker based on their head-to-head victory on November 22 in Minnesota.  With only three games to play for each team it appears that the end-of-season finale with the Vikings will decide who will be crowned NFC North Champion and likely the third seed in the NFC playoff race based on each teams’ win-lose scenarios the remainder of the season.

The Packers play on the road in Oakland, at Arizona and finish out with that home contest against the Vikings.  The Vikings host the Bears this week followed by the New York Giants a week later before setting the stage for what almost surely will be a winner-take-all game on January 3.

Here are the possibilities:

  1. Both the Packers and Vikings win or lose their next two – and Packers win the finale.  The Packers win the NFC North by way of a better overall record.
  2. Both the Packers and Vikings win or lose their next two – and Vikings win the finale.  Their records would be identical at 11 -5.  Head-to-head would be tied at 1 -1. The next tie-breaker is record within the division.  The Packers would be 3 – 3 and the Vikings would be 4 - 2 or 5 – 1 and would emerge as NFC North Champions.
  3. Packers and Vikings split their next two games.  The Packers would enter the final with a one game lead.  A win by the Packers and they outright win the NFC North - lose and the Vikings are NFC Champs based on the second tie-breaker (Packers 3 – 3 vs. Vikings 4 – 2 or 5 - 1 Division record).
  4. Packers lose their next two and Vikings split their two.  Their records are identical going into the final game (9 – 6) thereby creating a winner-take-all scenario based on the final record (10-6 vs. 9-7).
  5. The Packers lose their next two and The Vikings win their next two - winner takes all.  Packers would enter one game behind but end up in a tie with the Vikings with a win.  The take the crown based on head to head competition.  Vikings win and they are NFC Champs based on a better record.

There are only two scenarios whereby the final game does not factor in the NFC North title (correction here).  In that case the NFC Champion would win based on best overall record and no tiebreaker as outlined here:

  1. Vikings lose their next two and the Packers win their next two – Packers take the crown regardless of the outcome of the finale.  The Packers would take a three game lead (11-4 vs. 8-7) into the final game and would be crowned NFC North champs on the basis of the better record no matter which team wins.
  2. The Packers split their next two and the Vikings lose their two.  The Packers would hold a two game lead (10 – 5 vs. 8 – 7) and would enter the finale as the NFC North Champion regardless of the outcome.

Duplicate the embarrassing performance of their home losses to the Bears and Lions and their playoff ride could be a short one.   Play smart tough football - with an awakened offense - like they showed against the Cowboys and they should repeat as NFC North Champs. 

The fate of the Packers lies in their own hands.  All they must to is win.  Easier said than done.

 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (21) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

EdsLaces's picture

I find it rather appropriate this week to say ....JUST WIN BABY!

dobber's picture

"The Packers lose their next two and Vikings win their next two – Vikings take NFC North regardless of the outcome of the finale."

In this last group of scenarios (last game outcome is irrelevant), the Packers would come in at 9-6 and the Vikes at 10-5. Wouldn't a Packer win make both teams 10-6 with a Packer 2-0 lead in HTH? You have Minneswampy winning the division regardless of the outcome in this scenario, but the first tiebreak is HTH...just checking. Am I missing something?

This said, the Vikings have a prime opportunity to win this division with beatable teams (Bears, then Giants) coming to the Twin Cities over the next two weeks, while the Packers have to travel to Oakland and then Arizona. Oak and AZ are both beatable, but it's a tall order for the Packers to win both, and it's very possible (almost likely) that the Packers will come back to Lambeau for the finale on a two-game losing streak. How big are those home (divisional) losses to Detroit and Chicago looking now? The Vikings are beat up and not necessarily playing great football...it could be they'll drop one of those next two, but I'm not betting on it.

Acme Shellacking Co.'s picture

The Packers might be better off with a wildcard spot. If they win the division, they're gonna play either the Vikings or Seahawks, and I don't want to play Seattle right now. They're one of the hottest teams in the league. If the pPackers get a wildcard, they're gonna face the Vikings or lowly winner of the NFC East. Not exactly terrifying match ups.

dobber's picture

I think that either way (#3, #5 or #6) they're not going to run into Seattle until the NFCCG (if they get that far)...who has a nice road to the playoffs (vs. Cle, vs. StL, at AZ) given that AZ game will likely be meaningless for AZ. I agree though: I don't want to see Seattle again this season. Would much rather see Carolina again than Seattle.

Dan Stodola's picture

I think the Packers will be the #3 seed and I'm more than fine facing Minn in the 1st rd of the playoffs. They just don't scare me at all. Stop AD and make Teddy beat the Packers in GB in Jan? I don't think so.

Seattle is likely to win out or might lose to AZ and they have the tiebreaker on the Queens. Almost no way that Sea is the #6 and Minn the #5 seeds. We would then go to AZ for a game while Seattle goes to Carolina.

paxbak's picture

Scenario #1 in your last game doesn't matter section is incorrect. If the Packers lose the next two and Viking win the next two, The winner is still determined by the results of the last game due to head to head being the 1st tie break. If the Pack wins they hold a 2-0 lead on the vikings in head to head.
Bottom line - if the Packers win the last game against the Viking, they win the division no matter what.

dobber's picture

I agree! ;)

Dan Stodola's picture

THe article is kinda a statement of the obvious isn't it?

pointerjeff's picture

Good catch it was in the wrong column and is now corrected.

paxbak's picture

All good, it's hard to keep track a lot of times.

Bottom Line Again: The next two games virtually do not matter.... at all... unless Arizona loses one.

denniseckersley's picture

You also left out the possibility of The packers winning two and the Vikings dropping one. That would give GB the North.

Since '61's picture

If the Packers don't beat themselves they should win in Oakland this week. Simultaneously, an AZ win this week locks up their division title. By the time the Pack gets to AZ the Cardinals may not have much to play for. The Pack may be able to get past them. As for the Vikes who knows what they will do but the Pack can take them in the finale if necessary. My concern is playing them again in the wild card round back to back. That is always a difficult scenario. I want the home game but I don't like playing the same team 2 weeks in a row. Thanks, Since '61

dobber's picture

The Panthers aren't going to go undefeated (their schedule might make it look otherwise)...they'll take a loss at some point (and I wouldn't be surprised if the Giants knock them off on Sunday). If they do lose to the Giants, it puts the Cards in a position to catch them based on conference W-L pct. I think the Cards are still on the edge of hope playing for something when the Packers come calling.

I don't like the possibility of having to beat the same team 3 times in one season, either...but it's looking like that's the most likely scenario for the Packers.

Oppy's picture

Completely agree about not caring for playing the same opponent two weeks in a row, '61... It certainly has not worked out very well for us in the past.

murphy's picture

Facing a team in Week 17 and then in the Wild Card round has happened twice since Rodgers took over: 2012 against the Vikings and 2009 against the Cardinals.

They won in the WC round in 2012 and were an overthrow away from winning in the track meet of 2009.

WKUPackFan's picture

Or a facemask penalty away.

jmac34's picture

If GB gets past the Raiders, Arizona will still be playing for the #2 seed when GB comes to play because if GB wins all 3 games and the cards lose to gb and another team (seattle most likely), gb gets the 2nd seed

denniseckersley's picture

...

denniseckersley's picture

The hamburglar throwing passes o'er the Frozen Tundra in his little white gloves? LOL.

DrealynWilliams's picture

I think the fans are more scared of the Seahawks than the players. Me personally, would rather see the Seahawks again in the Playoffs. Did week 2 make that much of a statement? I'd bet that a lot of Packers would welcome another NFCCG. We shouldn't want a certain match-up. That's basically allowing your team to lay down.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

These next 3 games could go either way. I'm concerned with the next 2. I think that last game with Minn could be for the division or Wild Card seeding. I've said it a couple of times, I don't want to play Minn or Carolina in the Playoffs. I especially don't want to play Minn back to back, at home or on the road, Not because I think they're that good, They know GB & they can put it together. So I want to avoid them if possible. If I had to guess at this point, I think Carolina might be the team to beat. I think GB & Carolina are the 2 Best teams. If they can avoid one another, I'd say that's who we will meet to go to the Super Bowl. It's early to predict, but that's my opinion. LVT

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