Predicting Every Playoff Matchup for the Green Bay Packers
Three games remain for the Green Bay Packers in the regular season and at this point, they're just hoping to limp across the finish line into the postseason.
The Packers currently sit at 9-4 and lead the Chicago Bears by one game in the NFC North. The Packers and Bears play this coming Sunday at Soldier Field in the biggest game of the season for both teams.
If the Packers beat the Bears on Sunday, they will clinch their second consecutive NFC North title and will guarantee at least one playoff game at Lambeau Field.
As of today, the Packers currently hold the number three overall seed in the NFC. They remain a game and a half behind San Francisco for the second overall seed and thanks to the 49ers' win over the Packers in Week 1, it seems the Packers will have to take the scenic route to New Orleans.
Although the Packers have been decimated by injuries, they have just as good a shot as any team to come out of the NFC. The Panthers beat the Falcons in stunning fashion this week and the 49ers have had issues against the St. Louis Rams. The NFC is wide open.
Here's a look at the potential Packers playoff opponents as they try to win a second Super Bowl in three years.
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Current record: 8-5
Current seed: 6th in NFC
The Round They'll Meet In: Wild Card Round
Analysis: Two years after facing the Bears in the NFC Championship, the Packers would face their arch rivals at Lambeau Field in the wild card round if the regular season ended today.
This is a very tentative matchup as the two teams face off Sunday at Soldier field for what very well could be the NFC North title. The Packers would likely fall all the way to the number six seed should they lose Sunday.
The Packers have had the Bears' number as of late but anything can happen when two divisional opponents face off, especially those with the history of the Packers/Bears rivalry. The Packers are beat up, but their new young weapons in the secondary could drive Jay Cutler crazy.
Predicted outcome: Packers win
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Current Record: 8-5
Current playoff seed: 5th in the NFC
Where they will meet: Wild Card Round
Analysis: Ever since the infamous 'Fail Mary' in Week 5 that cost Green Bay a win, the Packers and their fans have been waiting for another shot at the Seahawks.
This time, they'll likely get that shot at Lambeau Field.
If the replacement officials make the correct call, the Packers right now are 9-4 and not 8-5. They then have a even bigger leg up on the Bears and the game this week is not quite as pressure packed for the Packers.
The Packers would have no trouble getting fired up for this game and exorcising their early season demons could very well serve as a springboard for a Super Bowl run.
Likely Outcome: Packers win
New York Giants
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Current Record: 8-5
Current Playoff Seed: 4th in NFC
Where they'll meet: NFC Championship
Analysis: Speaking of revenge, the Packers could very well get a chance to avenge their past two most embarrassing defeats, both of which have come at the hands of the Giants. The Giants last year ended the Packers season at Lambeau Field in the divisional playoffs and this year walloped the Packers at MetLife Stadium.
The Giants have truly become the Packers' Achilles heel. Much like the 1990s where the Packers struggled with the Dallas Cowboys, this generation of Packers players seem to be having trouble with another team out of the NFC East.
The Packers should also have no trouble getting up for this game, considering that it could very well be the NFC Championship since neither team likely has a shot at a first round bye.
This is the one opponent Packer fans don't want to see. Until proven otherwise, the Giants still have the Packers' number.
Likely outcome: Packers lose
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Current Record: 11-2
Current Playoff Seed: 1st in NFC
The round they'll meet in: Divisional Round
Analysis: If this script looks familiar to Packer fans, it should.
When the Packers won the Super Bowl two years ago, the Falcons were the number one seed by a comfortable margin. The Packers lost to the Falcons earlier in the regular season that year but absolutely destroyed them in the divisional round by a score of 48-21.
The Falcons may again be the number one overall seed in the NFC, but after this week's loss to Carolina as well as some last minute heroics to win games throughout the season, many don't consider the Falcons to be the best team in the conference.
Likely Outcome: Packers win
San Francisco 49ers
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Current Record: 9-3-1
Current Playoff Seed: 2nd in NFC
Round They'll Meet In: NFC Championship
Analysis: The San Francisco 49ers beat the Packers 30-22 at Lambeau Field to start the 2012 season. It was a game in which the Packers were just flat out beaten and did not have the excuse of injuries that they currently have.
The Packers also were beat by a 49ers team with Alex Smith at quarterback. Should the two teams meet again, it likely will be Colin Kaepernick directing the 49ers attack. Kaepernick brings a much more athletic presence to the 49ers and the Packers struggle at times with mobile quarterbacks they haven't seen before (see Russell Wilson).
Many consider the 49ers to be the best team in the NFC. That may be true, but with one tie game against the Rams and another near tie, the 49ers have had trouble putting their opponents away. The Packers can at the very least hang with the 49ers.
This is the most intriguing possibility of an NFC championship. It's a coin flip, but the 49ers would get the edge for likely home field advantage as well as the Week 1 performance.
Likely Outcome: Packers lose