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Green Bay Packers: Playoff Scenarios in Week 17

DETROIT , MI - NOVEMBER 26: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers reacts after throwing a second quarter touchdown against the Detroit Lions on November 26, 2009 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
M. S.Correspondent IDecember 29, 2009

With a win over the Seahawks in Week 16, the Packers clinched a playoff spot after the New York Giants fell to the Carolina Panthers.  The Vikings have already clinched the NFC North due to the head-to-head tiebreaker they hold with the Packers, but the fifth seed the Packers currently hold is still up for grabs, and they do not know who they will play in the first round yet.  Here’s a complete look at how things shape up for the Packers heading into the final week of the season.

NY Giants @ Minnesota, 12 p.m.

Green Bay @ Arizona, 3:15 p.m.

Philadelphia @ Dallas, 3:15 p.m.

The first game on the schedule that matters to the Packers is one that could determine everything, even before the Packers take the field.  Simply put: If the Vikings defeat the Giants, the Packers will play the Cardinals in Arizona in the first round of the playoffs.

Scenario 1: Vikings, Eagles, Packers Win:
Scenario 2: Vikings, Eagles, Cardinals Win:

1. New Orleans
2. Philadelphia (12-4)
3. Minnesota (12-4)
4. Arizona (11-5/10-6)
5. Green Bay (11-5 or 10-6)
6. Dallas (10-6)

Dallas losing ensures the Packers the fifth seed (head-to-head win) while the Vikings win guarantees them the third seed, leaving the Cardinals with the No. 4 seed.

Scenario 3: Vikings, Cowboys, Packers Win:

1. New Orleans
2. Minnesota (12-4)
3. Dallas (11-5)
4. Arizona (10-6)
5. Green Bay (11-5)
6. Philadelphia (11-5)

A Cowboys win gives the Vikings the No. 2 seed while the Packers beating the Cardinals gives Dallas a better record and the No. 3 seed.

Scenario 4: Vikings, Cowboys, Cardinals Win:

1. New Orleans
2. Minnesota (12-4)
3. Arizona (11-5)
4. Dallas (11-5)
5. Philadelphia (11-5)
6. Green Bay (10-6)

If the Cardinals win, they would move ahead of the Cowboys on a tie-breaker but the Packers would also drop to the No. 6 seed, thus linking the Cardinals with the Packers again if the Vikings win.

If the Giants upset the Vikings in the noon game, four different scenarios can occur, which include the Packers being matched up with either the Cardinals, Vikings, or the Cowboys.

Scenario 5: Giants, Eagles, Packers Win:

1. New Orleans
2. Philadelphia (12-4)
3. Minnesota (11-5)
4. Arizona (10-6)
5. Green Bay (11-5)
6. Dallas (10-6)

Pretty straightforward as records are all in place and no tie-breakers are used.  The one that doesn’t hurt your head to look at.

Scenario 6: Giants, Eagles, Cardinals Win:

1. New Orleans
2. Philadelphia (12-4)
3. Arizona (11-5)
4. Minnesota (11-5)
5. Green Bay (10-6)
6. Dallas (10-6)

The only way the Packers can get another shot at Favre is by the Cardinals jumping the Vikings based on their head-to-head victory. Again, the Packers have the tie-breaker with the Cowboys for the same reason.

Scenario 7: Giants, Cowboys, Packers Win:

1. New Orleans
2. Dallas (11-5)
3. Minnesota (11-5)
4. Arizona (10-6)
5. Green Bay (11-5)
6. Philadelphia (11-5)

The only way the Cowboys can receive a first-round bye, and the Packers hold the tie-breaker with the Eagles due to record against common opponent.

Scenario 8: Giants, Cowboys, Cardinals Win:

1. New Orleans
2. Arizona (11-5)
3. Dallas (11-5)
4. Minnesota (11-5)
5. Philadelphia (11-5)
6. Green Bay (10-6)

Don’t ask…that’s just what it is.

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