Packers Playoff Picture in Week 17: Who Needs to Win and Lose

Green Bay Packers v Carolina Panthers
Green Bay Packers v Carolina Panthers / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages

The Green Bay Packers have dug themselves into a hole when it comes to making the playoffs this season. They still have time to crawl out of it, but will need to win out and get some help in Week 17.

At 7-8, they are tied with the Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, and New Orleans Saints and are on the outside looking in. The Chicago Bears are also technically still alive at 6-9. The Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks own the final wild card spots at 8-7 and lead the pack (no pun intended).

First things first: They have to take care of their own business. They travel to Minneapolis to take on the Vikings, who are also 7-8 and on the outside looking in on the postseason picture. Minnesota beat Green Bay 24-10 in a game that wasn't nearly as close as the score indicated (the Packers scored their first and only touchdown with 2:39 remaining in the third quarter and never threatened to score again). It's time for revenge.

The Packers only have a 29 percent chance to make the playoffs entering Week 17. That rises to 59 percent with a win, but falls to just one percent with a loss. It's essentially an elimination game.

By the time they kick off on Sunday Night, we will have a good idea about where their playoff odds lie based on what happened in the earlier games. The two biggest games to pay attention to are the Rams at the Giants (noon on Sunday) and the Steelers at the Seahawks (3:05 pm on Sunday). If either of those teams loses, combined with a Packers' win, Green Bay's playoff odds will jump from 65 to 70 percent, depending on the exact outcome.

In case the Rams beat the Giants, the other games to pay attention to are the 49ers at Commanders, Lions at Cowboys, and the Cardinals at Eagles. Los Angeles plays San Francisco in Week 18, a game the Packers may need the Rams to lose if they win this week. If that's the case, it's best if the 49ers enter that contest needing to play their starters to lock up the top spot in the NFC playoffs. They're currently in the top spot at 11-4, but have the same record as the Lions and Eagles.

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TLDR Version: There's a lot to root for, but the primary things are: 1. A Packers win. 2. A Rams loss. and 3. A Seahawks loss.