No. 1 Seed Within Reach for Packers

The Packers, winners of four straight, are tied for the best record in the NFC with four games to go. If the season were complete, the slumping Cardinals would be the No. 1, followed by Green Bay and Philadelphia. (Benny Sieu/USA TODAY)

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers wants homefield advantage in the NFC playoffs.

“A lot,” he said.

He might get his way.

With 12 games down and four to go, the Packers, Cardinals and Eagles are all 9-3 and tied for the best record in the NFC. Arizona is in first place by virtue of its 7-2 conference record but has lost two in a row with starting quarterback Carson Palmer out for the season with a knee injury. Green Bay is in second place and behind Arizona because of a 6-3 conference record but ahead of Philadelphia because of a head-to-head victory. Philadelphia is in third place because it has lost to the Cardinals and Packers.

“Our goal’s always to get to 10 wins, then look around and see what’s going on,” coach Mike McCarthy said after a 26-21 victory over New England. “We’ll keep our nose down to the grindstone and get ready for the Atlanta Falcons.”

The Packers conclude the regular season at home on Monday against Atlanta (5-7), at Buffalo (7-5) and Tampa Bay (2-10), and home against Detroit (8-4). They have a combined record of 22-26.

The Cardinals finish the season at home against Kansas City (7-5), at St. Louis (5-7), home against Seattle (8-4) and at San Francisco (7-5). They have a combined record of 27-21.

The Eagles finish at home against Seattle (8-4) and Dallas (8-4) and at Washington (3-9) and the Giants (3-9). They have a combined record of 22-26.

Playing at Lambeau Field hasn’t meant much in recent postseasons, with the 2007, 2011 and 2013 seasons dying at home. However, Green Bay is 6-0 at home this season.

“I don’t know,” linebacker Clay Matthews said when asked if Green Bay is the team to beat in the NFC. “There’s a lot of great teams in the NFC right now. It’s going to be a battle, especially coming down these last four weeks. We’ve just got to handle our business. Atlanta obviously got a huge win against Arizona today. They’re going to come in here hungry, especially (being in first place in the NFC South). We’ll be ready. We feel good about where we’re at and the confidence we have. But we’ve got to keep it going.”

TeamDivRecordHead to HeadConf RecordCommon GamesStrength of Victory (Wins)Strength of Schedule (Wins)
1ArizonaWest9-3-007-2-00-0-0.481(52).514(74)
2Green BayNorth9-3-006-3-00-0-0.467(49).496(70)
3PhiladelphiaEast9-3-0-25-3-00-0-0.375(40).455(65)
4AtlantaSouth5-7-0 5-4-00-0-0.358(21).451(64)
5SeattleWest8-4-0 6-2-04-0-1.464(44).503(72)
6DetroitNorth8-4-0 6-2-02-2-1.426(40).482(68)
7DallasEast8-4-0 5-4-00-0-0.354(34).431(62)
8San FranciscoWest7-5-0 6-4-00-0-0.476(40).528(76)
9New OrleansSouth5-7-0 4-4-04-3-3.442(26).535(76)
10ChicagoNorth5-7-0 4-4-04-4-2.356(21).511(72)
11MinnesotaNorth5-7-015-5-00-0-0.308(18).490(70)
12St. LouisWest5-7-0-13-5-00-0-0.450(27).556(80)
13CarolinaSouth3-8-1 3-6-00-0-0.458(15).545(70)
14New York GiantsEast3-9-0 2-7-00-0-0.389(14).563(81)
15WashingtonEast3-9-0 1-7-00-0-0.333(12).479(69)
16Tampa BaySouth2-10-0 1-7-00-0-0.417(10).458(65)

Note on head-to-head: In the case of the top three teams in the NFC, the first tiebreaker is conference record, not head-to-head, since all three teams have not played each other. Arizona wins that tiebreaker. That leaves Philadelphia and Green Bay, with Green Bay winning that tiebreaker because of the head-to-head win over Philadelphia. Arizona beat Philadelphia but hasn’t played Green Bay; Green Bay beat Philadelphia but hasn’t beat Arizona; Philadelphia lost to Arizona and Green Bay. Green Bay and Arizona are a net of 0 because they have not played each other while Philadelphia is minus-2 because they played Green Bay and Arizona. Minnesota beat St. Louis.

Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


Packer Report Top Stories