NFC Playoff Standings

There's little margin for error in the NFC, though the Packers have a great shot to be the No. 1 seed with three games to play. (Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY)

The Green Bay Packers are close to earning the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs.

They’re also close to not making the playoffs at all.

In the top-heavy NFC, Arizona and Green Bay are 10-3. Dallas is 9-4 but, due to its conference record, wouldn’t even qualify if the season were over.

“Ten victories has always kind of been the benchmark for us as a football team,” coach Mike McCarthy said after Monday’s 43-37 victory over Atlanta. “It’s always tough to get to that. Obviously, with the way things are sorting out in the NFC, 11 wins would probably be more of a benchmark this year.”

Based on remaining schedules, the Packers would appear to be in the driver’s seat in the race for No. 1. The Cardinals play at surging St. Louis (6-7), host surging Seattle (9-4) and play at San Francisco (7-6). Those teams are a combined 22-17. The Packers play at Buffalo (7-6) and Tampa Bay (2-11) before closing at home vs. Detroit (9-4); the Lions haven’t won in Wisconsin since 1991. Those teams are a combined 18-21.

The Packers are 7-0 at home, where they’ve been dominant. That makes the No. 1 seed a worthwhile target.

“Why not? It’s the No. 1 goal,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said.

RankTeamDivisionRecordHead to HeadRecord vs. NFCCommon GamesStrength of Victory (wins)Strength of Scheduile (wins)
1ArizonaWest10-3-0 7-2-00-0-0.492 (64).521 (88) 
2Green BayNorth10-3-0 7-3-00-0-0.458 (59).488 (82) 
3PhiladelphiaEast9-4-0 5-4-00-0-0.397 (46).488 (82) 
4AtlantaSouth5-8-0 5-5-00-0-0.362 (23).479 (80) 
5SeattleWest9-4-0 7-2-04-0-1.509 (59).530 (89) 
6DetroitNorth9-4-0 7-2-02-2-1.393 (46).459 (77) 
7DallasEast9-4-0 6-4-00-0-0.376 (44).432 (73) 
8San FranciscoWest7-6-0 6-4-00-0-0.473 (43).503 (85) 
9MinnesotaNorth6-7-015-5-00-0-0.288 (22).464 (78) 
10St. LouisWest6-7-0-14-5-00-0-0.423 (33).527 (89) 
11New OrleansSouth5-8-0 4-5-04-5-2.469 (30).524 (87) 
12ChicagoNorth5-8-0 4-5-04-5-2.338 (22).524 (88) 
13CarolinaSouth4-8-1 4-6-00-0-0.432 (21).530 (81) 
14New York GiantsEast4-9-0 2-7-00-0-0.327 (17).533 (90) 
15WashingtonEast3-10-0 1-8-00-0-0.333 (13).485 (82) 
16Tampa BaySouth2-11-0 1-8-00-0-0.423 (11).473 (79)

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.


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