Even with the NFC North on the line, the Packers say they will not be doing much scoreboard watching Sunday.
If the Vikings (8-5) beat the Bears and the Packers (7-6) lose to the Chargers Sunday, Minnesota will clinch the division. If the Packers win and Minnesota loses, the teams would be tied atop the North with two games remaining. Minnesota hosts Kansas City (11-2) on Sat. Dec. 20, then finishes the regular season at Arizona (3-10). Green Bay has a Monday Night Football date in Oakland (3-10) on Dec. 22, then faces Denver (8-5) in the regular season finale at Lambeau Field Dec. 28.
"I don't pay attention to that," linebacker Nick Barnett said. "I only pay attention to the game I have to play." If Minnesota and Green Bay both win, the only way the Packers can win the division is if they win their final two contests and the Vikings lose both. That is because technically Minnesota holds a 2-game edge over the Packers because of a record against NFC North opponents. However, a Minnesota loss to the Bears would put the teams back into a tie in that category.
If the Vikings lose and the Packers win, they'll be tied in W-L record, head-to-head and division record. The next tiebreaker is record in common games. Excluding the division games, which would have to end in a tie record to enact this tiebreaker, common opponents are San Francisco (both won), St. Louis (both loss), Seattle (both won), San Diego (Minnesota lost, Green Bay plays Sunday), Oakland (Minnesota lost, Green Bay plays Dec. 22), Kansas City (Green Bay lost, Minnesota plays Dec. 20), Denver (Minnesota won, Green Bay plays Dec. 28) and Arizona (Green Bay lost, Minnesota plays Nov. 28). That puts Green Bay at 2-3 in common non-division opponents with all three remaining games counting in this category. Minnesota is also 2-3 vs. non-division opponents with two games remaining in that category. Again, delving into this tiebreaker assumes a loss at Chicago Sunday, otherwise the whole thing is moot.
Is it time to whip out the calculators? Or maybe an aspirin? Not according to those who have been there before:
"We can only control what we can do," tackle Mark Tauscher said. "We've slipped up this year. If we can get consistency going and a run, I like our chances."