Monday's victory was not only inspirational for the Green Bay Packers, it was essential. The Packers do not control their destiny, so they can only win out and wait. Monday's win made that waiting a little more optimistic.
Due to the tiebreakers and the fact that two NFC East teams – Philadelphia and Dallas – have already clinched playoff berths, the Packers can go in only as the NFC North Champion or the last wildcard seed. The former means they'd play at Lambeau the first weekend of the playoffs. The latter means hitting the road.
Here are the playoff scenarios heading into the final week of the regular season:
Green Bay wins the NFC North IF:
- Packers beat Denver and Minnesota loses to Arizona. OR
- Packers tie and Minnesota loses.
If Minnesota wins, Green Bay can still make the playoffs IF:
- Seattle loses to San Francisco OR
- Green Bay wins and Dallas wins or ties OR
- Green Bay wins or ties and Seattle ties OR
- Green Bay wins and Dallas ends up with a better strength of victory than Seattle, which won't be determined until all opponents whom the Cowboys have beaten this season complete their games in Week 17.
There is a way to get in with a loss as well. If the Packers and Seahawks both lose, they'll tie at 9-7. Dallas would be assured of the top wildcard spot and the Packers would win the head-to-head tiebreaker over Seattle, which they beat at Lambeau Oct. 5.