To be sure, the Packers (8-5) would claim the North if they beat the Vikings (7-6) on Christmas Eve in Minnesota. If the Packers win that game and lose their other two games, they'd finish 9-7. That's the best the Vikings can do if they lose to the Packers. The series sweep would give the Packers the edge.
But if the Vikings emerge victorious, most tiebreakers turn their way if the rivals end the season tied. The first tiebreaker is head-to-head play. If the Vikings win, then the series would be split 1-1. The next tiebreaker is record against division opponents. If still tied, the next tiebreaker is record against common opponents.
The Packers are 3-1 in the North while the Vikings are 2-2. The Packers' one-game advantage, however, would be erased with a loss at Minnesota. Thus, the common-opponents tiebreaker comes into play. And that's where the Packers are in big trouble. Green Bay is 5-5 against common foes while the Vikings are 6-4. At this point, the team that would decide the North would be Tennessee, which pounded the Packers in Green Bay but lost at Minnesota two weeks later.
The common-opponents factor does not include head-to-head matchups, so a Vikings win on Christmas Eve wouldn't affect this tiebreaker.
Other than their head-to-head matchup, both teams have one division game remaining. The Packers close the season at Chicago while Minnesota visits Detroit this weekend. A Vikings loss on Sunday would help the Packers immensely, since the Vikings would be able to finish no better than 3-3 in the North. Thus, the Packers would win tiebreakers against the Vikings, even with a Christmas Eve loss at Minnesota, by winning at Chicago. That would give the Packers a 4-2 division mark.
Meanwhile, the Packers can clinch a playoff berth this weekend under nine scenarios. Green Bay returns to the playoffs by beating visiting Jacksonville on Sunday. The other eight scenarios, as deciphered by some guy from the NFL with too much time on his hands:
1. Green Bay tie and St. Louis loss
2. Green Bay tie and Carolina loss
3. Chicago loss or tie and St. Louis loss and Carolina loss and Dallas loss or tie
4. Chicago loss or tie, and St. Louis loss, and Carolina loss, and Tampa Bay loss or tie, and Seattle win
5. Chicago loss or tie, and St. Louis loss, and Giants loss or tie, and Dallas loss or tie.
6. Chicago loss or tie, and St. Louis win, and Giants loss or tie, and Tampa Bay loss or tie and Seattle win
7. Chicago loss or tie, Giants loss or tie, Dallas loss or tie and Carolina loss.
8. Chicago loss or tie, and Giants loss or tie, and Carolina loss, and Tampa Bay loss or tie and Seattle win.