Giants dim Packers' playoff hopes

The New York Giants' 34-28 victory over the Washington Redskins Saturday night will make it that much more difficult for the Green Bay Packers to earn a berth in the NFC playoffs.

The Packers, who face the NFC North Division champion Chicago Bears Sunday night, must win their regular season finale to finish 8-8, then hope for the following to happen:

The Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals, Minnesota Vikings and San Francisco 49ers must win on Sunday. Also, the Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Bucanneers and Houston Texans must lose their games. The likihood of all of the above occurring at the same time is very slim. For example, the Lions face the Dallas Cowboys in Dallas, Arizona plays at San Diego Chargers, St. Louis travels to play at Minnesota, and San Francisco is at Denver.

The Giants (8-8), who had lost six of seven games and had home fans chanting for coach Tom Coughlin's firing last week, likely will be in the playoffs for the second consecutive year - their first back-to-back appearances since 1989-90.

The Packers last made the playoffs after the 2004 season, then lost to the Minnesota Vikings 34-17 in a wild card game at Lambeau Field.

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