NFL Playoff Picture: Breaking the Packers Seeding Scripts in the NFC Framework

The Packers (11-3) already know they will return to the NFC playoffs for the first time in three seasons. With two weeks left in the regular 2019 NFL season, they are now looking to have the strongest playoff spot possible.

The Packers go into the monumental Monday night game of Week 16 against the Vikings (10-4) as the No. 1 seed today. 2, behind the 49FC (12-3) heading west. Given the summit nature of the conference, there are many results for where Green Bay will eventually end.

MORE: Designing NFL play-off seeds and matchups

Following is an analysis of these sowing scenarios:

How packers can fasten seeds no. 1 or No 2

The Packers will need to earn points to advance to No. 1 and gain the advantage of racing in the NFC stadium, as three other teams – the Seahawks, Saints and 49ers – had the same record in Week 16.

If the Packers finish 2-0, it will be at least No. 2, because that would ensure that they keep the conference conference over the Saints. Getting to No. 1 then would require the Seahawks to lose to the Cardinals on Sunday before beating the 49ers in Week 17.

The 1-1 won’t cut it for the Packers for No. 1 because either the Seahawks or the 49ers, who win the NFC West, would be in front of them.

If the Seahawks win this division and at worst remain even with the Packers at 12-4, both teams will have the same 9-3 record. Then it will come down to the common game tiebreaker. The Seahawks (4-0) have the edge there because they have beaten the 49ers, Eagles, Vikings and Panthers, while the Packers (2-2) have beaten the Vikings and Panthers but lost to the 49ers and Eagles.

How Packers Can Fix Seed No. 3

All this is before even factoring in the Saints. If the Packers go 1-1 to finish 12-4, the Saints could win and move to 13-3. Then the NFC West champions and the Saints, the NFC South goalkeepers, would push the Packers down one point.

But what if the Packers and Saints finish 1-1 and both are 12-4? Say that the saints lose to the Titans but win to the Panthers. Then both the Packers and Saints will have 9-3 conference records. The Common Game tiebreaker then looks at how teams fight in games against the Cowboys, 49ers, Panthers and Bears. The Packers are 4-1, and so are the Saints.

Then comes the power of victory. The teams that have defeated the Saints today have a combined 73 wins. The Packers’ winning teams have 66 combined wins. The saints would eventually fall into this scenario.

Say the Saints beat the Titans and lose to the Panthers to match the Packers at 12-4. In that case, the Packers would have the best conference record (9-3 vs. 8-4) to stay ahead of the Saints.

MORE: The latest NFL Power SN rankings

How Packers Can Fix Seed No. 6

This can only happen if the Packers go 0-2 and finish second in the NFC North behind the Vikings, assuming the team beats the Bears in Week 17. If the Packers go 1-1, losing to the Vikings but beating the Lions , the Packers will beat the NFC North with a better division record.

If the Packers go 0-2, they’ll end up 11-5. If the Vikings win the division at 12-4, then the Packers would fall to No. 6 regardless of the Seahawks who might lose out. If the Seahawks lose when the Packers do, it’s up to the Seahawks to head into the tiebreaker of the common game.

The Packers are hoping to get two games at Lambeau Field, where they are 7-1 this season, against playing on the road, where they are only 4-2. To gain this advantage at home, they must win twice from Green Bay to close out the season.

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