Friday, June 25

Packers playoff picture: How Green Bay can clinch No. 1 seed in NFC playoffs



The Packers (12-3) came out of their Week 16 home win against the Titans on Sunday night still as the projected No. 1 seed for the NFC playoffs in the 2020 NFL season. With the Packers winning and the Saints (11-4) rebounding against the Vikings on Christmas, the Packers hold a one-game lead and a head-to-head tiebreaker with one game remaining.

Green Bay already has clinched a second consecutive NFC North title. The division was already out of reach for the Bears (8-7) and Vikings (6-9) before Chicago won at Minnesota and Jacksonville in conecutive weeks. Also a game behind the Packers, and even with Saints, are the NFC West-winning Seahawks (11-4).

With that all that in mind, here’s a look at how the Packers will or won’t get the top seed, which comes with home-field advantage and the lone bye, in the 2020 NFC playoffs.

MORE: Complete NFL playoff picture for Week 16

Packers go 2-0 to finish 13-3

Should the Packers also beat the Bears in Chicago in Week 17 to win out, they would match their 2019 regular-season record. That record also would guarantee they keep the No. 1 seed in 2020, no matter what the Saints or Seahawks do, being a full game up on both teams.

Packers go 1-1 to finish 12-4

This would open the door for the Saints and Seahawks to take No. 1. The Saints go to the Panthers (5-10) in Week 17, while the Seahawks go to the 49ers (6-9).

The Packers have it tough on the road against the suddenly red-hot Bears, but they are still favorites in that game and Saints provided some cushion with their loss to the Chiefs in Week 15. So the Packers still have a good shot to finish ahead of the Saints in this scenario.

The concern for the Packers going 1-1 is the Seahawks winning out. If the Seahawks finish 12-4, then they would have a 9-3 conference record. The Packers could fall to 12-4 by losing to the Bears, but that would keep their conference record at 9-3. The Saints can get to 12-4 with a 10-2 conference record if they win out.

A two-way tie between the Packers and Saints at 12-4 gives the top seed to the Packers, because they won at New Orleans in Week 3. A three-way tie between the Packers, Saints and the Seahawks at 12-4 gives the top seed to the Saints.

In the event the Packers and Saints lose and the Seahawks win, then it’s a two-way tie between the Packers and Seahawks. The Packers and Seahawks didn’t play each other, and in that case, conference records also would make them even at 9-3. The next tiebreaker is their records in common games.

The Packers went 4-1 against the the 49ers, Falcons, Vikings and Eagles. The Seahawks, before playing the 49ers again, are 4-0 against those teams. So with both teams at 12-4 without the Saints joining them, the Seahawks would then get the No. 1 seed.





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