Indirect Effects: Green Bay Packers Playoff Positioning

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Sep 21, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) carries the ball as San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald (91) defends during the second half at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona @ San Francisco

What An Arizona Win Means:

If the Cardinals win, they will need a Seattle loss to grab the NFC West division crown; that would put them as at least the #2 seed. If other games work in their favor from there, Arizona could see itself rise up to having home-field advantage (requires GB loss).

What A San Francisco Win Means:

San Francisco winning the game locks Arizona into the #5 seed, meaning they are stuck playing on the road against whoever wins the Atlanta/Carolina game to get the NFC South Champion bid at #4.

Who To Root For:

Because of falling of their perch atop the conference, Arizona doesn’t really affect much in terms of Green Bay’s seeding. They do have multiple places they could end up, so they do affect potential matchups once the playoffs start.

Here’s the seeding scenarios for the Cardinals and where they might face Green Bay in the playoffs:
#5 seed – the Cardinals could either see the Packers in the Divisional Round (if GB is the #1 seed) or the NFC Championship (#2 seed or #6 seed)
#2 seed – Arizona would only see Green Bay in the NFC Championship Game (GB would be at home as #1 seed)
#1 seed – Arizona would get Green Bay at home in the Divisional Round in this case (GB would be #6 seed)

Despite what Seattle did to them last weekend, it probably would not be easy to take Arizona on anywhere, but going on the road to do so would be harder. Then again, having to face them on the road probably means Green Bay would not be doing the same to face Seattle unless they also got through a couple road contests.

That would only be an issue to face if Green Bay lost this weekend however. If they win, Arizona cannot go higher than #2. Having them get there also would mean Seattle is now facing multiple road contests, which should be tougher for them to win in theory. Anything that potentially damages the chances of the most dangerous looking team in the NFC is worth rooting for, so I’m hoping for an Arizona victory.