Which teams should Green Bay Packers fans root for in Week 15?
The other bit is up to teams around the NFL. Green Bay needs a little bit of help in the coming weeks. Not a huge amount. Just a little.
The Panthers, Falcons, Seahawks and Lions are all ahead of the Packers in the wild-card race but aren’t winning their respective divisions. Green Bay can take care of Carolina this week, and if the Packers win out they will overtake the Lions. But they need the others to lose at least once.
Cheer on these six teams in Week 15.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. Falcons)
As the Falcons defeated the Packers in Week 2, they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker. Atlanta sits at 8-5 and needs just two more wins to guarantee it finishes ahead of Green Bay in the wild-card race.
Atlanta’s final two games — at New Orleans and at home to Carolina — will be challenging. But it would be even better if the Falcons lost on the road Monday night. Atlanta can still win the NFC South, and will do so if it wins out. But it’s far more likely the Packers catch the Falcons than the Saints.
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So root for the Buccaneers this week.
Los Angeles Rams (at Seahawks)
Another huge game takes place at CenturyLink Field on Sunday. At 8-5, the Seahawks need to lose one more game to open the door for the Packers to overtake them. Green Bay holds the tiebreaker here, so if both teams finish with a 10-6 record, the Packers have the advantage.
Seattle takes on Dallas next week, but this week’s visit of the Rams is arguably its toughest game left on the calendar. If the Rams win and go on to win the NFC West, their position will be irrelevant to the Packers. That’s why it’s safe to cheer them on and hope for a Seattle loss.
Oakland Raiders (vs. Cowboys)
Any time an AFC team is taking on a playoff rival in the NFC, it’s obvious who to root for. The Packers can ensure they finish above the Cowboys by winning out, but it wouldn’t be a bad thing for them to drop a game here.
Chicago Bears (at Lions)
Again, if the Packers win out, they won’t have to worry about the Lions because that would require beating Detroit in Week 17. But the Bears are out of the playoff race and can only do damage to playoff rivals at this stage.
Cincinnati Bengals (at Vikings)
Until it’s mathematically impossible for the Packers to win the NFC North, root against the Vikings. In previous weeks it’s made sense to want them to win as they played against Green Bay’s wild-card rivals. But this week they take on an AFC team. A Cincinnati win could add just a little bit of pressure on Minnesota. I’m not banking on it though.
New York Jets (at Saints)
In all likelihood New Orleans will go on to win the NFC South and it won’t matter for the Packers. But like some of the teams listed above, they are playing an AFC team. Green Bay can still mathematically finish above New Orleans, which would only come into play should the Saints fail to win the division and compete for a wild-card spot.
If the Saints lose out and the Packers win out, Green Bay would beat them to a wild-card berth. Unlikely? Yes. But considering it’s still possible, cheer on the J-E-T-S.