Packers: How they can still make the playoffs after Falcons win

Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Although the chances remain slim, after Sunday’s win against the Atlanta Falcons the Green Bay Packers still find their playoff hopes alive heading into Week 15 of the regular season.

In a season filled with some highs and quite a few lows, it’s hard to imagine that the Green Bay Packers are still alive in the NFC playoff race. Yet after a convincing win against the Falcons and some help from a few other teams, the Packers are holding on by a thread.

Green Bay’s remaining three games will begin with the difficult task of facing the division-leading Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. But as Aaron Rodgers has said, “It’s a place we’ve won a number of times”, so by no means is it a game the Packers can’t win.

The final two games will be at the New York Jets and home against the Detroit Lions. Even with all the issues Green Bay has had this season, those are games they should be able to take care of.

As it currently stands the Green Bay Packers have just a four percent chance to make the playoffs, which is still an increase from what it was Sunday morning.

Even though the chances remain slim, most of the help that they need from other NFC teams is not that unrealistic. In order for Green Bay to make the playoffs, they need all three of the following scenarios to happen.

Carolina Panthers: Lose one

Currently the Panthers are in a free fall and their loss to the Cleveland Browns marked their fifth in a row. Now the Packers need them to lose just one of their final three games.

Carolina’s remaining schedule is home against New Orleans and Atlanta and then they will head to New Orleans for their final game of the year.

Washington Redskins: Lose one

Washington was having a surprisingly good season until they lost their quarterback Alex Smith to a season-ending leg injury. Now they appear to be a shell of their former selves.

Green Bay needs the Redskins to lose one of their final three games in which they are at Jacksonville, at Tennessee and home for Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Eagles: Lose one

After a slow start, the Eagles have been playing better as of late but have one of the more difficult remaining schedules in the NFL.

In their final three weeks, the Packers need the Eagles to lose just one game. Philadelphia will be at the LA Rams, home for Houston and at Washington.

In addition to all three of the above scenarios happening, the Packers will need either the Minnesota Vikings OR Seattle Seahawks to lose three of their final four games. The good news is that Seattle and Minnesota play each other on Monday night.

Minnesota Vikings or Seattle Seahawks: Lose three

Update: Seattle defeated Minnesota on Monday Night Football. The Packers now need the Vikings to lose two of their final three games.

After having high hopes heading into the season, Minnesota has not fared as well in 2018 as anticipated and their remaining schedule is a difficult one.

Minnesota will finish the season at Seattle, home for Miami, at Detroit and home against Chicago.

Just as Minnesota has a tough final few games, Seattle has a relatively easy stretch to end the regular season on.

Seattle will be at home for Minnesota, at San Francisco, home for Kansas City and home against Arizona in their season finale.

A lot of things need to happen perfectly for the Green Bay Packers to make an improbable playoff appearance. Perhaps the most difficult will be either the Vikings or Seahawks losing three of their final four games.

Of course the Packers must win out as well, and although it has been a disappointing season thus far, after the way they played against Atlanta there is reason to believe that it is possible.

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The odds may still be slim but as Aaron Rodgers said in his postgame press conference: “we’re not out of it yet”.