Three reasons why Packers’ game vs. 49ers in so important

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

The Green Bay Packers enter a huge matchup with the San Francisco 49ers in Week 12, and it’s an important game in the NFC playoff picture.

The Packers‘ Week 12 matchup will go a long way to deciding playoff seeding.

It’s a crucial game for both teams.

Here are three reasons why getting a win would be so important for the Packers late in the season:

1. Head-to-head tiebreaker

A win on Sunday night would give Green Bay the crucial head-to-head tiebreaker over San Francisco. That could come into play later in the season and could be the difference between earning home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, or even determining which teams gets a first-round bye.

Back in 2012, the Packers blew a chance to secure a first-round bye and instead the number-two seed went to the 49ers. Two weeks later, the 49ers beat the Packers 45-31 in the divisional round. They were at home and had an extra week of preparation.

Even with over a month still go to in the regular season, Sunday’s game could end up determining whether the Packers host the NFC Championship Game or not. It really could mean that much.

2. Win would restore one-game lead in NFC North

More important in the short term is that a victory would restore the Packers’ one-game advantage over the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North. The Vikings’ victory last week pulled them within half a game, but now they are on bye, giving the Packers a chance to respond.

Green Bay currently has a better divisional record than Minnesota. Staying one game ahead could make a huge difference when the two teams meet in Week 16. A one-game cushion could ensure the Packers stay ahead even if they were to lose to the Vikings, due to their divisional record.

What they don’t want is to enter Week 13 tied in first place with an 8-3 record.

3. Schedule gets easier

Of the six games left on the schedule, two look particularly challenging (at San Francisco, at Minnesota), while the other four are “winnable” (at NY Giants, Washington, Chicago, at Detroit). It’s no guarantee that Green Bay will win all four of the “easier” games, of course. But by winning on Sunday, the Packers would be 9-2 with a great opportunity to win four of their final five games, putting them 13-3 on the season.

Assuming they do go on to win the “easier” games, this would be like a bonus win in many ways. But add in the tiebreaker and the one-game lead in the NFC North race, and Sunday’s game carries huge importance for Green Bay.