Packers: Three teams to root for in key Week 16 matchups

Green Bay Packers (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /
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Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers
Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /

3. Tennessee Titans (vs. Saints)

The New Orleans Saints are the number three seed as things stand, but they have a favorable schedule in the final two weeks of the season, starting this week against the Tennessee Titans. If the Saints win out, the Packers can’t afford to slip up once. So it would be nice for the Titans to give the Packers some help here, whether they win or lose against the Vikings.

Oddly enough, this game is less important than the Saints’ meeting with the Carolina Panthers next week. According to ESPN’s NFL Playoff Machine, if both the Packers and Saints lose this week but win next week, the Saints would have the tiebreaker due to better strength of victory.

However, if the Saints win this week but lose next week, and the Packers finish the season 1-1, Green Bay would have the tiebreaker due to a better conference record.

That said, it still makes sense to root against the Saints this week. According to FiveThirtyEight’s NFL predictor, the Packers’ chances of securing a first-round bye would increase from 42 percent to 44 percent if New Orleans loses, although it would drop back down to 20 percent if Green Bay then lost to Minnesota.

Of course, if the Saints lose their final two, the Packers would get a first-round bye with one more win.