The Packers are close to returning to the playoffs.
With a three-game lead in the NFC North, it would be a surprise if the Green Bay Packers failed to reach the playoffs from this position.
Only five games remain in the regular season so it would take a monumental collapse in the final month for the Packers to fall out of the playoff positions.
According to FiveThirtyEight’s playoff predictions, the Packers’ have a greater-than-99-percent chance of reaching the postseason. Their chances of winning the NFC North is at 97 percent.
If the Packers win their next three games (vs. Philadelphia Eagles, at Detroit Lions, vs. Carolina Panthers), the division title will be wrapped up regardless of other results around the NFC North. They’d have the division in the bag with two games spare.
The earliest Green Bay can win the division is next week. By defeating Philadelphia and Detroit, the Packers would need the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears to lose one of their next two games. That would be enough to secure the division crown.
Winning the division might be the priority at the start of the season, but when that’s accomplished, the aim will be to get the number one seed and home-field advantage through the playoffs. FiveThirtyEight currently gives Green Bay a 30 percent chance of earning the NFC’s top seed, with the New Orleans Saints currently having a 45 percent chance.
Simply put, Green Bay is close, very close, to a playoff berth for the second year in a row. It’s likely it will win enough games to secure the NFC North title, especially given the up-and-down play of the other teams in the division.
Earning a first-round bye won’t be so easy. The Saints are riding an eight-game win streak and the Seattle Seahawks are also tied with the Packers in the NFC.
To take the number one seed, Green Bay might need to run the table. If only we’d seen this team do that in the past…