Packers: Ranking toughest potential 2020 playoff opponents

Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Ranking the toughest potential playoff matchups for the Packers.

The Green Bay Packers are in.

We know that much. The seed they’ll enter the playoffs with and who they’ll end up playing remains unclear. So today, we’ll rank realistic playoff opponents in order of how challenging the matchup would be for the Packers.

This isn’t necessarily a ranking of the most talented teams, rather how each team matches up against the Packers.

Note: Teams still officially in playoff contention but given a less-than-20-percent chance of making the postseason by FiveThirtyEight weren’t included.

8. Chicago Bears

Any game against the Bears will be at Lambeau Field. The difference between these two teams was evident in Green Bay’s 41-25 win in Week 12. Division game, yes. They are never easy. But the Packers are the better team.

7. Washington Football Team

Despite Washington entering Week 15 with a losing record, it has won four straight and beginning to heat up at the right time. With the fourth-ranked defense in the NFL, Washington could create some problems for Green Bay’s offense. Ultimately, though, Washington isn’t consistent enough on offense, ranking 30th in the NFL.

6. Arizona Cardinals

After an impressive start to the season, the Cardinals have lost four of their past six. Kyler Murray would be a problem for the Packers defense as would a talented receiving corps led by DeAndre Hopkins. But in a battle of the offenses, I’d like Green Bay in this matchup.

5. Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings currently sit a position outside the playoff spots but if they make it in, the Packers might want to avoid them. Despite beating Minnesota in Week 1, we saw later in the year that they have the formula to Green Bay. Mike Pettine’s defense had no answer for Dalvin Cook, who had four touchdowns on the day.

I’d rather not see a rematch in frozen conditions at Lambeau Field.

4. Seattle Seahawks

While the Seahawks don’t have the powerful running game like the Vikings, overall, their offense is one of the best in the NFL. Seattle ranks sixth in offensive yards per game and third in scoring offense, averaging 30.2 points per game.

Trying to stop the Russell Wilson-DK Metcalf combination would be a daunting task for this defense.

While the Packers did eliminate the Seahawks a year ago, this Seattle offense has improved.

3. New Orleans Saints

The Packers do have a victory over the Saints this season but they are one of the best teams in the NFL. Since its loss to Green Bay, New Orleans has won nine of its past 10 games.

The Saints have a talented offense but their defense has been dominant, ranking second in yards allowed and fourth in points allowed per game (20.4).

2. Los Angeles Rams

This would be a challenging matchup for the Packers in the postseason. Matt LaFleur up against Sean McVay.

The Rams enter Week 15 with a top-five offense and the top-ranked defense. They also rank third in scoring defense, allowing just 18.9 points per game.

Los Angeles can run the ball, and I have no doubt McVay would commit to the ground game to challenge Green Bay’s run defense. And the Rams have a defense to make life difficult for the Packers’ offense.

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers might not be the best team in the NFC but they match up well with the Packers, as we saw when these two teams met in Week 6.

Green Bay could learn a lot from that performance and would likely be much better this time, but Tampa Bay’s defense is fast and gets pressure on the quarterback. The Bucs had five sacks in the previous meeting. Half of Aaron Rodgers’ interceptions of the season came in consecutive drives against Tampa Bay.

Even at home, this would be a tough matchup for the Packers against a team that beat them 38-10 earlier in the year.

Next. Predicting the Packers' final three games of 2020. dark