Packers vs. Lions: 3 reasons why this game has playoff implications

Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /
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Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers, Matt LaFleur (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) /

1. 0-2 teams usually don’t make the playoffs

The Packers’ haven’t started 0-2 since 2006. They won’t want to end that 15-year run tonight against the Lions, and for good reason.

Playoff probabilities are far from the be-all, end-all, but historically speaking, teams that lose their opening two games often don’t make the playoffs. According to USA Today, between the 1990 and 2019 seasons, only 12 percent of teams that started 0-2 went on to make playoffs.

This, of course, doesn’t take into account a 17-game season, as this year’s is the first. That is bound to make a difference to that statistic. Another factor to consider is the expanded postseason, which started last year.

A loss tonight would hardly end the Packers’ season and all hopes of returning to the playoffs, but it would put them way behind the eight ball. More often than not, there’s a reason why those teams start 0-2, and it’s because they’re not good enough to contend for the playoffs.

Despite entering the season considered contenders for the Super Bowl, if Green Bay starts with a blowout loss to New Orleans then a home defeat to Detroit, an argument could certainly be made that this isn’t a team looking ready to compete for the playoffs.

The good news is that even with a defeat, the Packers would only be one game out of first place in the NFC North. They’d need to bounce back quickly, but the upcoming schedule wouldn’t help.