What is the Green Bay Packers’ path to the playoffs?

Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers, Matt LaFleur (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers, Matt LaFleur (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Green Bay Packers return from their bye week tonight to take on the Los Angeles Rams.

Green Bay’s path to the playoffs remains a slightly complicated one, although it has become a little clearer since the Packers last played two weeks ago.

So, let’s break it down.

What needs to happen for the Packers to surprisingly secure a wild-card berth in their final four games?

Packers need to win out

Packers’ remaining games: vs. LA Rams, at Dolphins, vs. Vikings, vs. Lions

While they could technically lose one game and make the playoffs, it would be almost impossible. For the Packers to have any realistic chance of making the postseason, they must go 4-0.

This is the only part they control, but also perhaps the least likely scenario in this path. Green Bay’s biggest win streak this season is three, but that came in Weeks 2-4. Since, the Packers haven’t won consecutive games.

So, winning four straight won’t be easy, especially against teams with a combined record of 26-16.

Seahawks must lose one of remaining three games

Seahawks’ remaining games: at Chiefs, vs. NY Jets, vs. LA Rams

This one is simple. If Green Bay wins out, the Seattle Seahawks can’t lose another game. That’s a big ask as they travel to take on the Kansas City Chiefs next week before hosting the New York Jets.

The Seahawks have lost four of their past five, including three home games. They could be in trouble.

Commanders must lose two OR Giants lose three

Commanders’ remaining games: at 49ers, vs. Browns, vs. Cowboys

Giants’ remaining games: at Vikings, vs. Colts, at Eagles

The Packers needed one of these teams to lose three of their final four games. The New York Giants defeated the Washington Commanders on Sunday night.

It means Washington must lose two of its remaining three, but New York would need to lose all three remaining games.

On paper, the Commanders’ remaining schedule is challenging, although the Cowboys may have nothing to play for in Week 18, which isn’t ideal.

Packers may also need Lions loss

Lions’ remaining games: at Panthers, vs. Bears, at Packers

If Green Bay wins out, it would include a victory over the Detroit Lions. But if the Lions win their other three games, the two teams would be tied with a 9-8 record with an equal head-to-head tiebreaker.

As their conference record would be equal, it would come down to strength of victory. For now, the Packers hold the tiebreaker here, but this could change before the end of the regular season.

So, in an ideal world, the Lions will lose a game before Week 18.