Packers’ playoff chances improve dramatically after perfect Christmas

Green Bay Packers, Rasul Douglas (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Rasul Douglas (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images) /

Here come the Green Bay Packers.

Santa checked off every item on the Packers’ Christmas list, giving Matt LaFleur’s team the perfect holiday weekend.

After Saturday’s action saw the Washington Commanders, New York Giants, Seattle Seahawks, and Detroit Lions all lose, the Packers took care of business with an impressive road victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

And with that comes a significant increase in their playoff chances.

A week ago, FiveThirtyEight gave the Packers an 8% chance of reaching the postseason. Following Week 16, Green Bay’s playoff chances are now at 26%.

Green Bay still needs to win its remaining two games, divisional matchups with the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions. The good news is that both games are at Lambeau Field.

If the Packers get two more wins, they just need one Commanders loss to make the playoffs. If Washington wins out, Green Bay would need the Giants to lose their remaining two games.

Credit must go to Green Bay’s defense for this win.

After giving up an 84-yard touchdown pass to Jaylen Waddle in the first quarter and 20 first-half points, the forecast wasn’t great for Joe Barry’s unit.

However, they responded in a big way, shutting out the Dolphins in the second half.

Miami missed a 48-yard field goal in its opening third-quarter drive, but its next three possessions ended in interceptions — Jaire Alexander, De’Vondre Campbell, and Rasul Douglas each made picks.

The Packers lost key players Yosh Nijman, Christian Watson, and Keisean Nixon to injury, but they still found a way to get over the line.

Green Bay has now won three games in a row and is getting hot at the right time. If it can make the playoffs from here, Matt LaFleur’s team would enter the postseason on a five-game winning streak.

No team in the NFC would want to meet Aaron Rodgers and the red-hot Packers in January.