The Green Bay Packers' path to the playoffs cleared in Week 17. The math is simple. Win, and they are in.
Green Bay dominated the Minnesota Vikings with a 33-10 victory on Sunday Night Football, and results before kickoff swung the Packers' way. Losses for the Seattle Seahawks and Atlanta Falcons put the Packers' destiny in their own hands.
Jordan Love led the way, throwing for 256 yards and three touchdowns in another excellent performance. Aaron Jones rushed for 120 yards. The Vikings had no answer.
The Packers took a huge step toward the playoffs on Sunday night while also effectively ending the Vikings' chances of reaching the postseason. The perfect way to end 2023.
Packers can clinch playoff berth in Week 18 vs. Bears
Green Bay's playoff chances rose dramatically in Week 17. The New York Times' playoff predictor gives the Packers a 68 percent chance of reaching the postseason.
They will clinch a playoff berth with victory over the Bears but have an outside chance if they lose. Green Bay would still have a 25 percent chance of making the playoffs with a loss to Chicago but would require other results to go favorably.
The Packers haven't lost to the Bears during the Matt LaFleur era, but they can't overlook their Week 18 opponents. Chicago is 4-1 over the past five weeks, limiting its opponents to an average of 15.2 points per game. That includes an impressive win over the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field.
Just like last year's win-and-in game against the Lions, which the Packers lost, they will have to be at their best to get past the Bears.
But the reward is huge. A win would send Green Bay into the wild-card round for a matchup with either the Dallas Cowboys, Lions, or Philadelphia Eagles.