The Green Bay Packers took a significant step toward the postseason last week, taking down the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football.
Green Bay enters Week 14 as the seventh seed in the NFC. With a favorable five-game stretch ahead, the Packers have an opportunity to secure a surprise playoff berth in Jordan Love's first year as the starting quarterback.
The Packers are 6-6 and a way off from clinching a playoff berth, but they can improve their chances dramatically in Week 14.
According to the New York Times' playoff predictor, the Packers have a 68 percent chance of making the playoffs after Thursday Night Football. That number would rise to 82 percent if these five things happen in Week 14.
Packers playoff rooting guide Week 14
Green Bay Packers defeat New York Giants
We start with the obvious one. Green Bay's best way to improve its playoff chances is, of course, to keep winning. Not only would a victory improve the Packers' record to 7-6, but they would also push the Giants out of contention. A loss would leave Green Bay at 6-7, with New York improving to 5-8. But a Packers win would put a three-game gap between the two teams.
Getting help along the way is great, but Green Bay controls its own destiny. Keep winning, and the playoff seeding will take care of itself.
Baltimore Ravens defeat Los Angeles Rams
The Ravens are heavy favorites in this game, but Lamar Jackson popping up on the injury report isn't ideal. The Rams are tied with the Packers at 6-6 but face a tougher schedule. That includes Sunday's showdown with Baltimore.
Green Bay holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over Los Angeles. A Baltimore win would also allow Matt LaFleur's team to take a one-game lead over the Rams.
Las Vegas Raiders defeat Minnesota Vikings
It's unlikely either the Packers or Vikings can catch the Detroit Lions for the NFC North title, leaving them to battle over the remaining wild-card spots. Both teams are 6-6 entering Week 14.
The Vikings have lost two in a row. A third consecutive defeat would threaten to derail their playoff hopes, especially with two matchups against the Lions to come.
San Francisco 49ers defeat Seattle Seahawks
Four teams are tied with 6-6 records in the NFC: Green Bay, Minnesota, Los Angeles, and Seattle. The good news is that the Seahawks have to play the red-hot 49ers this week. They suffered a 31-13 loss to San Francisco two weeks ago, and the Niners enter this game on the back of a statement win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Seattle has already lost three in a row. Green Bay would love San Francisco to make it four straight.
Carolina Panthers defeat New Orleans Saints
The Panthers only have one victory to their name this season, but doubling that total would help the Packers' playoff chances.
Green Bay holds a one-game lead and the head-to-head tiebreaker over New Orleans, so a Carolina win would be significant. It would allow the Packers to put daylight between themselves and the Saints on Monday night.