The Green Bay Packers know what they must do: Beat the Chicago Bears in Week 18. They will clinch a wild-card berth if they can get past the Bears. Who would've predicted that when the Packers lost their fourth game in a row in October?
Nobody will take anything for granted. The Packers were in the exact same situation a year ago, needing a home win over the Detroit Lions to clinch a playoff berth. They lost, ending the Aaron Rodgers era in Green Bay.
Matt LaFleur and his team aren't looking beyond Week 18. They can't afford to think about the playoffs. But as fans, we sure can.
What happens if the Packers win? They would enter the postseason as the sixth or seventh seed, setting up a road matchup against the Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, or Philadelphia Eagles.
Let's rank those potential opponents from easiest to hardest.
3. Philadelphia Eagles
The most favorable matchup for Green Bay is also the least likely. The Philadelphia Eagles currently hold the fifth seed. To win the NFC East, they must defeat the New York Giants and hope the Washington Commanders upset the Dallas Cowboys in Week 18.
The Eagles looked on track for the No. 1 seed at one stage. They were 10-1 and had defeated the Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, and Buffalo Bills in the space of six weeks.
However, things have fallen apart since. Philadelphia is 1-4 in its past five games, having been outscored 155-113. They suffered blowout losses to the San Francisco 49ers and Cowboys, and in Week 17, lost to the Arizona Cardinals.
Philadelphia's offense would give Joe Barry's defense plenty of problems, but Jordan Love could find success in this matchup, just as he did off the bench against the Eagles in 2022. Philadelphia has allowed an average of 31.5 points over its past six games.
The Eagles are still an excellent team that can quickly get back to their dominant best, but the Packers would have a chance at an upset.