Updated NFC playoff picture after Packers miss opportunity vs. Giants

Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers / Michael Owens/GettyImages

The Green Bay Packers put in arguably their worst performance of the season, and it may prove costly in the NFC playoff picture.

Three turnovers, poor defense, and an embarrassing final defensive drive led to the Packers' ugly loss to the New York Giants on Monday Night Football. It effectively ends any glimmer of hope they had of catching the Detroit Lions in the NFC North, and the result hurts their wild-card ambitions.

It was an ugly performance in all three phases. Jordan Love turned the ball over twice, Keisean Nixon gave it away on special teams, and the Packers made life comfortable for Giants backup quarterback Tommy DeVito throughout the game.

The Giants had allowed 69 sacks entering the game, the most in the NFL. The Packers made zero on Monday night.

Green Bay picked the worst possible time to lose its first December game under head coach Matt LaFleur, having won the past 16.

Packers playoff hopes take a hit with ugly loss to Giants in Week 14

The good news? Green Bay remains in the seventh seed. But that's it. The Packers' path to the postseason became more challenging with this loss.

Green Bay falls a game behind the Minnesota Vikings, and there are now five teams tied for 6-7 in the wild-card race and two behind at 5-8.

NFC playoff standings

  1. San Francisco 49ers (10-3)
  2. Dallas Cowboys (10-3)
  3. Detroit Lions (9-4)
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7)
  5. Philadelphia Eagles (10-3)
  6. Minnesota Vikings (7-6)
  7. Green Bay Packers (6-7)

Playoff matchups if the season ended today

  • Dallas Cowboys (2) vs. Green Bay Packers (7)
  • Detroit Lions (3) vs. Minnesota Vikings (6)
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (5)

The Packers would visit Mike McCarthy's Dallas Cowboys if the season ended today. A tough, tough game. Dallas is perfect at home this year.

One of the biggest changes in the NFC standings after Week 14 is between the Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles. At one stage, Philadelphia looked on track for the No. 1 seed in the conference. If the season ended today, the Eagles wouldn't even win their division and would have to play on the road in the wild-card round.

Dallas' victory over Philadelphia puts San Francisco in control of the NFC. The 49ers have won five games in a row and appear to be the clear favorites in the conference entering the final four games of the season.

There would also be an NFC North showdown between the Lions and Vikings at Ford Field.

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