Updated NFC playoff picture after perfect Week 17 for Packers

Green Bay Packers
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Here come the Green Bay Packers.

Matt LaFleur's team couldn't have asked for a better Week 17. Not only did they crush the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday Night Football, but almost every result in the NFC playoff picture went their way.

Green Bay needed the Atlanta Falcons to lose. Thank you, Chicago Bears. The Bears beat the Falcons 37-17 at Soldier Field. The Pittsburgh Steelers also helped out by defeating the Seattle Seahawks. By the time the Packers kicked off against the Vikings, they were in control of their own destiny. Two wins would get them into the playoffs.

One down, one to go.

Updated NFC playoff picture as Packers take giant step toward postseason

Green Bay got the help it needed earlier in the day, then took care of business in primetime. The Packers move back into the playoff positions in the NFC and know victory over the Bears at Lambeau Field next week will clinch a wild-card berth.

Here are the updated NFC playoff standings after Week 17:

  1. San Francisco 49ers (12-4) - Clinched NFC West, top seed
  2. Dallas Cowboys (11-5) - Clinched playoff berth
  3. Detroit Lions (11-5) - Clinched NFC North
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-8)
  5. Philadelphia Eagles (11-5) - Clinched playoff berth
  6. Los Angeles Rams (9-7) - Clinched wild-card berth
  7. Green Bay Packers (8-8)

In the hunt: Seattle Seahawks (8-8), New Orleans Saints (8-8), Minnesota Vikings (7-9)

Playoff matchups if the season ended today

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

This would be a fascinating first-round schedule. The Packers would renew their rivalry with the Dallas Cowboys, a team they dominated during the Aaron Rodgers era. Mike McCarthy taking on the Packers to advance to the divisional round?

How about the Detroit Lions meeting the Los Angeles Rams? The Lions never hosted a playoff game during the Matthew Stafford era. Stafford would return to Detroit to try to eliminate them. On the other side, Jared Goff would have the perfect opportunity to prove the Rams wrong for trading him.

Of course, a lot can change in Week 18. The Packers must win to get in, and results around the league will impact playoff seeding. But this lineup would be fun.

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