American Football

Packers now control their playoff future after Commanders’ loss to Browns

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Cleveland Browns v Washington Commanders
Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Everything has broken right for the Packers over the past two weeks. Now they need to finish their part of the job.

The scoreboard-watching has been fun for Green Bay Packers fans over the past two weeks. Everything broke in favor of the Packers last week on Christmas Eve, with losses by the Washington Commanders, New York Giants, Seattle Seahawks, and Detroit Lions all helping out Green Bay’s playoff chances.

Now, a week later, the Packers got the one result they needed in the early games to give them control of a playoff spot. In the early timeslot on week 17 Sunday, the Washington Commanders lost to the Cleveland Browns 24-10, clearing a path for the Packers to the #7 seed in the NFC. Now that the Commanders can finish no better than 8-8-1, Green Bay can earn the final playoff spot simply by winning today’s game against the Minnesota Vikings and defeating the Detroit Lions in next weekend’s season finale.

That scenario felt nearly impossible just four weeks ago, when the Packers sat at 4-8 following a prime time loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. However, they have ripped off three straight wins, including an upset of the Miami Dolphins on Christmas Day a week ago, and need just two more to get into the postseason.

While the Packers now control the race for the 7th seed, they were eliminated from finishing any higher in the NFC seeding on Sunday afternoon. The New York Giants defeated the Indianapolis Colts, pushing their record to 9-6-1. That ensures that the Giants will finish above the Packers in any scenario and would therefore claim the 6th seed should the Packers win out.

Now all of the pressure and the responsibility falls on Green Bay to do their part. The Packers will kick off against the Minnesota Vikings at 3:25 PM Central, about a half hour after finding out the final result in Browns-Commanders. To make matters even more interesting, next week’s Packers-Lions game next could end up as a winner-take-all game. A Packers win and a loss by the Seattle Seahawks today would ensure that the winner of Packers-Lions gets that final NFC playoff spot.

Join us in a few minutes for the start of Packers-Vikings.

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