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NFL

NFC playoff picture: Packers get boost with Lions and Seahawks losses, now face huge Christmas Day game vs. Dolphins

After the Packers beat the Rams last Monday to get to 6-8 on the season, Aaron Rodgers said: “Lot of stuff has gone our way with other teams we need to lose losing.”

That has never been more true than it was on Saturday, as the Packers watched the Lions, Seahawks, Giants, and Commanders all drop games to give them a golden opportunity heading into Christmas day.

With a game against the Dolphins pending, the Packers find themselves just a game back of the playoffs. That would have been a ridiculous thought six week ago, when the Packers were 3-6 on the year.

MORE: Packers playoff picture– Green Bay’s updated NFC wild-card chances to still make NFL playoffs 

While they’ve only won three of their last five games, recent struggles from the Commanders, Giants, and Seahawks have at least opened the door for them to eke in if they win out against the Dolphins, Vikings, and Lions down the stretch.

When you’re talking about a quarterback of Rodgers’ caliber, even with his inauspicious playoff appearances, all he’s looking for is a shot.

NFC wild card standings

Team Record Opponents remaining
Dallas Cowboys* 11-5 Titans, Commanders
New York Giants* 8-6-1 Colts, Eagles
Washington Commanders* 7-7-1 Browns, Cowboys
Seattle Seahawks 7-8 Jets, Rams
Detroit Lions 7-8 Bears, Packers
Green Bay Packers 6-8 Dolphins, Vikings, Lions

* – Currently in playoffs

The Lions-Packers matchup in Week 18 could suddenly become extremely important if things shake out in a very particular way. The Giants ostensibly will grab the No. 6 seed and no one is catching the Cowboys at No. 5. But if the Commanders drop their last two — a possibility given their struggles — and the Seahawks continue to slide, the Lions and Packers could find themselves in a play-in scenario in Week 18.

MORE: Projecting the seeds & matchups for AFC, NFC brackets in Week 16

Christmas Eve gave the Packers a shot. Seeing all of these teams losing will undoubtedly bolster the Packers’ spirits. Now, however, they need to finish the job against the Dolphins to put themselves in the best position possible heading into the final two weeks of the season.


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