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How the Green Bay Packers Can Make the Playoffs: Through Week 16

The Packers have a 78% chance to get a first-round bye.

2020 N.F.L. Playoff Picture:
Every Team’s Playoff Chances

Explore the 2020 N.F.L. playoff picture like an expert.

There are 65,536 different ways the season could end. Explore them all.

Jan. 2, 2021 Updated 11:13 p.m. ET

The N.F.L. Playoff Picture, Team by Team

The Buffalo Bills have won the A.F.C. East.

The Bills have little to play for Sunday. They clinched the A.F.C. East weeks ago and will host a playoff game in the wild-card round — in a stadium that will be allowed to hold 6,700 fans, per an order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo — whether they win or lose.

Only one of 16 possible combinations of game outcomes would keep the Dolphins from the postseason, but it’s not as unlikely as it might sound. If the Dolphins lose to the Bills, they’ll find themselves in the unenviable position of rooting for a few underdogs: the Bengals, Jaguars and Steelers. One of those teams would need to win for the Dolphins to advance.

The Patriots have been eliminated from playoff contention.

The Jets have been eliminated from playoff contention.

The Steelers are in the playoffs no matter what happens in their final game. They will be the No. 2 or No. 3 seed. The Steelers are planning to rest some key starters against the Browns in Cleveland on Sunday. But they may wind up hosting the Browns in the playoffs a week later.

The Ravens have won four straight and need only a win against the Bengals or a Browns or Colts loss to ensure a playoff berth.

The Browns are in a more precarious position than a team with their record usually is. If they win, they are in the playoffs, as a No. 5, 6 or 7 seed. But if they lose, they would need the Jaguars to beat the Colts, or — if the Colts win — they’d need a Dolphins win, a Ravens win and a Texans win.

The Bengals have been eliminated from playoff contention.

Only a series of unfortunate events would keep the Titans from the playoffs. When the Titans’ game begins, they’ll know whether they are at risk of elimination. If the Dolphins beat the Bills and the Ravens beat the Bengals in the 1 p.m. round of games, the Titans may find themselves playing for a postseason berth.

The Colts must win to make the playoffs. Luckily for them, their final game is against the Jaguars, who own the N.F.L.’s worst record. Yet the Colts still need help. Of the five 10-5 teams, the Colts are the only one for whom a win does not guarantee a postseason berth.

The Texans have been eliminated from playoff contention.

The Jaguars have been eliminated from playoff contention.

The Chiefs have clinched the No. 1 seed.

The Raiders have been eliminated from playoff contention.

The Chargers have been eliminated from playoff contention.

The Broncos have been eliminated from playoff contention.

The N.F.C. East is home to four teams with losing records, yet one of them will host a playoff game. The situation is straightforward: the Football Team advances with a win over the Eagles.

The Cowboys can win the division if two games go their way. They must beat the Giants and hope the Eagles beat the Football Team on Sunday night.

Like the Cowboys, the Giants need to win and hope Washington loses.

The Eagles have been eliminated from playoff contention.

The Packers control their chances for the No. 1 seed in the N.F.C. — and the bye week that accompanies it. A win or a Seahawks loss would guarantee it. The Packers can do no worse than the No. 3 seed, hosting the No 6 seed (probably the Cardinals, Rams or Bears).

The Bears can advance two ways: by beating the Packers (12-3) or with a Rams victory over the Cardinals (surely the more likely of the two scenarios).

The Vikings have been eliminated from playoff contention.

The Lions have been eliminated from playoff contention.

The Saints are in the playoffs, probably as a No. 2 or No. 3 seed. If the Seahawks beat the 49ers, the Saints could get the No. 1 seed if they win and the Packers lose to the Bears.

The Bucs are in the playoffs, most likely as a No. 5 seed, visiting the N.F.C. East winner — Washington, the Cowboys or the Giants. It’s safe to say they will be favored in any such matchup.

The Panthers have been eliminated from playoff contention.

The Falcons have been eliminated from playoff contention.

The Seahawks are in the playoffs, probably as a No. 2 or No. 3 seed. They do have an outside chance of getting the top spot, and the bye week that comes with it, but it would require two surprises in the form of Packers and Saints losses.

A win by the Rams would guarantee a playoff berth. A loss is not necessarily fatal. As long as the Bears lose to the Packers — who will be playing for the No. 1 seed — the Rams are in.

The Cardinals would advance with a victory over the Rams.

The 49ers have been eliminated from playoff contention.

How the Green Bay Packers Can Make the 2020 N.F.L. Playoffs Through Week 16

Likeliest Playoff Positions
End-of-Season Outcomes
Record Chance this happens Chance to make the playoffs
Division Standings
Record in
Common Games
Team Overall Div. Packers Opp.

Jan. 2, 2021 Updated 11:13 p.m. ET

The Packers control their chances for the No. 1 seed in the N.F.C. — and the bye week that accompanies it. A win or a Seahawks loss would guarantee it. The Packers can do no worse than the No. 3 seed, hosting the No 6 seed (probably the Cardinals, Rams or Bears).

The table below represents the Packers ’ remaining games. Pick a winner and see what happens to the Packers ’ playoff chances:

As you pick winners, the colors on some games will change, reflecting their relative importance for a Packers postseason berth.

Or explore other possibilities, like a first-round bye or a division title, right here:

The tables below represent every N.F.L. game remaining. Pick winners and explore which games matter most to the Packers ’ chances.

With 16 games remaining, there are about 65,536 different ways the N.F.L. regular season could end. How many of those put the Packers in the playoffs? Far too many to check by hand.

So we built this simulator. Most calculators force you to choose the winners of each remaining game. Here, you can choose the outcomes of just a few games and see how your team’s chances grow or shrink. (For more information about this simulator, check out our newly updated guide.)

We estimate odds by randomly simulating the remainder of the season thousands of times and counting how often the Packers make the playoffs .

If you don’t specify an outcome for a particular game, we use Sagarin ratings to estimate each team’s chances of winning. (For simplicity, we assume each game has an equally small chance of ending in a tie.)

This page is most useful for Packers fans, but you may use this tool to explore scenarios for any team on the playoff bubble.

The Packers have a 78% chance to get a first-round bye.

The Green Bay Packers Have The NFL’s Second-Best Odds To Win Super Bowl LV

The Green Bay Packers have the second-best odds of winning the 55th Super Bowl.

NurPhoto via Getty Images

Back in September, the wise guys didn’t think much of the Green Bay Packers.

Sportsinsider.com placed the Packers’ odds of winning the Super Bowl at +2500. Eleven teams were given a better chance of winning the Super Bowl than the Packers.

Today, according to betonline.ag, Green Bay has the second-best odds in the NFL to win the Super Bowl LV.

Kansas City is the overwhelming favorite at 7-to-4, while Green Bay is second at 15-to-2. New Orleans is third at 8-to-1, the Los Angeles Rams are 10-to-1, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Seattle and Tampa Bay are all 12-to-1, Baltimore is 20-to-1 and Tennessee is 28-to-1.

Green Bay is also the frontrunner to win the NFC at 13-to-5. The Packers are followed by New Orleans (3/1), the Rams (9/2), and Seattle and Tampa Bay (both 6/1).

It’s a remarkable rise for a Green Bay team that was completely overlooked and left for dead when the year began.

The Packers went 13-3 in 2019 and reached the NFC Championship Game. But San Francisco routed the Packers, 37-20, in the conference title game. Green Bay then took some hits in free agency and drafted for the future, not the present.

With others in the NFC appearing vastly improved, the sharks in Las Vegas soured on Green Bay. In fact, betonline.ag set the odds on Green Bay to make the playoffs at just -130.

Behind quarterback Aaron Rodgers, though, the Packers (10-3) have been one of the NFL’s biggest surprises, though, and currently hold the No. 1 seed in the NFC. With the playoffs expanding to seven teams in each conference, the No. 1 seed is the only one that will receive a bye.

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“Yeah, I think it’s important for sure to get that extra week of rest,” Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. “The big thing, though, and you guys know this: we’ve played in I believe four NFC Championship games. All four on the road.

“So being able to have the whole thing come through Green Bay is something that we’ve talked about for a long time and we’ve wanted and we’ve never had. I think that would definitely be in our favor, with the weather that we have in Green Bay, play at home, be on our schedule. So that’s obviously in place. It was always in play, but it’s definitely in play now.”

Green Bay and New Orleans both have 10-3 records, but the Packers hold the head-to-head advantage due to their win over the Saints in Week 3. The Los Angeles Rams and Seattle are both 9-4 and battling for the NFC West crown.

From 1990-2019 when the NFL used the 12-team playoff format, No. 1 seeds reached the Super Bowl 31-of-60 times (51.7%). There were 14 No. 1 seeds from the AFC that qualified and 17 from the NFC.

This year, with only one team in each conference receiving a first-round bye, the benefits of being the No. 1 seed could be even greater.

“Yeah, I think it’s extremely critical,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said of being the No. 1 seed. “And once you get in the playoffs and you accomplish your first goal, it’s on to the next goal.

“We know that, again, we’re not going to change our approach. We’re going to take it one game at a time. In terms of the No. 1 seed, it’s always nice to be able to control your own destiny, but again, one day at a time.”

The Green Bay Packers have had a lot to celebrate this season. ]]>