Jay Cutler

Cutler and the Bears could be the Packers first-round playoff opponent.

The Green Bay Packers closed last season in Phoenix with a game against the Arizona Cardinals. They went back to Arizona the following week for the wild card game.

The same scenario could play out again this year, only with the NFC North champion Chicago Bears taking the place of the Cardinals.

The Packers face the Bears this week with a playoff berth on the line. Win and the Packers clinch the No. 6 seed.

If that scenario plays out, it could also knock the Bears from the No. 2 seed in the NFC to the No. 3 seed and set up a third meeting between the division rivals.

In order for this to happen the Philadelphia Eagles would have to win their last two games, which is very doable. Philadelphia finishes with home games against Minnesota and Dallas.

If the Eagles lose either of those games, the Bears will clinch the No. 2 seed and if the Packers beat the Bears in week 17, Green Bay would travel to Philadelphia.

So, to boil it down, here’s what can happen.

Packers beat the Bears in week 17 and Philadelphia wins both of their remaining games against Minnesota and Dallas — Packers open the playoffs in Chicago.

Packers beat the Bears in week 17 and Philadelphia loses one of their remaining games — Packers open the playoffs in Philadelphia.

This, of course, assumes the Packers will beat the Bears in week 17. The Packers can still make the playoffs with a loss if both the New York Giants (at Washington) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at New Orleans) lose in week 17.

We don’t want to think about that scenario, though.