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That Vikings’ Loss Wasn’t All Great for the Packers

Dwight Freeney sacks Teddy Bridgewater

Watching the Minnesota Vikings lose — especially in heartbreaking fashion — like they did on Thursday Night Football is one of our favorite pastimes. While that loss gave that Green Bay Packers’ chances to win the NFC North a boost, it gave their overall playoff outlook a shot.

With the victory, the Arizona Cardinals, who are now 11-2, claimed a playoff spot. More importantly, they sit two games ahead of the Packers for the No. 2 seed in the NFC. The No. 1 seed has all but been formally claimed by the undefeated Carolina Panthers.

The Packers travel to Arizona in week 16, but will have to win their two games before that (Dallas and at Oakland) for the meeting with the Cardinals to have any real implications for the No. 2 seed.

If you look at it that way, a Vikings’ win on Thursday night would actually have been better for the Packers.

There aren’t many scenarios where the Packers don’t make the playoffs. The first goal is to win the division and the second goal is to claim a first-round bye.

The Packers could have done the former by being one game worse than the Vikings in the last four games, so long as they beat them in week 17 at Lambeau Field. In that scenario, the teams would have even records, but the Packers would own two victories over their opponent. That gives them the division.

And that all seems perfectly doable.

However, as it is, the division odds are now very much in the Packers’ favor, but the chances of securing a bye have decreased.

The Packers hold the third seed and trail Arizona by 2.5 games. In order to get that bye, they will most likely need to win out with the Cardinals dropping another game to someone besides the Packers.

The Cardinals are at Philadelphia and then have the Packers and Seahawks at home. It certainly seems unlikely that they’d lose all three of those games.

It’s not an impossible scenario that they’d lose two, but the Cardinals are a good team and they’re doing their part, thus far.

As things currently stand, the Packers would be hosting the Seahawks in a Wild Card game. I don’t know anyone looking forward to that prospect.

Monty McMahon

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.



  1. icebowl December 11, 2015

    “As things currently stand, the Packers would be hosting the Seahawks in a Wild Card game. I don’t know anyone looking forward to that prospect.”

    I suspect you’re referring to Seattle fans being nervous……

    That’s exactly how this post season needs to play out…. All the same key players who let a huge lead disappear against the SeaClowns have got to be stoked about this opportunity to prove themselves….

    This is why they fight !

  2. ferris December 11, 2015

    Seattle fans aren’t nervous they are drunk and annoying. Nobody in Green Bay wants to see Seattle come to town right now. Better at home I guess. Remember in 2010 when GB was the 6 seed? Nobody wanted GB coming to town then. Same thing here.

  3. Howard December 11, 2015

    Nothing is ever guaranteed in the NFL, however, It is highly unlikely the Pack would play Seattle in the first round. As soon as Seattle wins this week against the Ravens they will be the fifth seed not the Vikings. Seattle has the tiebreaker over vikings.

    The Pack just need to win out. Specifically they need to beat Arizona. If for no other seeding reasons, the Pack needs to force Arizona and Seattle into a meaningful and physical week 17 game.

    1. Andrew December 11, 2015

      BAM! On the money as always.

  4. Remedy December 11, 2015

    Unless Rustle blows a knee, nobody wants to see Seattle in the playoffs


  5. Icebowler December 11, 2015

    I think the Packers need to take a big gamble Sunday against the Cowpokes. In order to improve their chances in the last few games and the postseason, I want them to rest as many starting O-linemen as possible. In order to have any chance in the playoffs, we’ll need the starting O-line in top shape. Activate them all, but try to keep the two or three most injured starters on the sideline as long as possible this Sunday.

  6. Vano Lucas December 11, 2015

    No, that’s a bad idea. The Cowboys are an NFL team with NFL players and they will be highly motivated, thinking back to last season. You play your best players and you play to win. By the way, the USA Today (on its fantasy football advisory page) has classified Richard Rodgers as a “budding star.” I don’t know about that, but he’s a hell of a lot better than people on this forum give him credit for.

  7. I steal fish December 11, 2015

    I want to them to play Seattle. Damn all the fear! I like our chances.

  8. ay hombre December 11, 2015

    If the Packers play Seattle in the playoffs, they will lose.

    End of story.

  9. David December 11, 2015

    Here’s how I looked at the Vikes-Cards game. Someone had to lose (minus a tie). One team losing, made the other one a winner. Vikes losing made winning the Division more obtainable. Cards losing would have made the #2 seed more obtainable. You weren’t going to get both.
    However, winning the Division is a lot more obtainable than winning the #2 seed. Winning against the Vikes is a lot easier than winning against the Cards.

    In the end, the Packers winning out is a lot less likely than them tossing their salad against a team they should win and being a game down going into Week 17. Being able to win that game, get the tiebreaker and win the division is what we’ve gotten from this game.

  10. SIM December 11, 2015

    Must admit I was a little disappointed the Vikings didn’t win. Would rather get a #2 seed or 5 seed against the vikings than a 3 seed vs seattle.