The Green Bay Packers seem to have a little something going, but it might be a little too late. At 6-8 and third place in the NFC, they’ll need to push all their chips to the center of the table and find the consistency they’ve been lacking to make a serious run at the NFL playoffs. Let’s take a look at the Packers’ playoff chances heading into their Week 16 matchup vs. the Miami Dolphins.
What Are the Green Bay Packers Playoff Chances Entering Week 16?
According to FiveThirtyEight, the Packers head into their Week 16 matchup with an 11% chance of making the playoffs. If they beat the Dolphins, that jumps up to 27%. But if they lose, their chances of making the playoffs sit at 1%.
In other words, unless something miraculously happens, like a host of ties across the league over the next two weeks, they’re not making the playoffs if they don’t beat the Dolphins.
The Packers control their own destiny to an extent, especially after some key losses by opponents in Week 16. But before we jump into the different scenarios, it’s important to note that the Packers do not have a chance of capturing the NFC North Division Title. That honor belongs to the Minnesota Vikings.
Can the Packers Clinch a Playoff Spot in Week 16?
The Packers cannot clinch a playoff spot in Week 16. They actually can’t clinch a playoff spot until Week 18. But heading into Week 16, the Packers needed several scenarios to play out in their favor for them to make the playoffs.
Both of them involve them winning the remainder of their games. Let’s look at what needs to happen for them to have a spot in the postseason tournament.
- Packers win their three remaining games, Seattle Seahawks lose at least one game, and the Washington Commanders lose at least two games.
- Packers win their remaining three games, Seahawks lose at least one game, and the Giants lose out.
What Are the Packers’ Playoff Chances Based on the Rest of Their Schedule?
The easiest path here appears to be the first scenario. On Saturday, the Seahawks lost to the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Commanders lost to the 49ers. That would mean the Commanders need to lose to the Cleveland Browns in Week 17 or lose to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 18.
We don’t need to dive into the Seahawks’ remaining schedule because they lost in Week 16. So, we’ll skip that — they are now out of the equation when it comes to the Packers’ playoff chances.
Of course, the hardest part for the Packers is now going 3-0 for the remainder of the season. It’s not going to be easy. They start off playing the Dolphins in Week 16, a team that is 5-1 at home this season. If they get past Miami, they will then host the red-hot Vikings, who are finding ways to win no matter the scenario.
Now, let’s say they go 2-0 and enter Week 18 needing a victory to get into the playoffs. Their reward? A home game vs. a Detroit Lions team who likely will have nothing to lose. And when it comes to head coach Dan Campbell and the gritty attitude of his team, that’s a dangerous place to be, especially if it will be their Super Bowl.
And if the second scenario comes into play, where the Giants have to lose their remaining two games, the Packers will have to root for the Colts in Week 17 and the Eagles in Week 18.
The odds are certainly stacked against Green Bay, so they’ll have to worry about one game at a time. One loss, though, and their postseason dreams are over.