At 5-8 with four games to play, the Green Bay Packers are a big longshot to make the postseason. FiveThirtyEight has the Packers’ chances at 4 percent. Make no mistake about it: Matt LaFleur’s team needs a lot to go right over the final month of the season to simply avoid elimination before Week 18, much less make the playoffs.
But there are some paths to the postseason for the Packers, including one potentially reasonable scenario, given you believe Green Bay can win out over the final four games while also getting a bunch of help from good teams.
Alright, here it goes:
– Packers go 4-0 vs. Rams, at Dolphins, vs. Vikings and vs. Lions.
– Commanders go 1-3, with a win over vs. Giants and losses at 49ers, vs. Browns and vs. Cowboys.
– Giants go 1-4, with a win vs. Colts and losses vs. Eagles, at Commanders, at Vikings and at Eagles.
– Panthers lose one more game (at Seahawks, vs. Steelers, vs. Lions, at Buccaneers, at Saints).
In this scenario, the Packers jump the Commanders and Giants (who finish 8-8-1) and are guaranteed to finish ahead of the Panthers for the No. 7 seed in the NFC. No other result is required for the Packers to clinch.
None of the help is all that far-fetched. The Commanders, quarterbacked by Taylor Heinicke, would need to lose to two likely playoff teams and a talented Browns team. The Giants, quarterbacked by Daniel Jones, would need to lose games to four potential playoff teams.
The Packers getting hot in December and January and Heinicke’s Commanders and Jones’ Giants falling apart down the stretch? Much stranger things have happened in the NFL.
We’ll call this a highly unlikely but far from impossible scenario for the Packers entering the final stretch of 2022.