NFC playoff picture: Packers rise as Lions drop

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The same four teams that were in the lead in NFC divisional races after Week 14 remain there in Week 15, but there’s been a change in fortunes for the Lions.

Losing to the Giants didn’t knock the Lions out of the lead in the NFC North, but the loss along with wins for the Seahawks and Falcons dropped them from the No. 2 seed to the No. 4 seed. Their drop could become more severe in the next couple of weeks.

The Lions will be in Dallas next Monday night and then they’ll close out the regular season by hosting the surging Packers. Four straight wins have left the Packers just outside the playoff picture and two more will make them the division champs. They will host the Vikings on Christmas Eve and a win in that game could also vault them into a Wild Card spot as much remains up for grabs in the NFC.

LEADERS
1. Cowboys (12-2): A win next Monday night seals the deal on the division and home field throughout the playoffs.

2. Seahawks (9-4-1): They’ve won the division and can’t gain the top seed, so they’ll be trying to nail down a bye week.

3. Falcons (9-5): They’re a game up on the Buccaneers after a second straight win without Julio Jones’ help.

4. Lions (9-5): Further stumbles would put making the playoffs in doubt.

5. Giants (10-4): They’d lose a three-way tiebreaker to the Lions and Buccaneers, but can avoid such a nightmare by winning one more game.

6.Packers (8-6): Slightly ahead of Bucs thanks to strength of schedule tiebreaker, but two wins and the Packers know they’re in as NFC North champs.

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
7. Buccaneers (8-6): The Redskins loss pushed them back up a bit, but they’ll need to take care of their own business to stay in the playoff mix.

8. Redskins (7-6-1): They aren’t out of it, but Monday night’s loss was a big blow.

9. Vikings (7-7): The team that got ransacked by the Colts looked nothing like a playoff squad.

10. Saints (6-8): With the Buccaneers and Falcons on tap, the Saints can still impact the playoff race.

11. Panthers (6-8): With the Falcons and Buccaneers on tap, the Panthers can still impact the playoff race.

12. Cardinals (5-8-1): It will be Bruce Arians’ first losing season in Arizona.

13. Eagles (5-9): The Cowboys would love it if Philadelphia can get a win against the Giants on Thursday night.

14. Rams (4-10): By closing with the 49ers and Cardinals, the Rams will at least avoid a lot of attention to close out a dismal season.

15. Bears (3-11): Matt Barkley’s been more fun to watch than his predecessors at quarterback this season.

16. 49ers (1-13): The first draft pick remains in play for the 49ers.

69 responses to “NFC playoff picture: Packers rise as Lions drop

  1. logicalvoicesays says:
    Nov 15, 2016 12:52 PM
    Write it down (Pay attention PFT because I’m giving you pearls)

    The Redskins are winning the NFC East.

    Check back with me on December 15 and see how right I am.
    ————————-

    This prediction from November 15th doesn’t seem so logical now, does it?

  2. Caldwell is not a passionate man. He does not want to win. His heavenly father humble character demeanor has to go. CHALLENGE THE DAMN PLAY COACH. USE THE FLAG THEY GAVE FOR CHALLENGES AND CHALLENGE THE PLAY COACH. This is frustrating as a Lions fan. The fans want it. The players sure as heck want it. Other than Jeff Triplette trying his hardest to sabotage us Lions every year, our coach is losing us games by having zero passion. Im ready for the next coach

  3. PFT has been waiting 5 weeks to use that headline for an article. Ugh. Lions have known for two weeks that they will be AT WORST playing at home for a division title in week 17 and they still get no respect. I hate how the Packers have been the favorites ever since they were 4-6

  4. Matthew Stafford will throw for 400 yards against the worst corners Green Bay has fielded in 20 years: Randall and Rollins.

    Book it.

    Lions fans can R-E-L-A-X

  5. The Packers aren’t a dominating team by any stretch. They’ve been scoring more, and the O-line is fantastic, and the run game is adequate.

    But their pass defense makes every QB they face a one-day all-star.

    Plus…….everyone needs to stop looking past the Vikings. Like it or not, they are the defending division champ and they are not going to simply roll over for the Packer hype.

    One game at a time please.

  6. Actually the Packers hold the tie breaker over the Bucs right now. They have the same strength of victory right now, but the Packers strength of Schedule is slightly higher. The Packers also face opponents with better records the last two weeks so they will keep the tie breaker over the Bucs if they finish with the same record. Check on the NFL website and they correctly have Green Bay as the 6th seed right now with Tampa Bay looking in.

  7. Cracks me up that vikings fans are still running their mouths after last weeks game. Just be good boys and sit at the kids table and watch the lion and packers play for the division.

  8. glad to see the Vikings still control your every thought, even though you might be going to the playoffs you’re still obsessed with the purple. skol.

  9. leatherface2012 says:
    Dec 20, 2016 10:07 AM
    lets say Vikings pull one out of their butt and beat green bay, and lions beat dallas, and then lions beat green bay. that means gb is super bowl champs again, right?

    ——————————————————————–
    Out of your three wishes above, none will come true.

  10. Currently, the Bucs are behind the Packers due to the strength of schedule tie-breaker, but if the Packers take their division, and the Lions become the team Tampa is matched with, the Buccaneers would then take sole possession of the sixth seed on account of a much weaker strength of schedule for the Lions. Lions fan beware, you’re (possibly) in for a scare.

  11. .
    Most of the NFC clubs have gone through good team / bad team periods this season. Who’s the hot team coming down the stretch is the best indicator of who will be the NFC Super Bowl entrant.
    .

  12. Vikings will win this weekend. Rodgers will return to being horrible with 2 interceptions and 2 fumbles. He will still throw for 320 yards and 2 touchdowns and you’ll say “yea but da numbas”.. Vikings win 23-17 merry xmas.

  13. I get that the first Lions loss in nearly 2 months is leading to a bit of over-reaction but let’s do a hypothetical here. Would you rather: be leading your division with 2 games to go, with a win in either or your last 2 games virtually guaranteeing you a playoff spot, and having your closest opponent a game away from elimination, or would you rather have to win out, and hope your opponent loses out, to make the playoffs? That’s just about where we’re at.

  14. The players have risen about their coaching staff and game plans. Stafford has taken things into his own hands to rise above.

    What worries me is Caldwell and Coaching Co.

    Can they prepare and Coach a team during this type of do or die crucial stretch? I’m not seeing it… but hope I’m wrong.

    I see no urgency or fire from his staff. I see shoulder shrugs and excuses.

  15. Coach McCarthy says there will be none of this playoff talk until Green Bay gets to 10 wins. Until then it’s keep your head down and go about your business one day at a time.

    That sounds good to me.

  16. ReligionIsForIdiots says:
    Dec 20, 2016 8:46 AM

    Nobody wants to play the Packers in January. Every team in the NFC is losing sleep every night knowing that the Packers are right on their doorstep.

    ÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷

    The Packers can barely beat the lowly Bears and now the elite teams are supposed to be afraid of them? That’s pretty funny.

  17. PACKERSHOME says:
    Dec 20, 2016 10:23 AM

    Packers are the team no one in the NFC wants to face right now. They are getting healthy and hot at just the right time.

    THEY WERE NEVER UNHEALTHY

  18. Dome teams shouldn’t be on this list learn to play in the elements ladies there is a league for you called the arena football league ..

    Much more respect for bears panthers redskins than the arena football playoff teams lions cowboys falcons

  19. jimmysee says:
    Dec 20, 2016 10:54 AM

    Coach McCarthy says there will be none of this playoff talk until Green Bay gets to 10 wins. Until then it’s keep your head down and go about your business one day at a time.

    That sounds good to me.

    ================

    Then they will pee down their leg again in playoffs — just as they have since 2011. They ain’t going nowhere with a front seven that cannot rush passer and a secondary that can’t cover a parked car.

  20. ReligionIsForIdiots says:
    Dec 20, 2016 8:46 AM
    Nobody wants to play the Packers in January. Every team in the NFC is losing sleep every night knowing that the Packers are right on their doorstep.

    PACKERSHOME says:
    Dec 20, 2016 10:23 AM
    Packers are the team no one in the NFC wants to face right now.
    ======================

    Eli & the Giants say hello

  21. As you can tell by the all caps posts and the conspiracy theories, the Viking trolls are becoming increasingly deranged. Maybe a little break from football is in order.

    Buck up, Viking fan. Only two more weeks and it will all be over. There’s always next year…or the year after that…or the year after that…

  22. Dallas has no chance against the Patriots in the SB. I’m not at all worried about the NFC this year.

  23. Dallas won’t even make it past their first playoff game. A probable rematch against the Giants will end the same way the first 2 did…..or the Packers with Aaron Rodgers will make Dallas play from behind all game and ultimately losing. NFC Championship game will be in the Emerald City.

  24. Not sure if this has been mentioned anywhere already, but it looks like there is no possibility that any team with a losing record will make the playoffs this year…

    for a change!

  25. diveleft says:
    Dec 20, 2016 10:56 AM
    ReligionIsForIdiots says:
    Dec 20, 2016 8:46 AM

    Nobody wants to play the Packers in January. Every team in the NFC is losing sleep every night knowing that the Packers are right on their doorstep.

    ÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷

    The Packers can barely beat the lowly Bears and now the elite teams are supposed to be afraid of them? That’s pretty funny.
    _______

    What is funny is a vikings fan calling the Bears lowly. They beat the dumpster fire vikings who you think so highly of. Everyone is afraid of GB right now. DB’s are getting healthy and the offense is gelling. For you vikings fans, offense is when your team has the ball.

  26. leatherface2012 says:
    Dec 20, 2016 10:57 AM
    PACKERSHOME says:
    Dec 20, 2016 10:23 AM

    Packers are the team no one in the NFC wants to face right now. They are getting healthy and hot at just the right time.

    THEY WERE NEVER UNHEALTHY

    Based on Man Games Lost – the Vikings are #7 in the league for lost games. Guess who is #8?

    Packers

    So if they were never unhealthy then the Vikings, at worst, had the sniffles. What’s that say about the complete dumpster fire that team’s been this year?

  27. Had no idea the Packers would get a wild card in the current picture. Hopefully they win out so they win the division and don’t have to worry about tie breakers for the WCs.

  28. And for a Green Bay team that’s horrible against the pass – they’re tied for 2nd in the league with the most INTs.

  29. I gave up on this season two months ago because my Jets are terrible, and there didn’t appear to be anyone capable of knocking off the hated Patriots…but this is shaping up an awful lot like 2007 and 2011. Pats on a roll, looking invincible. Giants kind of flying under the radar…a solid but not spectacular team peaking at the right time on the back of a very strong defense. I have no strong feelings about the G-Men either way, but if they end up streaking to the Super Bowl and knocking off the Pats again, I think it is time to start seriously considering whether Eli Manning has made a deal with the devil. And I will be happy to cheer for him.

  30. gosuhgo says:
    Dec 20, 2016 10:45 AM

    I get that the first Lions loss in nearly 2 months is leading to a bit of over-reaction but let’s do a hypothetical here. Would you rather: be leading your division with 2 games to go, with a win in either or your last 2 games virtually guaranteeing you a playoff spot, and having your closest opponent a game away from elimination, or would you rather have to win out, and hope your opponent loses out, to make the playoffs? That’s just about where we’re at.

    —————————————-

    BINGO! Now believe me, I’ve seen a Lions collapse or two in my time, and I won’t be surprised if it happens again here, but people forget…the Lions have made the playoffs twice in the past few years. I just don’t think they get enough love

  31. But I’ve been reading for the past month how the 3rd place Packers weren’t going anywhere.

    How ironic, do you know who is in third place now and will finish in 3rd place?

    Your championship-less Minnesota Vikings. Speaking of crapping the bed, I would love to know how many 5-0 teams went on to miss the playoffs? (if any?) The Vikings missed 27 yard FG last year has had a lingering effect.

  32. The Packers can barely beat the lowly Bears and now the elite teams are supposed to be afraid of them? That’s pretty funny.
    ——
    This is your average viking fan in a nutshell right here folks. The bears embarrass the vikings a few weeks back and here are the viking fans saying “you barely beat the lowly bears”. Mind. Blown.

    And leatherface in here with his usual lunacy. We were never unhealthy? I’d point out how many starters we had out during our losing streak but what’s the point. This is the same guy that doesn’t understand garbage time.

  33. ReligionIsForIdiots says:
    Dec 20, 2016 8:46 AM

    Nobody wants to play the Packers in January. Every team in the NFC is losing sleep every night knowing that the Packers are right on their doorstep.
    __________________

    Put the pipe down, son and back away.

  34. “would you rather have to win out, and hope your opponent loses out, to make the playoffs? ”

    Actually if Green Bay wins out, it doesn’t matter what Detroit does vs Dallas. Green Bay wins the division.

  35. Ah yes, its really interesting to watch the skoltrolls go through the five stages of grief.
    *Denial. After a 5-0 start, the wheels started coming off but at 5 and 3, it was just a weird twist of fate
    *Anger. now its thanksgiving, the Lions beat em for the second time, at 6 and 5 – it must be the officiating.
    *Bargaining. December football – another loss, but its the Cowboys and we played em close. If we beat the Jags and the Colts, we’ll be fine… won’t we?
    *Depression.Statistically nearly eliminated, watching the Packers and the Lions compete for the division title, Peterson comes back and he sucks – all day.
    *Acceptance. Well, this is supposed to be the next step but these are Vikings fans, they want to go back and try anger for a bit longer. Come on – start looking at mock drafts – you know you want to.

  36. mikea311 says:
    Dec 20, 2016 12:50 PM

    It’s a Cowboys world and the rest of the NFL is just living in it.

    ————————————————————–
    Except of course for the Giants who will bitchslap them a 3rd time if it comes to that.

  37. Not looking too far ahead as the Packers have their work cut out for them just to get into the playoffs. But the potential for a first round showdown with the Giants at Lambeau looms large. I still havent recovered from the last two times I saw the Giants at Lambeau in the playoffs, especially the night game. It gives me chills just thinking about it. (Is that anxiety – or memory?)

  38. diveleft says:
    Dec 20, 2016 10:56 AM
    ReligionIsForIdiots says:
    Dec 20, 2016 8:46 AM

    Nobody wants to play the Packers in January. Every team in the NFC is losing sleep every night knowing that the Packers are right on their doorstep.

    ÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷

    The Packers can barely beat the lowly Bears and now the elite teams are supposed to be afraid of them? That’s pretty funny.

    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    Elite teams like… you know… Seattle? Yeah. Id be scared.

  39. ReligionIsForIdiots says:
    Dec 20, 2016 8:46 AM
    Nobody wants to play the Packers in January. Every team in the NFC is losing sleep every night knowing that the Packers are right on their doorstep.
    ——
    Sorry Charlie. Packers won’t even win out to be there. Nice dream though!

  40. Actually the Packers need to win both games and need the LIONS to lose against Dallas in order to win the division. If Lions Win Packers can only get wild card by winning both.

  41. thegreenandcold says:
    Dec 20, 2016 2:34 PM

    diveleft says:
    Dec 20, 2016 10:56 AM
    ReligionIsForIdiots says:
    Dec 20, 2016 8:46 AM

    Nobody wants to play the Packers in January. Every team in the NFC is losing sleep every night knowing that the Packers are right on their doorstep.

    ÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷

    The Packers can barely beat the lowly Bears and now the elite teams are supposed to be afraid of them? That’s pretty funny.

    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    Elite teams like… you know… Seattle? Yeah. Id be scared.

    —————————-
    But according to most Packers fans and all the other haters on this site, Seattle isn’t even that good. I love how everyone dismisses how good the Hawks really are, yet the second they get beat they are all of a sudden considered an ‘elite’ team.

  42. 1. Cowboys (12-2): HOME VS DETROIT, @PHILLY

    2. Seahawks (9-4-1): HOME VS ARIZONA, @SF

    3. Falcons (9-5): @CAROLINA, HOME VS N.O.

    4. Lions (9-5):  @DALLAS, HOME VS GB

    5. Giants (10-4): @PHILLY, @WASH

    6.Packers (8-6): HOME VS MINNY, @DETROIT

    OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
    7. Buccaneers (8-6): @N.O, HOME VS CAROLINA

    8. Redskins (7-6-1): @CHICAGO, HOME VS NYG

    9. Vikings (7-7): @GB, HOME VS CHICAGO

  43. whythevikings says:
    Dec 20, 2016 3:45 PM
    Actually the Packers need to win both games and need the LIONS to lose against Dallas in order to win the division. If Lions Win Packers can only get wild card by winning both.

    ——————————————————————

    False statement

    If the Packers beat the Vikings, it doesnt matter what happens in the Lions Cowboys game, week 17 will be for the NFC North title.

  44. whythevikings says:
    Dec 20, 2016 3:45 PM
    Actually the Packers need to win both games and need the LIONS to lose against Dallas in order to win the division. If Lions Win Packers can only get wild card by winning both.
    —————————————————
    Better recheck your math their Einstein. As of today, GB is 1/2 game (OK, 1 game in the standings) behind the Lions, the Packers have already beaten the Lions once this season. So follow me closely here, if both the Packers and the Lions win this weekend, the difference will still be 1/2 game. Here’s where it gets tricky, if the Packers beat the Lions week 17, both teams will be 10-6. Now tell me which team would be awarded the NFC North Championship in this case? Hint, it won’t be the home team.

  45. Giants will be bounced in the first round. Their thrilling 10-7 victory over the Cowboys failed to impress me. Can’t wait to play them again, if they make it that far

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