The good news for the Packers is that they have climbed all the way up to the No. 6 seed in the NFC. That means if the playoffs started today, the Packers would claim the final playoff berth with their 4-3 record.
The bad news is the Packers are only the third-best team in the NFC North, based on the standings. The Chicago Bears lead the division at 5-1 after beating the Detroit Lions 13-7 on Monday night, while the surprising Minnesota Vikings are in second place at 5-2.
With nine games remaining in the regular season for the Packers, who have overcome a sluggish 2-3 start, there's plenty of time to make up ground in the division,
The Bears' lone loss this season was a 23-10
drubbing at the hands of the Packers at Lambeau Field earlier this month.
How long can the Bears keep their hot hand? It could be a while, based on relatively weak opponents in the next two weeks.
For now, we're going to assume the Vikings will eventually come back down to earth and that the Packers and Bears will battle for the division title. Let's look at their remaining schedules and predict how they might finish.
at Tennessee (W)
at San Francisco (L)
at Minnesota (W)
Green Bay (?)
at Arizona (W)
at Detroit (L)
at Detroit (W)
at New York Giants (L)
at Chicago (?)
at Minnesota (W)
Not counting their rematch, these projections show that both teams will wind up with 11-4 records. That means the division title will be decided by the winner of the Packers-Bears game in Chicago on Dec. 16.
The Packers could afford to lose another game and still win the division title by beating the Bears in December. That would leave both teams tied, but the Packers would win the tiebreaker based on a head-to-head sweep.