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Packers face must-win game vs. Giants

Nov. 6, 2013 11:15 AM
 
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As far as the Packers are concerned, the NFC playoffs have started two weeks early. The Packers (8-6) face a must-win game this week against the New York Giants at Lambeau Field. If the Packers lose, they are eliminated from playoff contention. If the Giants win, they will qualify for at least a wild-card berth. The stakes are high, just like the last time these two teams met in the NFC title game in January 2008 when the Giants prevailed in overtime and went on to win the Super Bowl. Packers victories in their final two games will guarantee them at least the No. 6 seed in the NFC. They would win a tiebreaker with the Giants based on their projected head-to-head victory, and they would claim the tiebreaker edge over Tampa Bay based on strength of victory. In the event of a three-way 10-6 tie between the Packers, Giants and Buccaneers, Green Bay would get the nod due to a better strength of victory record. Here is how that three-way tie would be broken: 1.Head-to-head. This is not applicable since none of the three teams has beaten the other two, and none of the three teams has lost to the other two. 2. Best record in games played within the conference. The Packers, Giants and Buccaneers would all finish with 8-4 records against NFC opponents. 3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games, minimum of four. Thisminimum of four common games is not met. The only common opponents that the Packers, Giants and Bucs share is Washington and Detroit. 4. Strength of victory. This measures the combined records of vanquished opponents, and the Packers hold an insurmountable advantage. The combined record of the teams the Packers have beaten (including projected wins over the Giants and Bears) currently stands at 71-73, followed by the Giants at 55-85 and the Bucs at 48-92. Some other potential playoff scenarios: *What if the Packers beat the Giants and lose to the Bears? The Packers would finish 9-7 and would need the Giants to lose their season finale against the Redskins, and the Bucs to lose one of their last two games. In that case the Packers, Giants and Bucs would be tied at 9-7, all would have the same 7-5 conference record, and strength of victory would again be the deciding factor and give the Packers the edge. *What if the Saints lose their last two games and there’s a four-way tie at 10-6 involving the Saints, Packers, Bucs and Giants? In that case, two wild-card playoff berths would be up for grabs among those four teams. A tiebreaker must first break any deadlocks among teams in the same division, and the Bucs would prevail over fellow NFC South member New Orleans based on a better record against common opponents (8-4 to 7-5). With the Saints eliminated, that would leave a three-way tie with the Packers, Giants and Bucs. The Packers would be awarded the No. 5 seed based on a better strength of victory. That would leave the Giants and Bucs to wrestle for the final wild-card berth, and the Giants would get the nod based on a better record against common opponents. *What if the Packers, Giants and Saints finish in a three-way tie at 10-6? The Packers earn the No. 5 wild-card seed based on strength of victory, while the Giants and Saints revert to a two-club tiebreaker and the Saints receive the nod based on a better record against common opponents. NFC PLAYOFF RACE (Seedings and remaining schedules) 1. FALCONS (12-2) Saints (10-4) Panthers (2-12) Opponents’ record: 12-16 2. BEARS (10-4) Jets (10-4) At Packers (8-6) Opponents’ record: 18-10 3. EAGLES (10-4) Vikings (5-9) Cowboys (5-9) Opponents’ record: 10-18 4. RAMS (6-8) 49ers (5-9) at Seahawks (6-8) Opponents’ record: 11-17 5. SAINTS (10-4) At Falcons (12-2) Bucs (8-6) Opponents’ record: 20-8 6. GIANTS (9-5) At Packers (8-6) At Redskins (5-9) Opponents’ record: 13-15 7. PACKERS (8-6) Giants (9-5) Bears (10-4) Opponents’ record: 19-9 8. BUCS (8-6) Seahawks (6-8) At Saints (10-4) Opponents’ record: 16-12

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