Packers playoff picture sharpens

Ryan Wood
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The Green Bay Packers’ playoff picture found clarity Sunday night before their NFC North title game kickoff against the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field.

With the Seattle Seahawks leading big in the second half at the Arizona Cardinals, one possible playoff scenario appears to be crossed off the list. The Packers would have hosted the Seahawks next week had they won and Seattle lost. If the Seahawks’ score holds, their win would whittle the Packers’ playoff picture down to three potential outcomes.

With a win against the Vikings, the Packers will hold the No. 3 seed in the NFC because of their division championship and host — wait for it — the Vikings again next week for a rematch in the NFC wild-card round. It would force the Packers to beat the Vikings for a third time this season. The Packers previously won 30-13 at Minnesota on Nov. 22.

Bakhtiari, Shields inactive vs. Vikings

A loss to the Vikings would send the Packers to the Washington Redskins next week as the NFC’s fifth seed. It would not necessarily be a doomsday scenario. The Redskins are winners of the NFC East, the weakest division within the conference. With a 9-7 record, they are regarded as the weakest NFC playoff team. Of course, the biggest difference for the Packers would be a road trip in the Wild Card round instead of a home game.

A tie against the Vikings would send the Seahawks to Green Bay, and the Vikings would go to Washington.

The Packers will know their first-round reality soon enough. Stay tuned to for full coverage of Sunday night’s NFC North title game from Lambeau Field.

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