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The NFC Playoff Picture Guide

The last week of the NFL season is upon us. Six of the seven playoff spots are clinched, with one more left; we see who can get in and what kind of help they need from other teams.

The NFC’s Seventh Seed

The last seed in the NFC is up for grabs by three teams. The Seattle Seahawks, The Detroit Lions, and the Green Bay Packers. These three teams are 8-8 and need a few things this weekend to clinch the last spot in the NFC.

The team in the best driver’s seat is the Green Bay Packers. All they have to do this weekend is beat the Detroit Lions to clinch the playoff spot, and because of that, they have the best odds of making the playoffs at 64%. The Seattle Seahawks have the following best odds at 20%, they need to win against the Los Angeles Rams but also need the Packers to lose against the Lions. The Detroit Lions have the most challenging road, with a 16% chance of making the playoffs. Again, they must beat the Packers and have the Seahawks lose to the Rams.

The NFC playoff picture is WILD heading into Week 18. @SteveKornacki takes a closer look at what can happen and how. — Sunday Night Football on NBC (@SNFonNBC) January 2, 2023

Packers Look For Revenge

The Packers and Lions will play on Sunday Night Football this week. Earlier in the year, the Lions took down the Packers 15-9 at Ford Field. The Packers look for ultimate revenge, as a win will eliminate the Lions from the playoffs and put the Packers in. So what will Green Bay need to do to ensure a victory for the NFC wildcard?

Most importantly, the Packers need to continue their offensive hot streak. Green Bay is averaging 30.4 points per game over their last five games. The lions currently lead the league in opponents yards given up per game, giving up 398 yards per game. On the flip side, the Packers will need to be on their A-game on defense. Detroit currently is fourth in the NFL in yards per game, getting 383 yards per game, and currently ranked fifth in scoring offense scoring 27.1 points per game.

A Seahawks Miracle

On Sunday, the Seahawks will be living on a prayer; Seattle will take on the Los Angeles Rams in front of the “12th man.” Not only will the Seahawks need to beat the Rams, but they also need a little luck from the Lions. If the Lions beat the Packers and the Seahawks beat the Rams, Seattle would clinch the last spot in the NFC.

For the Seahawks to beat the Rams, they need Geno Smith to have a big game. The Rams are currently ranked 30th in opponent completion percentage and rank bottom half in the league in opponent passing yards per game. Seattle’s defense will need to step up as well. Getting pressure on Baker Mayfield will be vital in getting him to make mistakes and have the Seahawks earn a positive turnover differential.

A Lions Legacy

The lions will look to clinch an NFC postseason berth for the first time since 2016. For them to get there, they need some help. The Lions must beat the Packers at Lambeau Field on Sunday and have the Seahawks lose to the Los Angeles Rams. Due to the unlikely nature of both of these situations playing out in the Detroit Lions’ favor, the Lions currently have the worst odds of making the playoffs at 16%

The Lions have a challenging task enough just to beat the Packers. However, they did defeat the Packers at Ford Field earlier in the year. For the Lions to beat the Packers, they must be able to score with the Packers. I need more trust in that defense for them to win a game for Detroit. The Packers’ offense has been on fire; however, the Lions have proven they can score with the best of them and, most importantly, win games with their offense.

In Conclusion

With all the scenarios, only one team to get into the playoffs. So, the easy answer is the Packers, and I believe it is the Packers that clinch the last spot in the NFC. The offense has sprung to life and has had no trouble scoring the ball as of late. Because of that and Green Bay playing a putrid Lions defense this week, I believe Green Bay will be in the NFC playoffs this year.



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