The Packers (12-3) are one more victory from a second consecutive 13-win NFL regular season. After the repeat NFC North champions were the No. 2 seed in last year’s playoffs with that record, this year, by matching that record, they would ascend to the top seed.
In 2020, that means Green Bay both getting home-field advantage through the NFC playoffs and the lone bye in the expanded seven-team conference field. The Packers are No. 1 going into Week 17’s game at the Bears, a game ahead of the No. 2 Saints (11-4) and No. 3 Seahawks (11-4).
Here’s how Aaron Rodgers and the Packers can clinch the pole position in the tournament toward Super Bowl 55:
1. Packers beat or tie the Bears
At 13-3 or 12-3-1, neither the Saints nor Seahawks could create a two- or three-way tie atop the conference. The Packers will have their hands full, however, as the Bears will be playing for a NFC wild-card spot at home.
2. Seahawks lose to or tie the 49ers
Should the Packers lose, the Saints’ outcome against the Panthers is irrelevant to the Packers, because they beat the Saints in Week 3. If it’s only the Packers and Saints tied at 12-4, the Packers still get the No. 1 seed.
Should the Packers, Saints and Seahawks all tie at 12-4, the Saints would get the No. 1 by having the superior conference record, while the Seahawks move up to No. 2 and the Packers.drop down to No. 3.
Should the Packers and Seahawks tie at 12-4 with the Saints dropping to 11-5, then the Seahawks get No. 1 and the Packers get No. 2. The Seahawks would get the top seed based on having a superior record in common games (Vikings, 49ers, Eagles, Falcons), 5-0 vs. 4-1.
Without a win, the only way in which the Packers would keep No. 1 is if the Saints win and the Seahawks don’t.
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