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NFL playoff picture: What does Vikings-Packers mean for NFC standings

The Vikings face the Packers in Green Bay on Sunday Night Football. We break down what the game means for the NFL playoff picture.

Aaron Rodgers #12 celebrates a touchdown with Davante Adams #17 of the Green Bay Packers during a game against the Cleveland Browns at Lambeau Field on December 25, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Browns 24-22. Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Update: The Packers, as expected, beat up on the Vikings and have now clinched the top seed in the NFC. That likely means an additional week off for the team’s stars. Minnesota has been eliminated from playoff contention with the loss, as the Eagles, 49ers and Saints winning in Week 17 created a must-win situation for the Vikings.

The Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers meet up in an NFC North divisional matchup that caps off the loaded Sunday slate on Sunday Night Football. Kickoff from Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin is set for 8:20 p.m. ET and the game will air on NBC. The Vikings will be without starting quarterback Kirk Cousins who is on the COVID-19 list.

Vikings playoff picture

Current NFC standing

While the Vikings can’t win the NFC North, they can still get into the playoffs. They are currently in eighth place in the NFC playoff hunt which would have them on the outside looking in if the playoffs started today. They are one game back of the San Francisco 49ers and the Philadelphia Eagles. There are only two playoff spots left up for grabs in the NFC playoff chase and there are currently six teams that are still in contention for them. Down their starting quarterback, even if the Vikings lose this one, that doesn’t automatically eliminate them.

Relevant Week 17 matchups

Falcons (7-8) @ Bills (9-6)
Eagles (8-7) @ Washington (6-9)
Texans (4-11) @ 49ers (8-7)
Panthers (5-10) @ Saints (7-8)

Packers playoff picture

Current NFC standing

The Packers have already locked up the NFC North and they are currently the No. 1 seed in the NFC. If they win out, they will lock down the all-important first-round bye that will give them much-needed rest in this new 18-week regular season. They hold a one-game lead over the Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Relevant Week 17 matchups

Rams (11-4) @ Ravens (8-7)
Buccaneers (11-4) @ Jets (4-11)
Cardinals (10-5) @ Cowboys (11-4)