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How can Packers clinch a playoff spot in Week 18?

We discuss the scenarios that could see the Packers clinching a playoff spot in Week 18.

Green Bay Packers v Minnesota Vikings
Jordan Love of the Green Bay Packers celebrates after the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on December 31, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Update, Sunday evening: The Packers defeated the Bears, 17-9, and clinched a Wild Card berth into the 2024 playoffs.

Update, Sunday afternoon: The Buccaneers won against the Panthers, eliminating one path to the playoffs for the Packers.

The Green Bay Packers have gone through their ups and downs during their first season with Jordan Love as the full-time starting quarterback but they enter Week 18 of the 2023 regular season with the exact same scenario as they had in 2022; win and you’re in. Here’s a look at all the ways the Packers can make the postseason in Week 18.

Packers playoff clinching scenarios - Week 18

  • Win vs. Bears - This is the most straightforward scenario. If the Packers can take down Chicago, none of the other results matter when it comes to a playoff berth. If the Rams lose to the 49ers, the Packers would jump them and become the No. 6 seed.
  • Packers lose, Seahawks lose, Vikings lose, Bucs or Saints lose - If Green Bay did lose, it would then need the teams behind it to lose as well. The Packers hold tiebreakers over the Seahawks and Saints so identical records there won’t matter. However, the Saints and Bucs winning would mean the Packers would have to win to ensure a playoff berth. The Vikings hold a tiebreaker over the Packers so Minnesota winning would also put pressure on Green Bay to win.

The Packers will already know the results for the games involving Minnesota, New Orleans and Tampa Bay when they kick off against the Bears. They will be playing in the same window as the Seahawks and Rams, although LA’s result is irrelevant for playoff qualification. Knowing the early results doesn’t really help, because Seattle is next in line for the playoff spot should Green Bay falter.

The easiest way to get in is to win. It doesn’t get more simple. Beat division rival at home. Aaron Rodgers wasn’t able to do it last season. Will Love flip the script this season?