NFC Playoff Focus Turns to Detroit

Flynn (Tim Heitman - USA Today Sports)

If the Ravens can knock off the Lions on Monday night, Green Bay would control its playoff destiny.

Now, the Green Bay Packers will cheer for the Baltimore Ravens.

The Packers kept their playoff hopes alive with a stunning 37-36 victory at Dallas on Sunday. With back-to-back wins following a 0-4-1 stretch, Green Bay is 7¬-6-1 and very much in the thick of the NFC North race.

Chicago rallied past Cleveland to improve to 8-6. Detroit, which is 7-6, hosts Baltimore on Monday night. The defending champions also are 7-6 and need a win to keep pace with Miami for the final wild card spot in the AFC.

If the Ravens can knock off the Lions, the Packers would control their destiny with two games to play. If Green Bay can beat Pittsburgh on Sunday at Lambeau, a victory at Chicago in Week 17 would give the Packers a third consecutive NFC North championship.

"I'm sure they are (aware of that)," coach Mike McCarthy said. "I don't talk about it. I'm sure they are but, as we know, we have to beat Pittsburgh. We're trying to really stay focused on controlling the controllables. ... I'm sure they'll figure it out if they haven't already."

Here's what's ahead:

GREEN BAY (7-6-1): vs. Pittsburgh (5-8), at Chicago (8-6).

CHICAGO (8-6): at Philadelphia (8-6), vs. Green Bay (7-6-1).

DETROIT (7-6): vs. Baltimore (7-6), vs. N.Y. Giants (5-9), at Minnesota (4-9-1).


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.

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