GREEN BAY, Wis. -- If you’re a believer in playing the percentages, the Green Bay Packers are still a long shot to make the playoffs.
Even with Aaron Rodgers back.
According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, the Packers have a 9.2 percent chance to make the playoffs. That’s up from 6.6 percent before Tuesday night's news that Rodgers had been medically cleared to return from his broken right collarbone.
Even if Rodgers can run the table, the Packers aren’t a lock to make the playoffs. According to FPI, their chances of making the playoffs are 89 percent if they win out.
At 7-6, the Packers are currently in ninth place in the NFC. While they’re only one game out of the last wild-card spot held by Atlanta, the Falcons would have the tiebreaker over the Packers based on their Week 2 head-to-head win. Also, the Packers face the toughest schedule among the top nine in the NFC.
The Packers' remaining opponents -- at Carolina (9-4), Minnesota (10-3) and at Detroit (7-6) -- have a combined 26-13 record. The next hardest schedule among the NFC's top nine belongs to the Falcons, whose opponents are 22-17, followed by Seattle (21-18). None of the other NFC playoff contenders play opponents with a combined winning percentage over .500. The Eagles have the easiest remaining schedule (15-24), followed by the Vikings (16-23) and Lions (16-23).