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Saturday, December 19, 2009
Packers can't clinch Sunday

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

PITTSBURGH -- Greetings from the Iron City, which eventually welcomed me after an interesting travel day. There are a few inches of snow on the ground, but nothing like the 18-20 inches on the ground a few hours south of here. I just watched the local weather report, and at most there will be flurries when the Steelers and Green Bay kick off at 4:15 p.m. ET.

As it turns out, the Packers won’t have a chance to clinch a playoff spot with a victory Sunday. Dallas’ Saturday night upset of New Orleans saw to that. So here’s the scenario to keep in mind now: The Packers will clinch if they win Sunday AND Washington beats or ties the New York Giants on Monday night. Otherwise, it’s on to Week 16 for the Packers’ playoff hopes.

The Saints’ loss also keeps in play Minnesota’s hopes for the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs. Remember, the Vikings would win any tiebreaker with the Saints if the two teams finish the season with the same record. A victory Sunday night at Carolina would essentially leave the Vikings a game back with two games left to play.

Finally, the Bears have arrived in Baltimore after a 24-hour travel odyssey. Their game against the Ravens will kick off as scheduled at 4:15 p.m. ET.