The Green Bay Packers' playoff hopes could be dashed by around 3 p.m. today. Or by that same time, they could be in the driver's seat in the race for the NFC North title.
The only order of business that they truly can control: Defeat the Chicago Bears today.
If they do that and the Detroit Lions fall to the New York Giants, the Packers control their destiny in the race for an NFC North title. They'll trail Detroit by a game, but they play on Jan. 1 in the season finale. If the teams finish in a first-place tie for the division, the Packers will win the head-to-head tiebreaker, and therefore, the playoff berth.
If the Packers fall and the Lions win today, the Packers' playoff hopes are officially done.
If games are played on paper, the Packers should win and win easily. Green Bay has won three straight. Chicago has lost four of its last five games , with the only win coming against lowly San Francisco.
The Packers will have an injury-riddled team, but they're hoping their health is enough to defeat the Bears and - by the way - tie the all-time series between the teams.
This game will be played on grass. Not-so-well-kept grass, as the history of Soldier Field's field problems predict. It will be played on really frozen grass, as weathercasters predict.
Stay tuned. With a lot of layers on. But stay tuned.