Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Packers' hope: Wild Card spot

Yet another example of why Green Bay Packers fans loathe the Minnesota Vikings: on one of the rare occasions when Packer fans actually root for the 'Queens, they blow it. They lose. To Da Bearz. And, in the process, allow those same Bearz to clinch the NFC North. With Jay Cutler at QB, nonetheless.

Yes, it is yet another sign of the impending Apocalypse.

So, where does that leave the Packers? Pretty much where we thought they'd be after their second consecutive loss: in control of their own destiny. If they win their last two remaining games against the Giants and Da Bearz, both at Lambeau Field, they cinch a Wild Card spot for the playoffs. In a sense, they are already in playoff mode now. Win Sunday and they are still alive; lose to the Giants and, as the late, great Dandy Don Meredith might sing, "The party's over."

There is still no word as to whether QB Aaron Rodgers will be available. But at least we can rest comfortably that backup Matt Flynn can hold his own if he has to get the start again. The worries are the Unholy Trinity for the Pack: short-yardage conversions (especially at the goal line), penalties, and very un-special special teams. When a team loses its six games by a combined total of 20 points, it's those little things -- and some not-so-little -- that make the difference.

Perhaps the Packers, with their league-leading injury list all season long, have been running on fumes longer than we think? We'll begin to get the answer to that question with the game against the Giants. Win and get ready for a smackdown with Da Bearz, lose and start looking to draft picks and signings for next season. It's as simple as that. And cleaning up those areas of play that have been the thorn in the Packers' side all season long.

Oh, and Da Bearz still suck. And so do the ViQueens.