Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Packers playoff scenarios

Following the upset victory of the ViQueens over the Eagles in Philly last evening, the playoff scenarios start to come into focus for the Green Bay Packers. Sort of.

First, of course, the Packers actually have to make the playoffs. And that, as any true Green-n-Gold-blooded fan of the Pack knows, requires the Pack to beat Da Bearz Sunday afternoon in the friendly confines of Lambeau Field.

It's possible that Chicago has a chance at playing for the #1 NFC seed (can you believe it?), but they'll know whether that's in play by gametime. It's already a given that they have secured the #2 spot and a bye. So the question for coach Lovie Dovie Smith is whether and how long he will play his starters against the Pack. Yes, Smith relishes his team's battles against the Pack. But would he jeopardize a run in the playoffs by exposing his starters to possible injury in what for all practical purposes is a meaningless game for them? Doubtful.

So the odds of the Packers beating Da Bearz have seemingly increased courtesy of the 'Queens beating Philly.

The outcome of last night's game also means that instead of back-to-back games against Chicago, as was originally speculated as the primary playoff scenario, the Packers will now instead be looking to take a trip east to play the Eagles. Many fans, judging from comments on blogs, radio call-in shows, etc., preferred to take on Da Bearz instead of the Eagles. However, given that Philly will now be playing 3 games in about 11 or 12 days time, and that QB Michael Vick got banged up a bit in last night's game, some fans are beginning to look forward to playing Philadelphia.

If the Packers make the playoffs, and then beat Philly, they would likely take on Atlanta. There are scenarios which, if correct, show that it's possible that the Packers could match up against Da Bearz in the NFC Championship game. Wouldn't that be something?!

The one thing you will notice about these scenarios, though, is that the Packers are on the road throughout the playoffs. The Giants, as is all too clear in memory, won out on the road and went on to win the Super Bowl just a few years ago. But no #6 seeded team coming out of the NFC has ever gone on to win the Super Bowl; the only instance of any #6 seed winning the big game is that of the Steelers.

But, again, nothing happens unless the Packers win Sunday. That's the only game that matters now.

See Tom Silverstein's blog about the matchups in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Go Pack Go!!!

On this day...
The late great Ray Nitschke was born on this day in 1936.