A gift, thanks Arizona (and Brett Hundley???) The Packers sit as the 2nd seed in the NFC playoff picture (with a win). They control their destiny for that 2 seed- should they win out, they can do no worse than the 2 seed. Win out and have Seattle beat SF and the Packers are the 1 seed and fare much better vs any opponent in Lambeau than heading on the road, and/or not even having a BYE.
Preview~ win and win the division. Winning the division is key, but far from the ultimate goal. While a huge step in the right direction for a 1st year head coach, be wary that doesn’t necessarily mean much (i.e. Nagy and the Bears did the same last year going 12-4). While I think the Packers are a much better run organization than Chicago, it’s still worth mentioning…plus, it’s ok to have expectations of winning more than initial thoughts coming into the season, especially that the Packers have only secured a BYE in the postseason 5 times since Brett Favre entered Green Bay. This could be the sixth, and in my previous blog, I showed the importance of earning a BYE…the last 6 seasons, the Super Bowl has only had representatives that have had a BYE. 1 seed, as you’d imagine, is even more indicative of getting to the Super Bowl. Keep Winning.
While the graph shows Minnesota ranking better both offensively and defensively (by points), Green Bay has been getting it done with not turning it over and making their opponents drive the length of the field to score…which is Pettine’s “Bend but Don’t Break” motto. The issue with metrics, while over the course of a season may help, in only 1 game one key mistake likely will determine the outcome—and the Packers are built for the offense not to have a single turnover. It’s still tough not to think about the opening series in San Fran where Rodgers fumbled and essentially changed the entire game. The Packers are behind the 8-ball this game, with Minnesota playing well and having quite a bit of talent in the right areas, while being well-balanced.
If the Packers can equalize them enough to bring this to a Rodgers v Cousins game, that should be enough considering Captain Average (err Kirk) sucks in primetime games especially vs. “Good” teams. Then again, if Rodgers can’t outperform Kirk…
Win and 12-3, heading into Detroit with a boat load of momentum with the ability to lock up the 2 seed, and potentially home field advantage, would be quite the accomplishment for a rookie head coach—then I’d say “don’t waste the opportunity.” Lose, and well…it’s still a must-win in Detroit for the division, but then likely hosting San Fran or Seattle in the wild card round with the right to travel to New Orleans…yikes…