The season is…well, here. Who knew? While everyone complained about the preseason, it was good for quite a few things.
- Staying on schedule
- Hyping up the season (aka creating interest)
- Getting an idea of who, what, why, etc.
Now with the season just abruptly starting, it’s odd how little interest there seems to be amongst the masses. However, it’s still going on as scheduled…for now. Keep in mind there’s an additional playoff team this year, making 7 per conference. Leaving only the 1 seed with a BYE, which makes the regular that much more important. As always, I’ve predicted every single regular season game to come up with the records (while I don’t think every team will have these records, I do believe these will be the playoff seedings). Let’s look at how the 2020 season will shake out. If you recall, I’ve nailed the last 2 Super Bowl winners.
|AFC North||NFC North|
|1Kansas City||14||2||1San Francisco||12||4|
|Los Angeles||7||9||Los Angeles||8||8|
*The regular season finished standings seem somewhat realistic, especially if Patrick Mahomes continues this trend of being MegaMan. Some teams will surprise and some will disappoint, as always, but it’s the teams that have a real shot to win the Super Bowl that should draw your most attention, as well as your favorite team. How would the playoffs shake out given these seedings?
|4New Orleans||@||3Green Bay|
|7Tampa Bay||@||1San Francisco|
|3Green Bay||@||1San Francisco|
|Super Bowl LV|
This may be tough to follow, but keep in the mind the 1 seed in each conference gets a BYE in the playoffs, where every other team must play 3 games to get to the Super Bowl. However, the 2 seed has an advantage of having at least 2 home games before having to travel. I feel somewhat confident in the Packers finishing 11-5 (again, assuming the season plays 16 which there’s no reason they shouldn’t, but that’s not why you’re here).
In my scenario, I have Green Bay getting the 3 seed, meaning they’d get 2 home playoff games, just like the 2 seed, should they win Wild Card weekend. We see a rematch from last year’s Divisional Playoff between 6th seeded Seattle and 3rd seeded Green Bay, which even in the old playoff format would be the same. Much like last year, Seattle (and Russell Wilson) isn’t nearly as good on the road as at home, especially in the playoffs. If memory serves me right, Wilson’s only 2 road playoff wins are his rookie year @ Washington with fellow rookie QB RGIII, and that defense was outstanding. The other from last year where Seattle traveled to a decimated Philadelphia team, and while leading the whole game, struggled to pull away. Expect much of the same in this rematch—Green Bay to take early control and hold on to the victory.
Enter the Divisional Round, which was the expected Div. Rd. matchup last year: Saints @ Packers. New Orleans inexplicably lost to Kirk Cousins and the Vikings, at home! The Saints have one of the most complete rosters in the NFL, but much like Seattle, are a far different animal away from their loud-ass home stadium. Drew Brees will just have turned 42 years old and having to play in single-digit temperatures, likely at night, is the best-case scenario for a Packers’ defense. Aaron Jones and the defense make enough plays in the blistering cold to come out with a close, hard-fought W and move on to the NFC Championship for yet another rematch with the 49ers.
Ahh yes, back to the place where the massacre started as soon as Rodgers bypassed an open Jimmy Graham on 3rd and short on the first offensive possession of the game (after the defense held a 3 & out on SF’s first) and instead dumped it off to Jamaal Williams with almost no chance to gain the first down. Then with confidence from his defense, rookie Head Coach Matt LaFleur decided to punt and we all know what happened after that…
For you that know me, know I have little confidence in the Packers winning another Super Bowl, especially with Rodgers, but I do think if this scenario plays out- Green Bay will be pulling out all the stops with their actual goal of getting past the NFC title game and getting to the Super Bowl. I too believe most fans will be happy as a clam if this were to occur, and that’s mostly why I think Green Bay will pull out the win – that and actually having another year with the Smith Bros., Amos, Savage, and an athletic MLB in Pettine’s defense…as well as LaFleur’s 2nd year as play-caller, it could resemble the Shanahan-led 9ers offense, which is run-focused.
So, let’s say the Packers find themselves in Tampa Bay for Super Bowl LV, as you can see I have them matched up vs. Baltimore. This is a decent match-up for the Packers. The Ravens’ D is outstanding, much like San Fran’s, and they’re a run-focused team, but in a different sense. Lamar Jackson (2019 NFL MVP) is so dynamic and absolutely kills you with his legs. The focus there should be to get a solid hit on him as often as possible, that will wear him down and ultimately could (should) lead to inaccurate throws and turnovers. Green Bay will likely need 3 turnovers (and be +3 in that category) to win the game. In the end, I think it’s a gut-wrenching loss, much like Super Bowl XXXII where the Packers will have the ball with about 3 minutes left and needing a touchdown to win and come up short.
Another great steppingstone, but we’re passed that phase as fans, aren’t we? Just think, if the world returns to normal and we’re allowed to watch camp, practice, preseason games, and hell even attend games in person…think of the setup coming into 2021 with the Packers having come off NFC title and Super Bowl losses in back-to-back years and the possibility of trading Aaron Rodgers should Jordan Love be ready to step in…