So, the 49ers fans, at least one of them – Matt Hamm over at Niner Noise – is taking the Packers to task and already talking smack about the potential for the Packers versus 49ers meeting in the playoffs.
But we here in Packers Nation certainly won’t stand for the trash talkin’ Niners fans putting down the best team in the NFL and a team that is headed toward history.
That’s why Hamm and I have agreed to start sharing our thoughts about the possibility of a 49ers vs. Packers playoff and some of the things that will have to happen to bring that to fruition.
Today we start with a look at each team’s final four games. While cautious about how things will turn out for the Packers, I feel that Hamm is taking it a bit too far in claiming the 49ers will have the home field advantage. The Packers have ways to go yet, but they are WELL on their way to proving not only to 49ers fans, but the entie NFL that they will be the team to beat.
So, after the jump you will find my column followed by Hamm’s. Enjoy them both.
The Packers road to home field advantage is rife with trouble – but nothing the team can’t handle
The Packers, who many believe have the best shot at home field advantage throughout the playoffs, had better be looking ahead and not into the rear view mirror over the next month and into the playoffs.
Though the Packers at this juncture have a two-game advantage in the playoff seeding over the San Francisco 49ers, their schedule is not a gimme … unlike the Niners, who play teams the equivalent to the School of the Blind Sisters of the Poor.
Let’s take a look at Green Bay’s remaining games.
This weekend, they play at home against the hot and cold Oakland Raiders
Next week, they travel to Kansas City.
On Christmas Day, the Packers host their archenemy in the Chicago Bears.
And on New Year’s Day, the Packers will play their final game of the regular season against the Detroit Lions.
One could look at this schedule and feel it’s a cakewalk for the Pack considering three of their four games will be played at Lambeau Field … Thank you very much, NFL schedulers.
But anyone who follows the NFL understands the term “On any given Sunday.”
It gets under way this Sunday when the Packers take on a hungry Raiders team that got humiliated in Miami by a bad Dolphins squad.
For the second straight week, the Packers will face a team coming off devastating losses. The Giants had lost miserably to the Saints before hosting the Packers. Green Bay got out of New York with a last second field goal win.
Will the Raiders give a similar effort when they visit Green Bay? We will find out in a couple of days.
Probably the biggest trap game comes when the Packers visit Kansas City. On paper, the Packers should easily defeat the Chiefs. However, there are too many factors that play into this one. For instance, the game is at Arrowhead. Second, the Chiefs got a huge boost to their confidence with their big win over the Bears last week … Will they think they can beat the Packers? You bet they will.
In addition, the Chiefs defense has been playing well the last half of the season and if there’s a way to get a win against the Packers it’s to stop their offense. The question is whether the Chiefs can score enough to win … Probably not.
Which takes us to the Christmas Day showdown with the Chicago Bears. A month ago, this seemed to be a battle of the titans. But now with Jay Cutler on the shelf and Matt Forte questionable to be back in the lineup this looks to be a very winnable game for the Packers.
However, this is the Bears and no matter what, Green Bay will have to bring its A game to win. If all goes as planned, the Packers would be 14-0 and nothing would please Lovie “our goal is to beat Green Bay” Smith more than to, well, beat an undefeated Green Bay on their home field.
If the Packers defeat the Bears, they will then have to turn around in the final game of the regular season and the first game of 2012 to face one of the most improved teams in the league … The Detroit Lions.
One might remember a few years ago when the Packers played the Lions in the final game of the season and pasted Detroit with its 16th loss of that winless campaign for the guys from the Motor City.
The exact opposite could be on the line in this one as the Lions, with a win, could keep the Packers from a perfect regular season. Nothing would please the Lions more than to make a statement and to make amends for their loss to the Packers on Thanksgiving Day.
So nothing is going to be easy for the Packers as they not only pursue perfection but also home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Given that things can change quickly in the NFL, the Packers must indeed look ahead to their goals for the final quarter of the season.
While the San Francisco 49ers are clearly in view in the mirror, taking care of the business in front of them should end up with the Packers leaving the entire league in the dust.
Here is the column by Matt Hamm of Niner Noise … enjoy …
Well I guess I went and done it Niner Noise faithful. I set the Packers fan base on fire and now it’s set off a rivalry with our Packers site here on the Fansided Network. You see the Packers fan base is delusional, they are buying pieces of paper that aren’t stock (giving the franchise money for nothing) that isn’t stock. I simply pointed this out and the Packers fan tried to set my world on fire (thanks guys I was hoping to rattle your cages!)
Anyway now I’m bringing it to Raymond Rivard the main cheese head over at Lombardi Ave. It’s Niner Noise vs. Lombardi Ave. Part I! In part I we’ll debate: Home Field Advantage: 49ers vs Packers. Be sure to check out Lombardi Ave as Ray puffs his chest out and declares Packers supremacy.
With the Packers at 12-0 how am I supposed to sit here and tell the world the 49ers are going to be the #1 seed in the NFC? Easy, since that’s exactly what’s going to happen. The Packers have some tough games ahead of them, after they lose one of them I predict the team will go on a mini losing streak just before the playoffs.
Why the Pack will lose their perfect season and home field advantage after the jump
Out of the remaining 4 games on the 49ers schedule 3 are against NFC West opponents. The only real challenge comes next Monday night against Pittsburgh at home. I’m not going to waste time telling you guys again why the 49ers will not lose to awful teams like the ones that reside in the NFC West again.
You’ve all heard it.
Moving right along to the Steelers, what a perfect time to be playing them with big Ben hurting. The 49ers will win this game to shut up the doubters, everyone that moaned after we lost to the Ravens on turkey day. Jim Harbaugh will have the team fired up and ready for their last real challenge of the season.
Niners win this game at home in bold fashion in my opinion. I don’t see the Steelers running the ball nor do I see the 49ers being stopped again. No way Harbaugh allows another elite defense to outsmart him. The running game will be a lot more creative when the Steel Curtain comes to town.
Well none of that matters if Green Bay wins 3 of it’s next 4 games they will still finish a game ahead of the 49ers. San Francisco needs just a couple things to happen. But what about when they go 2-2 like I think they will? Let’s take a glance at the tiebreaker rules:
1. Head-to-head. (Not applicable).
2. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference. (Packers are 10-0 in NFC; 49ers 8-1).
3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games, minimum of four. (Both teams are 4-0 vs. common opponents).
4. Strength of victory.
5. Strength of schedule.
In case you didn’t notice, #3 is in bold (and the award for captain obvious goes to….) that’s the key to the Niners getting home field advantage. You see 49er fans, the NFL will move past #2 after both teams finish 11-1 in the NFC. I predict a loss this weekend against Oakland and then again in the finale against a Detroit team fighting to get a wildcard spot.
Oakland’s going to control the time of possession against the Pack this Sunday. Whether Darren McFadden plays or not this team has a strong running game and they keep coming at you for 4 quarters. The only way the Raiders win is if they keep Aaron Rogers off the field and come up with a big turnover or 2. Watch out for Richard Seymour in this game, he had a tendency for big time plays in big time games in New England and you know he’d love to ruin the Packers perfect season. Raiders win 23-20
After shaking off the Oakland game and steam rolling the Chiefs and Bears the Packers will face the Lions and control their own home field destiny. And will jack it all up. Knowing the 49ers play the pitiful Rams the Packers will have all the pressure squarely on their shoulders to win this game. And they will lose to Detroit.
Matthew Stafford’s injured pinkie’s healing and the Lions are still sniffing the playoffs at 7-5. Look for this to be the NFLs dream with the Lions fighting for their playoff lives against the Packers trying to stay atop the NFC mountain.
The Lions cannot and will not run the football on the Packers so you can write the whole ball control thing out of the picture. Here’s what’s going to unfold, Aaron Rogers is going to blow this game.
Seems crazy right?
Rogers has been nearly perfect this season, perfect since the playoffs last year. He’s been flat out brilliant when the spotlight is on him late in games. He’s going to blow this one.
I like Rogers, wish the 49ers would have picked him in 2005 to this day. I think he will be a hall of fame QB one day. Ok now that I’ve said that, the guy isn’t Joe Montana. Think back to John Elway even, he blew some big games in his day and Marino never even won the big one.
It’s Aaron’s turn, come on he’s not the greatest, it’s going to happen sometime.
Topics: Aaron Rodgers, Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Dan Marino, Darren McFadden, Detroit Lions, FanSided.com, Green Bay Packers, Jim Harbaugh, Joe Montana, John Elway, John Harbaugh, Kansas City Chiefs, Matt Hamm, Matthew Stafford, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, NFC, NFC West, NFL, Niner Noise, Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers, Raymond Rivard, Richard Seymour, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahwawks, St. Louis Rams, Winning Isn't Everything, It's The Only Thing