OH! How the “Inaccurate Reception” still haunts the Packers…
While I was (I feel, rightfully) infuriated over the (non)TD non-catch/MD Jennings interception, I never thought that it would play a huge factor in the NFC playoff race, but it may now become mammoth. Aside from the obvious extra loss for the Packers, the Seahawks have a real chance to win the NFC West if they can beat the 49ers at home next weekend.
That, in and of itself, is immaterial if the Packers can manage to win out. Road games against the Bears and Vikings stand in their way and those games are always difficult within the division. It would be wonderful if the Packers could ‘drop’ one of those games and still get a 1st round bye, but as nice as that would have been, it was most likely lost in Seattle. And while winning out is still a possibility, I don’t expect the Packers to win against both the Bears and the Vikings and it all comes down to numbers and the numbers don’t favor the Pack.
NO Team has gone unbeaten in their division 2 years in a row since the current 4 division alignment was adopted in 2002. NONE, ZERO, NIL, NADA! This period includes the 16-0 Patriots and the dominant Colts. I’m not positive that it hasn’t ever happened, but in today’s NFL it just does not happen. Sadly, that means the Packers are likely lose to either the Bears or the Vikes, it’s just what the numbers say. The good news is that they will win the division with a win against either team as long as they beat the Titans at Lambeau.
On to my main point, the “Inaccurate Reception”: Seattle has been coming on strong with wins against the Bears (thank you!) and an annihilation of the Cards. If they can beat the 49ers next week in the Thunder (retractable) Dome, they will almost surely finish at 11-5 and win the NFC West. This could end up being a HUGE travesty for the Packers, not only robbing them of a bye week, but forcing them to go back on the road to play in Seattle again.
I was in Seattle for the game in September, 10 rows up in the now infamous end zone, and I saw the play. I have been to many stadiums and it is, without question, the loudest place I’ve ever been to see a game, even when Packer fans were abundant. Playing the Seahawks at home after they’ve had a bye will be as difficult as was in September only more so. The energy of the crowd will be amped up for a playoff game, period. Then consider the fact that their fans won’t be selling 1/3 of their tickets to Packers fans and factor in that nearly all of them believe Golden Tate caught that ball when anyone with access to the internet knows otherwise.
A Packer win this week will go a long way toward allaying my concerns, but the true impact of the “Inaccurate Reception” may not yet be complete.
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