There are a few scenarios that could transpire that would be to the Packers benefit. Either way they are in the playoff tournament with the potential to bring the Lombardi trophy home where it belongs – in Green Bay!
If the season were to end today the Packers would be a number 3 seed. Their opponent would be a rematch of their week 17 matchup, the Vikings, who would bring up the rear with the 6th seed playoff spot. With that said, the Giants, Bears, and Cowboys all have hope to edge out the Vikings for the number six spot.
The game Packers fans have the most interest in this week is the match-up that pits the San Francisco 49ers against the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks could pay the Packers a well-deserved favor with a victory over the 49ers in Seattle. Doing so would ensure the Packers, provided they win their next two games, the 2nd seed in the NFC Playoffs. This would grant the Packers a first round playoff bye and a game on the “Frozen Tundra of Lambeau Field (insert Chris Berman voice).” Possibly home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
If the 49ers, who many of the experts believe are the best team in football, defeat the Seahawks and their week 17 opponent, the lowly Arizona Cardinals they would claim the number 2 seed. In this instance the Packers would play the Vikings, Bears, Cowboys, or Giants. Looking at the schedules of these four teams and each of their two remaining opponents it seems the Bears would be the Packers’ most likely first round foe. Over the next 2 weeks the Bears play the Cardinals and the Lions at home. As the Cowboys have the Saints and the ‘Skins, the Viking have the Texans and the Packers, and the Giants play the Eagles and the Ravens.
A first round playoff match-up with the Bears is intriguing. After all, the only thing better than defeating the Bears and Jay Cutler twice in a season would be to beat them 3 times. An entertaining game for sure, however, it could be one that makes Packers fans a bit weary. Odds are the Bears will beat the Packers sooner or later and the playoffs would be a miserable time for logic to win out. But we in Packer Nation are optimists, and confident that the Packers would swiftly lead the Bears to the playoff exit.
On the other hand if the Seahawks or the Cardinals happen to defeat the 49ers over the next two weeks the Packers would be matched up with the winner of the first round wild card playoff game. In this scenario the most likely challenger would be the Redskins or the Seahawks. But the Cowboys could be in the mix here as well. Best bet would be the Seahawks with their ferocious defense.
Nevertheless, January 2013 will prove to be an exciting time in Packers Land. With the Giants seemingly left for dead the largest obstacle in the way of the Green and Gold looks to be the 49ers. The Falcons, although they put the hurt on the defending Super Bowl Champs, don’t appear to have what it takes to win in the playoffs.
For the NFC, the road to the Super Bowl goes through Green Bay … with maybe a stop in San Francisco.