Why the Green Bay Packers have a better shot than most think


This Championship Game is a one that most people feel the Green Bay Packers shouldn’t even be in.

“If it wasn’t for a bad rule, my Cowboys would be in this game” said one TV personality (which I refuse to name).

Let’s first address the silly notion that one play allowed the Packers to win.

First of all, the Packers outgained the Cowboys for the game 416 to 315, they had two more first downs, and sacked the quarterback three more times.

So, statistically the Packers were the superior team.

Also, let’s say the infamous “non-catch” counted, the Packers would have had the ball with over four minutes left and only needing a field goal to win.

We all watched that fourth quarter, the Cowboys were not stopping a red hot Aaron Rodgers.

In fact, the Packers successfully ran out the clock ending the game on the Dallas 31 yard line (in field goal range).

Aaron Rodgers. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports photograph

So the Packers deserve to be here; let’s end that discussion right now.

And if you read any of my predictions this year, you know I do not sugar coat anything.  I shot from the hip, good or bad.

Last game against Dallas, I felt the Packers would get blown out, almost solely based on the injury of Aaron Rodgers. And I was right (for three quarters).

So, with that said, let’s move to the Championship Game.

Yes I am aware the Seahawks and Packers previously played this year, and the Packers got killed.

However, these are not the same Packers that got killed that day.

For starters, on offense Davante Adams has replaced Jarrett Boykin as the third receiver. As we have seen, Adams can have a profound impact on the game, much more than he could have had in his first NFL game, coming off the bench.

Rookie Corey Linsley now has 17 games under his belt, and has proved he is the center of the future, and the line as a whole has played much better as the year has progressed. Not to mention in that first game in Seattle, the line held its own until tackle Bryan Bulaga left the game. He’s healthy now.

Finally,  the tight ends (including Richard Rodgers) are contributing more, meaning even more targets for Seattle to worry about.

So the offense is much better than week one, but what about the defense?

Since that first game,  Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has gained experience, Julius Peppers is fully comfortable in his new role, and Clay Matthews‘ move inside (on most plays) has made a real difference.

So, yes they are better than week one as well.

Davante Adams was the X-factor for Packers against the Cowboys last Sunday. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

As for the Seahawks, everyone is under the assumption that they have gotten better.

Let’s not forget in that week one game,  Percy Harvin trashed the Packers for 7 catches, including a 33-yarder, and 41 yards on only 4 carries. That powerful dual threat was shipped to New York.

Another thing being reported is how the Seattle defense is even better than last year. They are great, perhaps even all-time great. However, it should at the very least be noted that the competition hasn’t exactly been stellar.

The last time they played a quarterback that finished in the top 10 in QBR was week 5 against Tony Romo (a game they lost, by the way).

Since then it has gone Davis, Newton, Carr, (Eli) Manning, Smith, Stanton, Kaepernick, Sanchez, Kaepernick (again), Lindley, Hill, and Newton (again).

In case you are keeping track that’s four second string quarterbacks, two third string quarterbacks, and ZERO future hall of famers.

I understand that you can only play who you are scheduled against. Let’s just remember that Seattle hasn’t been doing this routinely against the 2011 Packers, 2013 Broncos, or 2009 Saints.

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  • Thus these two teams, in reality, are closer than most people think.

    In fact, the 7.5-point spread is due mainly to the injury to Aaron Rodgers. If he was 100 percent healthy you can bet the Packers wouldn’t have been more than a 3- to 3.5-point pooch.

    This brings me to Rodgers and his infamous injured calf.

    It is a bad injury, it does effect him, and perhaps more importantly, he has shown he can overcome it and play well when it matters the most (second half versus Detroit and Dallas).

    Bottom line: the Seahawks (because of the Rodgers injury) are the better team, they deserve to be favored.

    However, if the fourth quarter comes around and the Packers are still in the game – watch out!

    All bets are off!

    Next: What are the Packers up against?