What clinching the top seed would mean for the Packers.
With the Kansas City Chiefs beating the New Orleans Saints, the Green Bay Packers can now officially clinch the NFC’s number one seed in the postseason as early as next week.
This means they can capture not just that, but also home-field advantage throughout as well as a first-round bye.
Let’s take a look at what this means for Green Bay the rest of the way.
Maintaining the top spot in the NFC
With the Chiefs winning over the Saints as well as the New York Jets beating the Los Angeles Rams, this now means that Green Bay would just need to beat the Chicago Bears in Week 17 to clinch the top spot in the NFC. They host the Tennessee Titans next week.
Both of these games will be no gimmies as Tennessee’s offense with RB Derrick Henry should be a big task for Green Bay’s defense to tackle (literally and figuratively), and Chicago will be vying for a playoff spot in Week 17 most likely, so they will also come to play.
Head coach Matt LaFleur knows he needs to have his team prepared to the fullest, and I believe he will. Green Bay winning over Chicago would clinch it, or winning out completely.
What home-field advantage means for Green Bay
Unlike most teams, Green Bay’s home-field advantage is an advantage. Why? Because of the brutal midwestern cold come January. If you look at the possible opponents for them in the playoffs (Tampa Bay, Seattle, LA, Washington, New Orleans, Arizona), two come from warmer climates (Los Angeles and Tampa), two play in a dome (New Orleans and Arizona). Seattle as well as Washington don’t play well in the brutal cold.
In Aaron Rodgers’ tenure as a Packer, he’s played in four NFC championship games. All four of which came on the road.
Having a conference championship being played at Lambeau Field would be a huge confidence boost for them as a team. Even without fans, the brutal cold weather will play as much of a factor for the opposing teams. While Green Bay is already used to the cold, their potential opposition is not.
Packers just need to keep winning
With very few games remaining in the regular season, Green Bay now knows what they need to do. Even if they lose next week, they would still end up as the top team in the NFC by beating Chicago.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers knows how important getting the one-seed means for them as a team:
"“I think it’s important for sure to get that extra week of rest,” Rodgers said. “The big thing though and you guys know this, we’ve played in, I believe, four NFC championship games, all four on the road. So, being able to have the whole thing come through Green Bay is something that we’ve talked about for a long time, we’ve wanted [but] we’ve never had.”"
Rodgers understands the importance of having the postseason come through your home field. Having played in four NFC championships away from home definitely puts it into perspective.
This year’s team has the ability to make a deep postseason run if they put in the right preparation as well as proper execution on the field. Having felt the shortcomings as of late for Green Bay in the postseason, I know it would feel very good to have things go right for once — especially at Lambeau Field.
Now, it’s up to the Packers to take care of business.