The Green Bay Packers have faced adversity all year, and they have responded as positively as any team could. With a win on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers will clinch a first round bye. Would the bye really benefit them?
Last season, the Packers were dominant leading to a 15-1 record and home field throughout the playoffs. However, this didn’t help them in the playoffs. Many people criticized coach Mike McCarthy for resting players in week 17, and giving them a three-week break. The bye week really slowed the Packers momentum down last year, which resulted in a 37-20 defeat to the New York Giants in the Divisional round. I’m worried that this might end the Packers momentum this season.
The Packers seem to be peaking at the right moment. They have failed in both scenarios of having a bye and playing the wild-card round. In 2009, the Packers clinched a wild-card berth, and had a lot of momentum going into a match up with the Arizona Cardinals. The team came out flat in that game, and QB Aaron Rodgers led a miraculous comeback that ended in a 45-51 loss in overtime. In 2011, the Packers had that first round bye and still fell short. I don’t think there is a right trail to the Super Bowl. It’s all going to depend on if the Packers want it more. They won the Super Bowl in 2010 going on the road to win four straight games, including the Super Bowl.
That brings us to this year. The last few weeks have proved the Packers seem to be peaking at the right time. McCarthy won’t be resting players against the Vikings with playoff seeding on the line. No matter what each player will get in a full game before the playoffs.
I believe the bye week would actually help this Packers team. Having a week to rest up would do wonders for this team. When you look at the big picture, the Packers would only have to win two games to play in the Super Bowl. They would be the two most difficult games, but it’s better than three games.
It’ll be an exciting week 17 to watch everything play out. Beat Minnesota and clinch a bye; lose and face the Vikings wild-card weekend. Either way they will be prepared.
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