By Mike Corasaniti
If you’re sick of seeing the picture to your left, then you’re human. Or, you might just be a Packer.
The Sept. 24 ending to the Monday Night Football thriller is not only a shrill reminder of one of the most embarrassing lockouts in all of sports, but also the play that sent Green Bay to their first regular season second loss since 2010. A little long winded, but they don’t like losing.
About 14 weeks later, both teams are two wins away (easier said than done) from a late season matchup with a championship berth on the line. And for the Packers especially, there’s probably nobody else outside of Chicago they’d like to pound than the team that crushed their hearts by the hands of some replacement referees.
How the Packers get there
Green Bay handles the Vikings with ease later today and then beats San Francisco in overtime next weekend. Aaron Rodgers has been playing too well and the Packers are too motivated to bow out early this season, especially after their 2012 early exit.
They gave up way too many yards against Adrian Peterson last week, and between San Francisco and Minnesota, stopping Adrian Peterson could be their toughest challenge in getting to the conference championship. But as long as they keep Purple Jesus to around 100 yards, Green Bay has more than the right stuff to cruise by the Vikings at home and then upset the 49ers.
How the Seahawks get there
The Russell Wilson-Robert Griffin III matchup may be the most exciting one on this seasons slate of divisional matchups, as both players have the opportunity to put up equally as exciting games. Seattle is simply just the better team though, and emotion on the side of the Redskins won’t be enough to get past the Seattle defense.
Getting by Atlanta will obviously be the bigger challenge, but it’s no secret that Atlanta may be the softest No. 1 seed of all time entering the playoffs. Behind Seattle’s stellar run game up against the Falcons mediocre run defense (No. 21 in the league against the run), it could easily be another disappointing exit for Matt Ryan and Atlanta.
The toughest challenge for Seattle this postseason will be playing on the road. They’re potent at CenturyLink Field, winning all 8 games at home this season, but they haven’t won an away postseason game since the early 1980s.
This is huge for Green Bay who, historically, is one of the toughest teams in league to see at home in the playoffs. The matchup will lie between Aaron Rodgers and the Seattle pass defense, No. 6 in the league entering this weekends games.
Seattle has a solid opportunity in front of them entering the playoffs, but in this what if matchup, a Green Bay Packers team at home coming off a win over San Francisco would be too much for any team in this field to handle.
Green Bay 23-10