The NFC playoffs have some very flavorful matchup possibilities, and this week’s games are going to determine what those matchups will be.
For example, should the Lions beat the Packers in a game that has no seeding meaning for the Packers, the Lions would clinch the No. 5 seed, which means the Falcons would be No. 6 and that could send the Falcons to New Orleans for a rematch with the Saints, who ran up the score on the Falcons on Monday night. Hard feelings? You betcha.
Here’s one: If the Packers beat the Lions on Sunday, the Lions would likely land in the No. 6 seed and that means that should the Lions win in the wild-card round, they would be coming back to Lambeau for the second time in three weeks.
The NFC playoffs are full of flavor and the most flavorful of all matchups would pit the Lions and 49ers in a rematch of Jim Schwartz and Jim Harbaugh. Even if you don’t wanna see the game, make sure you tune in for the postgame handshake.
Ah, yes, one more week and the playoffs will be upon us. For the Packers, Sunday’s game has no intrinsic meaning; the Packers have clinched everything there is to clinch except a berth in the Super Bowl. This game, however, is a lot more flavorful than you would expect of a rest-the-starters finale.
For starters, there is the matter of Ndamukong Suh’s turkey trot on Thanksgiving Day. Any leftovers, guys?
Then, of course, it must be noted that these are division rivals that, based on each team’s core of young talent, are likely going to be in each other’s faces for the next several years; hey, they might be in each other’s face, again, in just a couple of weeks.
Yes, this is a game in which the Packers want to rest starters and minimize their exposure to injury, but this is also a game the Packers want to win. Why? Because you don’t wanna go into the playoffs having lost two of your last three games. That’s why.
The postseason is all about being that hot team. The Packers were that hot team last year and they rode it to the Super Bowl title. Based on how they played on offense last Sunday, Aaron Rodgers and Co. are back on track. Now, the Packers need to get on some kind of a track on defense and there’s only one game left to do it.
Here are 10 things the Packers have to do to beat the Lions:
1. Commit to victory—Regardless of who plays or doesn’t play, the pursuit of victory must be intense.
2. Get physical—You can count on the Lions being physical.
3. Be reckless—It’s the only way to play. You can’t play to not get hurt.
4. Do what you did—Calvin Johnson only had four catches and was a nonfactor in the Thanksgiving game.
5. Stop the run—Because that’s playoff defense and the Packers have been too soft against the run in recent weeks.
6. Find that extra rusher—It not only would help the Packers beat the Lions, it might make the difference in the postseason.
7. Make the weather your friend—Its impact on the postseason will be significant.
8. Be the Packers—That means be true to your identity. Who and what you are is what got you here.
9. Run the ball—Show your future opponents that they must defend against the run, not just against the pass.
10. Spat your shoes—Retying them is tough to do in cold weather. Additional coverage - Dec. 29