Coming off their bye week, the Green Bay Packers own the longest active winning streak in the NFC, and are tied for the longest winning streak in the NFL. And they managed that with at least seven starters injured or out. All teams above the Packers in the NFC standings lost or tied, including the Chicago Bears, putting the Packers one game back.
The Packers remaining schedule includes 5 games against NFC North opponents, the NY Giants and the Tennessee Titans. The Chicago Bears, currently one game ahead of Green Bay in the NFC North, play at SF next Monday night, then play Minnesota twice, the Seattle Seahawks and then the Packers.
If the Bears lose in SF next Monday and the Packers take care of business at Detroit, the Packers will take the lead in the NFC North (by virtue of a tie breaking win over da Bears).
These facts and the following stats lead me to the conclusion: the path to the Super Bowl must go through Green Bay. Several stats jump out:
The Pack has a shot at the Super Bowl every season Rodgers plays.
No other team in the NFC is positioned as the Packers are. The Atlanta Falcons were defeated by the New Orleans Saints, and play the Saints one more time.
The Packers would most likely have to win out to have a chance at catching the Falcons (let’s throw one more curse at the replacement refs for the Seattle loss), but control their own fate as far as winning the NFC North and getting a higher seeding.
Based on their performance the last two years, we “hope” they do not get a bye week in the playoffs; the Packers (and other teams in the past) has proven it plays better without sitting out a bye (which usually includes resting starters during the last game of the season).
Go Pack Go!