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How much is an undefeated season worth to the Green Bay Packers?

Armchair Quarterback

December 15, 2011
The Mining Journal

Not being a Green Bay fan, it will be interesting to see what the Packers do in the last two games of their dual quest to go undefeated and win the Super Bowl.

And actually being a fan of the last team they play in the regular season, Detroit, gives me an interest that's at odds with you Packers fans.

Ah, it's a nice problem to be a part of, even just as the spoilers.

Article Photos

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers rolls out of the pocket against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday in Green Bay. (AP photo)

The two goals - winning every game and winning the league championship - could be at odds the last two weeks.

If Green Bay doesn't beat Kansas City on Sunday, the whole undefeated argument is moot. But if they do go to 14-0, it will guarantee their last two games are meaningless when it comes to playoff positioning since the next best team in the NFC, San Francisco, already has three losses.

I think the way the situation has unfolded it's worth going for 16-0, and ultimately, 19-0. Thanks should go to the 49ers and the NFL schedule and rules makers.

First off, going undefeated in the regular season is a huge gamble, because if you don't pull off the Super Bowl win, the Pack will be lumped forever with the Patriots of 2007 who went 16-0 and lost to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl.

The 49ers made sure all Packers games through this weekend are meaningful for playoff positioning.

The schedule maker gets credit for putting home games against playoff contenders Chicago and Detroit at the end of the season.

First off, both teams are not only rivals, but good while being flawed, Chicago because of the loss of quarterback Jay Cutler and top running back Matt Forte, Detroit because the run game both offensively and defensively is their downfall.

Less than a 100 percent commitment to winning those games may result in a 15-1 season for the Packers.

And the keepers of the rules, thanks in large part to Ndamukong Suh, will keep a close eye on the Lions for "extracurricular chippiness" - cheap shots after the whistle.

So I say, go for it Packers. Just don't knock my Lions out of the playoffs, please?

Today, 8 p.m.

Jacksonville at Atlanta - Speaking of playoff positioning, the Falcons still need wins just to get in. Not the Jaguars. Falcons, 34-20.

Saturday, 8 p.m.

Dallas at Tampa Bay - Ditto for the Cowboys after Dallas blew it last Sunday night. The team will make sure this game doesn't come down to a last-second field goal try either. Cowboys, 27-17.

Sunday, 1 p.m.

Green Bay at Kansas City - The Chiefs aren't equipped to play in any kind of shootout, putting monumental pressure on their defense. Packers, 24-13.

Seattle at Chicago - The Bears are mortally wounded in their try for the playoffs, while a win puts Seattle back at .500. Seahawks, 19-16.

New Orleans at Minnesota - I don't think the Saints will fool around with the Vikings like Detroit did in almost losing last Sunday. Saints, 30-20.

Cincinnati at St. Louis - Win or go home for Cincinnati. Bengals, 21-10.

Carolina at Houston - Everyone forgets that Houston has one of the top-rated defenses in the NFL. Texans, 24-17.

Tennessee at Indianapolis - It's also win or go home for Tennessee. Titans, 27-9.

Miami at Buffalo - The Dolphins are playing better, but it's hard to pick a Florida team going north in December. Bills, 14-10.

Washington at N.Y. Giants - Tougher game than expected, since all the Giants have to do is stay within a game of the Cowboys for their Week 17 rematch. Giants, 20-19.

Sunday, 4 p.m.

Detroit at Oakland - Suh's return withstanding, I also don't like long trips this late in the season. Raiders, 27-24.

New England at Denver - Have faith that Bill Belicheck will see something no one else has in trying to stop the Broncos' QB Tim Tebow. Patriots, 23-16.

Cleveland at Arizona - Is this the Tostitos Draft Pick Positioning Bowl? Cardinals, 24-20.

N.Y. Jets at Philadelphia - QB Michael Vick's return last week showed what a difference he makes for Philly. Eagles, 24-19.

Sunday, 8 p.m.

Baltimore at San Diego - The Chargers really don't need any help getting their offense out of sync. But Baltimore will be happy to provide it anyway. Ravens, 27-17.

Monday night

Pittsburgh at San Francisco - Actually a possible Super Bowl matchup. Just not a very likely one, especially if Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is really banged up. 49ers, 20-10.

Last week - 12-4, 75 percent. Season - 139-69, 67 percent.

Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 246.



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