Earlier in the year, the common belief was that a 10-6 or even a 9-7 record could get an NFC team into the playoffs this season. Well, unless your team is part of the dismal NFC West, that no longer seems to be the case.
Right now, outside of the NFC West, there are seven teams looking to fill five berths, and six of them currently have eight or more wins. They are the Atlanta Falcons (10-3), New Orleans Saints (9-3), Chicago Bears (9-3), Green Bay Packers (8-4), Philadelphia Eagles (8-4), and New York Giants (8-4).
There is a lot of football left in this season, but one of these teams is going to be left in the dust, even if they end with a 10-6 or 11-5 record.
Right now the Green Bay Packers control their own destiny. Yet strangely enough, the archrival Minnesota Vikings and Brett Favre also help to control the Packers’ fate.
Beginning this weekend, the Minnesota Vikings play a three-game stretch against teams currently in the playoff race. This Sunday they host the New York Giants, in Week 15 they take on the Chicago Bears (also at the Metrodome), and the Vikings cap off their stretch by going on the road to face the Philadelphia Eagles.
At this point, I’m sure you can see the possibilities.
The best-case scenario is if the Minnesota Vikings exact their revenge on the Chicago Bears. This would be the Bears’ first division loss, and should the Packers win against the Lions, both teams would be heading into their Week 17 matchup with an identical division record. Green Bay would then be in an even better position to take the NFC North title.
Even if that doesn’t pan out, the Vikings can still help secure a Wildcard spot for the Packers.
Both the Eagles and the Giants lead the NFC East with eight wins, and it will probably be the Packers or one of these two teams that doesn’t make it to the playoffs. Barring some losses, the New Orleans Saints are very close to securing a playoff berth and will probably take a Wildcard spot if Atlanta takes the division.
Therefore, if Minnesota wins against Philadelphia or New York, it would help set the Packers a step ahead in the Wildcard race. And if the Vikings managed to beat both teams, it would be even sweeter.
The Minnesota Vikings are 2-0 since Leslie Frazier took over for the ousted Brad Childress. One has to think that they will win at least one of their next three games. And if that happens, the Green Bay Packers should be very thankful.
Just think, the Packers might have helped themselves more than they knew by sending the final blow to Childress’ career. They have scratched the Vikings’ back, and it’s time for them to return the favor.
Oh, and Brett, if you can get through your latest injury, then you might be able to redeem yourself a little bit by taking down a couple of these teams.
Who knows, I may even wear purple one of these Sundays . . .——————Follow @ChadToporski