A Season At Stake
For the Packers, tomorrow's game against Minnesota is a must win and it has nothing to do with Brett Favre. At 4-2 the Packers stand 1 1/2 games behind the Vikings atop the NFC North. A loss tomorrow would not only put the Packers 2 1/2 games back at the halfway mark of the season but the Packers would also lose the all-important head-to-head tiebreaker. So essentially the Packers would be three games back.
More troubling is Minnesota's schedule in the second half of the season. The Vikings are well known for flopping in the second half but it would take a monumental collapse for the Vikings to lose the NFC North. After tomorrow the Vikings will play only three teams (Arizona, Cincinnati and New York) with a winning record. Two of those games are at home while the Arizona game will be in the indoor climate of University of Phoenix Stadium.
The questions about the Packers will also linger should Minnesota win. It's clear the Packers can beat the worst teams in the NFL. So you chalk up wins against Tampa Bay and Detroit. But what about the likes of Cincinnati and Minnesota? The Packers still have San Francisco, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Arizona. All could be playoffs teams and if the Packers can't beat any of them that would give Green Bay a minimum of seven losses. There's virtually no chance an 8-8 team will make the playoffs and 9-7 gets iffy when you start factoring in the tiebreakers.
It's hard to believe that a game this early in the season would be so pivotal. But with six teams within a game of each other for the two wild card spots and the Packers looking up to the Vikings in the North a win is necessary to keep hopes of a division title alive.