Why Wild Card Weekend Was A Bad Weekend For The Packers

Of course the Green Bay Packers who rightfully earned the #1 seed in the NFC did not play last weekend as they rested during their bye week. They are still in the playoffs. However, the worst case scenario happened last weekend. The two NFC teams that won their playoff game- the New Orleans Saints and the New York Giants- are the two teams that can have a chance at defeating Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. The Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions are good match ups for the Packers. While the Lions have the talent to beat Green Bay, Week 17's shellacking of the Lions against Matt Flynn and the Packers back ups in a game Detroit was trying in was all the proof needed to show that Detroit is still a year or two away from hanging with the big dogs. And while people may like Matt Ryan and the Falcons, there have been no evidence to suggest that Atlanta can either score with Aaron Rodgers or has the pass defense to stop Aaron Rodgers.

However, the Giants and the Saints do have the potential to defeat the Packers. If the Saints beat the San Francisco 49ers next week, the Green Bay Packers will have to face two teams that are bad match ups for them.

Why The New York Giants Are A Bad Match Up

The Giants front four and their ability to bring pressure on the quarterback is incredible. The same defensive formula that helped defeat the undefeated New England Patriots in the Superbowl in 2007 is still in place here in 2011. That 2007 Patriots looked like the best offense ever and it looked like nothing could stop them. As it turns out, Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora, Jutsin Tuck, and Mathias Kiwanuka could stop them. Replace Straham with potential Defensive Player Of The Year Jason Pierre-Paul and you still have a dominant pass rush. The Giants have the ability to rush effectively with four to stop Aaron Rodgers. This also allows them to throw seven back into the secondary to guard against the plethora of receivers Green Bay has.

Not only can the Giants stop Aaron Rodgers but they can also score with them. Eli Manning has stepped up his game and taken it into the elite level stratosphere. Led by wide receivers Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, the Giants passing attack is explosive and they have the will and ability to score on anyone. Eli has been cool under pressure in the 4th quarter as well which does not bode well for the Packers.

The Giants lost to the Packers during the regular season back in early December where Green Bay barely scraped by with a win. Hakeem Nicks caught a touchdown pass with 58 seconds left to tie up the game and it took a Mason Crosby field goal to win the game as time expired in order for the Packers to win. Aaron Rodgers and The Pack essentially won because they had the ball last. They might not be so lucky the second time around.

Why The New Orleans Saints Are A Bad Match Up

First of all, it is no guarantee that the Saints will make it past the 49ers as the game is played in Candlestick Park, but either way, their win during Wild Card Weekend was still much worse for the Packers than if the Lions had won. However, if the Saints and the Packers do end up playing in the NFC Championship Game (which of course is now realistically possible considering New Orleans won on Wild Card weekend), the Green Bay Packers will yet again be faced with another bad match up.

While I dislike the Saints defense immensely and don't think they will be able to stop Aaron Rodgers in the slightest, I also do not believe the Packers will be able to stop Drew Brees either. Not only can Drew Brees throw the ball well (no shit, Sherlock) but they have a surprisingly good ground game as well. While their rushing offense might be split up between three running backs, the combination of Darren Sproles, Pierre Thomas, and Chris Ivory is a lethal one for any team.

In 2009, when Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers faced Kurt Warner and the Arizona Cardinals during Wild Card Weekend, Rodgers and The Pack were able to score 45 points. Unfortunately, it was not enough as the Cardinals scored 51 points and won the game. There was obviously no defense whatsoever but considering the Cardinals had the ball last, they won the game. If there was ever an offense that can put up 50+ points at Lambeau it is this 2011 New Orleans Saints offense.

Again, I believe the Packers will go to the Superbowl and will defeat the Saints if they play them but it will be an offensive explosion and it will not be a guaranteed win in the slightest.

Why The Packers Will Win The NFC

Despite the Giants and the Saints being bad match ups, the Packers are also a really bad match up for those teams as well.


The Giants secondary is atrocious. It's awful and now its weak and thin as well. It gets hidden from time to time because their pass rush is so good but it is still bad. Aaron Rodgers is mobile enough to elude the pass rush and accurate enough to be able to hit receivers, even with seven guys in the secondary. Plus, if no one is open, Rodgers will just run with the ball which in turn will cause less defenders in the secondary which means Rodgers will have more open receivers to hit as the game goes on. Plus, as good as Eli has been, I just think Rodgers can go up so big so quickly on the Giants that it will not be enough.


In a recent ESPN The Magazine article, Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders said that Drew Brees is terrible on blitzes- especially on corner blitz. The Packers have a little corner back named Charles Woodson who is fantastic at blitzing. Packers can get to Drew Brees and get to him early. Plus, the Saints are terrible outdoors and on grass. They look explosive and unbeatable at home and in domes but have a terrible track record on the road- especially in cold whether games. Just look to their loss to the 7-9 Seattle Seahawks in 2010. The Saints were by far the better team on paper but could not handle the arena in January. Even if the Saints do manage to defeat the 49ers outdoors I don't think they can win on the road twice in a row.