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Last, but not least we still have one NFC Wild Card spot up for grabs in Week 17 with the Bucs, Packers and Giants all having a shot at it. The three teams head into Week 17 with them all having the same record, 9-6.
The Packers will host the Chicago Bears (11-4), the Giants will travel to Washington to face the Redskins (6-9) and the Buc will clash with the New Orleans Saints (11-4) at the Superdome. If you’re looking at this on paper, the Giants have the easiest game and with the victory and losses from both the Packers and the Bucs likely they can win it. If you view things like that, you need to consider much more here.
First off, let’s take one team out of the equation to make things more simple. The Bucs chances are looking slim as they are going to visit New Orleans to face a Saints squad which is one of the best teams in the NFL. Throw in that the Saints might still have the AFC South title on their minds and things are not looking good for Tampa Bay.
So, assuming that the Bucs have lost to the Saints we have the Giants and Packers still in the mix. Now, the Giants have an easy victory ahead of them (as previously mentioned) when they face the Redskins. Considering the Giants can do it all: run, pass and play defense they’ll likely improve to 10-6 on the day.
So you’ve now got the Bucs out of it and the Giants holding the spot with a 10-6 record. The last part of the equation is the Packers-Bears game. In case anyone missed last week’s Packers-Giants game let me recap what happened between the two. The Packers destroyed the Giants 45-17, making sure they still have a shot at the wild card spot. This week, I expect the Packers to once against step up and get the “W.”
Aaron Rodgers can step up in big game situations and there’s none bigger than a game that determines if you get in to the playoffs or not. Granted, the Bears have a dangerous defense, but as do the Packers. Both teams are solid at both ends, but if Rodgers can deliver then Green Bay has the victory.
So with the Packers and Giants both having a 10-6 record, the Packers would be the ones getting in because they have the better division record of the two. It’s a shame for Giants fans that their team didn’t put away the Packers when they had the chance because now it might come back to haunt them.