So the run at perfection is over. So you fell to the Kansas City Chiefs. So the orders for 16-0 apparel will have to be refunded.
Two words, Packers fans: who cares?
It’s said to be believed that everything happens for a reason, and for every negative outcome, somewhere there is a positive silver lining.
That’s exactly how Sunday’s loss should be viewed.
Think about it from this angle—there is an arbitrary and infinite weight that has been lifted from Green Bay’s shoulders.
Had Green Bay won, the plot for the team’s final two games against the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions would have been about whether the team should play all-out for the perfect mark, or rest their starters and avoid the unnecessary risk of injury. This is especially true come playoff time.
Flash back to February of 2008 when the previously unbeaten New England Patriots took on the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII. The media attention and unwarranted pressure from being 18-0 (a 16-0 regular season and two playoff wins) might have led to the eventual championship collapse of the Pats.
If they had gone into Super Bowl Sunday 17-1, no one would have put that extra pressure on them to be the first ever team to finish 19-0. But because they were flawless, the massive speculation weighed New England down like a ball and chain around its ankle.
This regular season loss means very little to the Packers. They’re still the NFC’s best team by a long shot.
Unless the Saints (the current No. 2 seed in the NFC) win out their final two games, and Green Bay loses against both the Bears and Lions, New Orleans cannot mathematically jump them. This is where the opening night contest back in September comes into play.
San Francisco is also alive but will need the same results—a three-game winning streak and a complete Green Bay self-destruction.
What also helps is the fact that the Kansas City loss is an interconference loss, meaning it will not cost the Packers in any tiebreakers against New Orleans or San Francisco. Green Bay has a better conference record, division record and better record in common games.
By letting the Chiefs win, the Packers took a meaningless loss and have silenced the talks about perfection. It’s an outcome that bears little to no consequence. After all, what’s more important: finishing 16-0 and falling short of a Super Bowl win or defending the Lombardi Trophy for a second straight season?
Time will tell if this was truly a blessing in disguise, but the here and now would support the Packers are better off for having suffered defeat.
Funny how this league works, isn’t it?
Brett Lyons is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand or from official interview materials.
Follow Brett Lyons on Twitter @BrettLyons670.