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Flash Forward

Flash Forward




I hate to look ahead at all, but with everyone talking about a Packer's win and a Giant's loss sealing the playoff picture, let's explore an odd situation that is going to develop.





The Arizona Cardinals play at Detroit, then host the St. Louis Rams. If the Cardinals win both games (which they should) they win the division.


The Packers play at Pittsburgh and then Seattle. The Packers win one and the Giants lose against either Washington or Carolina and the Pack is in.


If you look ahead to week 17, the Packers would be  at 11-4 and the Cardinals at 10-5 having clinched the division.


If this scenario plays out as predicted, guess what happens? Back-to-back regular season and playoff games against the Cardinals.


Now that ladies and gentleman is an interesting scenario. Would the Packers sit their starters, or play generic football in week 17? Does Aaron and the rest of the crew take half the game off to save themselves for the following week? Think about it, neither team will have a single thing to play for in the final contest except a careful game of hide the salami until the following week.


Would the Packers team just stay in Arizona, or make the flight back? Do they play their starters both games to stay mentally fresh and not lose momentum? These are all questions to be answered with just one more win.


Like I said, I hate looking forward, but I know there has been precedence for this before. Just what do you do if you are the Green Bay Packers?


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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (16) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Erik's picture

The biggest problem with this Packers team is inability to keep their foot on the gas. You play those starters all four quarters unless they're nursing something that a week off would help. Something's gotta happen on this team to keep them firing on all four cylinders all the time.

Steve's picture

That's true Erik, but with the chance of playing back to back games against the Cardinals, it wouldn't be good to overexpose your strategy against them. The final game will (probably) be meaningless, so there is no reason to give the Cardinals an edge in gameplanning for the matchup the following week.

Erik's picture

I don't think playing starters = tipping the playbook hand. I don't follow your logic on that point at all.

Franklin Hillside's picture

"careful game of hide the salami" - LMAO!

Jersey Al's picture

Actually, that phrase is mis-used in this context.... At least in Jersey, that means something else completely.

Alex Tallitsch's picture

It means something else here too, Al.

PackersRS's picture

About the starters, I say if they can play, they should play. All the game.

However, nice point that I hadn't pay atention to: the playbook.

Even though it'll be week 17, and most of it will be in film, as Capers said himself, there's allways a page or two that he hasn't shown.

I say, regarding that subject, play it like preseason. Not how WE played preseason, like a team that is already familiar with it's playbook play preseason. Vanilla.

Mr. Bacon's picture

I think McCarthy should play the team for 2 and Half Quarters.

Sitting your starters is a no-no, because the last three teams to win the Superbowl played on the Wildcard Week.

As for showing your cards, just remember, this is playoff football, you cannot play conservative.

Ben's picture

Really makes you think....good question Alex. Im not really sure what they should do, and as possible as this all seems, I really hope this isnt the way it ends up. But If it does, I'm with the majortiy here. Play em like preseason and dont show too much.

Asshalo's picture

Sit your starters. Not only does it prevent them from being hurt, but it gives the Cardinals less to plan for the following week!

FITZCORE1252's picture

What about the 15 weeks of game film? It's not like their gonna show them any unscouted looks in week 17, everything that we will throw at them will most likely be on film as it is.


Greg C.'s picture

I really could've done without that image of two football teams playing "hide the salami," but this is an interesting scenario. I think both teams may want to lose the game so that they could pump up their players with the "revenge" angle the following week. This could be especially true of the Cardinals, as they lost a preseason game to the Packers. But if they're both trying to lose, maybe the Packers will have the advantage, as the Cardinals could risk being booed by their own fans if they don't give good effort.

I think playing the starters for two and a half quarters, as Mr. Bacon suggests, might be the way to go in this situation.

Bryce's picture

Agreed Greg, both about the revenge angle and 22 guys all playing hide the salami. In the NFL, it's tough to beat a time twice, especially two weeks in a row, especially when the 2nd game is a playoff game. I'm taken back to '07 when the Giants and Patriots faced each other in week 17 and then again in a fairly significant playoff game. How'd that one turn out again, I can't quite recall? Haha.

Greg C.'s picture

Then there was the Packers beating the Vikings in Minnesota on Christmas Eve in '04, and getting torched by them at Lambeau Field in the playoffs a couple weeks later.

Bryce's picture

Gah, I forgot about that. Thanks for reminding me and ruining my night.

RonLC's picture

It is quite likely that both teams will have players on the verge of crossing into "Incentiveland". For example Rogers will probably need that game for a 4,000 yard season. They maynot add anything new but I don't see them holding back too much.

On the basis of consistency of play, I'd rather play the Cards in the first playoff game regardless. The other options are not as attractive.

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