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Saturday, November 20, 2004
Really big opportunity this weekend for the Packers
It all starts with the Packers winning. This is a game that they can win, and should win.....and really, must win if they are serious playoff challengers. If they'd prevailed earlier against Chicago and New York, they could afford a stumble against Houston....but not anymore.
Houston is not as good a team as Green Bay. If Green Bay plays well and doesn't beat themselves, then they should win this game handily, even though it is on the road in a dome.
But take a look at what else is happening in the NFL this weekend:
St. Louis is only a 1 point favorite at Buffalo. In that St. Louis is a potential wild card challenger and have a 5-4 record, a loss to Buffalo means that Green Bay would have an opportunity to put them in a deep hole when they play head to head in a week or two.
Detroit plays at Minnesota. Regardless of who wins this game, it's good for the Packers. A loss would put Minnesota a game behind, Detroit two games behind. I'd prefer if Detroit won, since we've already beaten them once and we still get to play them at home. It's better to have them on our tail than Minnesota. Plus...I just hate the Vikings.
Also, Atlanta plays at the Giants. The Giants are currently at 5-4 and trail the Eagles by three games, so I think it is unlikely they'll win the division, but they are ahead of the Packers for a wild card berth by virtue of their victory over us. Atlanta is one of the two NFC teams with a better record than the Packers, but a loss would move us to within one game of them. Truthfully, it's probably better for the Packers if New York loses, but I'll actually be hoping for an Atlanta loss. If the Packers have truly put it togeter, then a division title and homefield advantage in the first round is a legitimate goal. And if they haven't.........then it doesn't much matter.
Two other games of interest to Packer fans: Washington is playing at Philadelphia. Naturally, I'm hoping the Redskins win....but I'm not counting on it. And New Orleans plays Denver. New Orleans is only a game behind the Packers for a wild card AND we own their second round pick, so it would be nice if Denver can take care of business here.
Since the Packers play the really late game on Sunday, they'll know the situation by the time they take the field. If the Packers win, and some other games turn out the way I hope.....then this could be a very nice Thanksgiving indeed.