With the Eagles pathetic loss to the Vikings at home, the Bears have clinched the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye. Lovie Smith has said the Bears are coming to play next Sunday. But the players and coaches have to be feeling like it's spring break now that they don't have a meaningful game to play until mid-January.
The Packers playoff picture is they win and they're in, and they'd play for the second time this season in Philadelphia. With the Saints at 11-4, they've got the top wild card spot and guaranteed game against the winner of the epic Battle for the NFC West. If you were the Saints, would you rather play against a rookie quarterback in a dome, or against QB Charlie Whitehurst anywhere?
The complete Football Outsiders article on the best game (statistically) of QB Aaron Rodgers's career is now available for all to read. Before the start of the second half against the Eagles, the Giants were by far the best pass defense in the NFL. The final stats aren't out as I write this, but I expect they've handed that title over to the Packers. Pro Football Focus also has their re-focused article on the Packers game, and only RT Bryan Bulaga received a negative grade (plus they gave Rodgers some MVP props). Bulaga wasn't that bad, but he got a low mark because of a bull rush by DE Justin Tuck that led to a sack.
And the annual
prom Pro Bowl results have been announced and five Packers (LT Chad Clifton (seriously), FS Nick Collins, WR Greg Jennings, LB Clay Matthews, and CB Charles Woodson) were selected. QB Aaron Rodgers and CB Tramon Williams are first alternates. WR Donald Driver (seriously), LB A.J. Hawk, NT B.J. Raji, and RG Josh Sitton are the other alternates. I like Clifton, but this season he's given up the most sacks of his career. There really isn't anyone else? Driver hasn't been the same since he suffered a quad injury mid-season, and I had been wondering if he should be benched. Overall, I'm glad to see players receive the recognition, but it's belittled when the voters make poor choices like voting for someone who was benched mid-season. Maybe I'm wrong about Clifton because Doug Farrar at Shutdown Corner said he deserved the nomination (along with Raji, Williams, and FB John Kuhn!).