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"MIRACLE in MOTOWN"




From Brian E Murphy from PackersInsider.com for Packers Magazine


The Miracle in Motown. The Motor City Miracle. Whatever you may call it, it is the greatest single moment, individual play in Aaron and Richard Rodgers Packers' career and it will be hard to top in the future.

At stake, perhaps, was the Packers playoff chances, and almost certainly their NFC North chances. Had Richard Rodgers not have made the catch, the Packers would have fallen two losses behind the Vikings, and fallen to 2-3 within the division, which may be the deciding tiebreaker between the Vikings and the Packers for this division, and perhaps the number two, or three, seed in the playoffs.

The teams meet again in the final week of the season. Unfortunately for the Packers, that meeting takes place in Green Bay. Amazingly, the Packers went 3-0 on the road now versus the division this year, winning at Chicago, Minnesota, and now Detroit.

On the flip side, even more bewildering, the Packers have lost at home to both the Lions and Bears. Has anyone seen any pigs flying near them lately?

While it is true that the Vikings have a touch schedule between now and then, with Seattle visiting Minnesota later this week, and with the Vikings heading to the desert the following week to face the current NFC #2-team the Arizona Cardinals, it's possible the Vikings win each and stay a game ahead of the Packers. Anything is possible, as we have learned this year.

The Packers have four games left, two each at home and on the road. Again, as seen with the divisional record this year being 5-0 for the road teams, nothing is a given anymore. Repeat that. In the Packers five divisional games this season, the home team is 0-5.

The Packers final four games are:

  • Dallas at Packers
  • At Oakland (Charles Woodson)
  • At Arizona
  • Minnesota at Packers

Anything is possible here. The Packers could win all four. They could lose three of the four. They could split the four. Remember, if not for the Miracle Hail Mary, the Packers would be just 7-5, losing 5 of their past 6 games. Even with the Motown Miracle, they are still a Jacksonville Jaguars-like 2-4 in their past six games. So we can't assume anything like we used to before with automatic home wins.

The Dallas game should (I repeat "should", not "will", be the easiest as Tony Romo is out again, and the Cowboys have, so far, lost every single game that he missed this season.

At Oakland is not easy like before, as they have a great young quarterback in Derek Carr and All-Rookie WR Amari Cooper. And Charles Woodson was the NFL Leader in Interceptions last I checked.

At Arizona, could potentially be a game that decides who gets the NFC #2-seed and a playoff bye week one, and a home game week-two. It was the position the Packers were in last year.

One thing is almost for certain. The #2-seed will be either Arizona, or the Packers or Vikings. Arizona plays both of those teams, at home in Glendale, over the next three weeks. Their other games are this week at a suddenly-freefalling St Louis Rams team, and then at the also freefalling Eagles in week 15. Chip Kelly could already be fired by then with the way the Eagles have crashed and burned lately, seemingly having quit on their coach.

But make no mistake about it: This Miracle in Motown is extremely significant. Now if the Packers beat the Vikings in week 17, with whatever else happens, it will make the Packers divisional record 4-2, and the Vikings also 4-2 (assuming they beat Chicago in Minnesota next week), but the Packers would win the division based on the head-to-head record against them. This is if the Packers and Vikings end up tied, whether it's 10-6, 11-5, or even 12-4 if each team wins out until that final week, which seems impossible.

But after seeing the Packers lose three games down to the last play, and now seeing a game stolen on the final bonus-play, we are reminded that in the NFL, nothing is impossible. Buckle up. December and January are going to be a bumpy ride one way or another. 



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