If the 49ers lose on Saturday, then the Packers will have nothing to play for against the Bears on Sunday: Green Bay wraps up home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoff with a San Francisco loss.
But Packers linebacker Clay Matthews says Green Bay does have something to play for regardless: The Packers want to be the ones to eliminate the Bears from playoff contention.
“We’re going to play this thing to win,” Matthews said, via CSNChicago.com.
The shoe was on the other foot last year, when the Bears were already locked into the NFC No. 2 seed heading into Week 17 but had an opportunity to eliminate the Packers from the playoffs, an opportunity the Bears missed when the Packers won. The Packers would then beat the Bears in the NFC Championship, and Matthews said he knows the Bears were kicking themselves for not finishing the Packers when they had the chance.
“You throw in the rivalry and bad blood between the two teams, and why would they want to see us in the playoffs?” Matthews said.
Even if the Bears beat the Packers on Sunday, their playoff hopes are slim. But the Packers would like to change the Bears’ chances from slim to none.