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The NFC playoffs will go through Lambeau

Bears Packers Football AP

The Packers made the Super Bowl the hard way last year. The path back to a title game looks much easier this time around.

Green Bay’s 35-21 victory over the Bears on Sunday night accomplished a lot. It clinched homefield advantage for the playoffs. It knocked the Bears out of the playoff mix.  It also sent the Falcons to the playoffs as a wild card team.

Barring some big upsets, the Packers, 49ers, and Saints should be the top three seeds in the NFC playoffs. Green Bay should now avoid San Francisco and New Orleans until the NFC Championship, which will be played in Lambeau Field if the Packers can just win in the Divisional Round.

Sunday night’s game was a reminder how hard it will be to win in Green Bay in January. The Bears actually did a lot of things right in the first half and cut the lead to 14-10 just after halftime.

And they still got blown out.

The margin for error when facing the Packers is so slow. Sure, the Packers defense gives up a lot of yards and is weak at the point of attack. They also tend to intercept a couple of passes every week, which gives Aaron Rodgers extra possessions.

Giving Rodgers extra help on this night was a death wish. He threw five touchdowns on only 28 attempts, for 293 yards.

For the year, Rodgers has 45 touchdowns and six interceptions. Drew Brees has been great, but he has four games with multiple picks this year. Rodgers has none.

Rodgers makes it look easy. He throws 55-yard strikes to Jordy Nelson just as smoothly as one-yard scoring tosses into tight windows. He even eluded Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs on one run to keep one scoring drive alive.

Brees has been great, but Rodgers has played the position as well as any quarterback can.

The Packers, led by Rodgers, won the regular season. No one could beat the Packers in Lambeau.

Some team will have to upset the champs on their home turf in the postseason or the Packers are headed back to the Super Bowl.

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79 Responses to “The NFC playoffs will go through Lambeau”
  1. captainwisdom8888 says: Dec 25, 2011 11:30 PM

    My fantasy championship just went thru a cheese grater named aaron rodgers

  2. trbowman says: Dec 25, 2011 11:30 PM

    Pretty solid showing by McCown if you ask me.

  3. trbowman says: Dec 25, 2011 11:30 PM

    Nice to see Armando Allen doing some work out there!

  4. pack4ever says: Dec 25, 2011 11:31 PM

    Rodgers, MVP

  5. yevrag3535 says: Dec 25, 2011 11:31 PM

    Dawg

  6. stairwayto7 says: Dec 25, 2011 11:32 PM

    Packers weak def will doom them! I say 1 and done Packer fan!

  7. textexington says: Dec 25, 2011 11:32 PM

    Packers>Bears. Lovie still can’t beat the Packers.LOLZ.Go Pack Go!

  8. leatherface2012 says: Dec 25, 2011 11:34 PM

    rodgers still looks bad compared to tarvaris jackson

  9. apooster says: Dec 25, 2011 11:35 PM

    DISCOUNT DOUBLE CHECK!

  10. Mr. Wright 212 says: Dec 25, 2011 11:36 PM

    2007. Just remember that.

    And that one and done could very well be to the team that I am referencing with the 2007 remark.

  11. americankris says: Dec 25, 2011 11:38 PM

    Lovie and Martz should be fired now
    they had the packers defense looking like doo doo against the run the whole game. Who cares if your down by 17 keep running the ball. Not do it at the end of the game.

    I feel sorry for the old defensive players like briggs, urlacher , tillman and peppers

  12. 1265lombardiave says: Dec 25, 2011 11:38 PM

    Avoid NY and hope, if NO comes to town, for a blizzard to slow Saints passing attack. I’ll take Grant/Starks on a sloppy,slow turf over the Saints rb’s.

    As for the 49ers….I have no idea what to expect from them or how they match up. I don’t fear THEM I fear the UNKNOWN. I have a pretty good idea what it will take to beat the other 4 teams in the field.

    Pray for at least one game vs Dallas/Detroit/ATL because I don’t think any of those 3 can come into LF in bad weather and win or even keep it close for 4 qtrs.

  13. sask9999 says: Dec 25, 2011 11:38 PM

    If anyone votes for Brees over Rodgers, they should have their voting rights revoked!!!!!!

  14. i3addog says: Dec 25, 2011 11:39 PM

    Wow, that glowing assessment of my Packers made me sport a little wood.

  15. gb4ever0811 says: Dec 25, 2011 11:41 PM

    In the words of Kevin Greene: “It is time.”

  16. tokyosandblaster says: Dec 25, 2011 11:42 PM

    Look, a steelers fan who doesn’t realize his team won’t win another game…

  17. textexington says: Dec 25, 2011 11:42 PM

    31-25 in Superbowl XLV stairwayto7!!!!GO PACK GO!

  18. trapshoot says: Dec 25, 2011 11:43 PM

    If the Packers learn how to tackle in the next week they have a good chance. If not, could be very tough.

  19. ammarradhi says: Dec 25, 2011 11:44 PM

    Packers overrated, they will not make the championship game

  20. nepatriots128154 says: Dec 25, 2011 11:46 PM

    Tell me again how did Rodgers not make the Pro Bowl last year?

  21. trefkennedy says: Dec 25, 2011 11:49 PM

    Mark my words TeamCowboys will beat the pack,believe it

  22. clayjayhawk says: Dec 25, 2011 11:49 PM

    Da Packers! It’s good to be green baby!

  23. pbolyard says: Dec 25, 2011 11:50 PM

    Thumbs up is you think Rodgers wont play more then a half against the Lions. Thumbs down if you think he plays more then a half.

  24. txbearmeat says: Dec 25, 2011 11:50 PM

    GB’s D is not going to hold anyone to under 300 yds. Most offenses will get 400 on them. BUT in every game but ONE this year, the D has gotten multiple turnovers. The D’s job is to keep people under 25 points, and that’s enough of a recipe to win with the offense being healthy come playoff time.

    Maybe SF can keep GB under 30 – but no one else will. And that SHOULD be enough to win it all.

    Anyone that says different isn’t watching the Packers this year – or is a jealous hater.

  25. mjjoe76 says: Dec 25, 2011 11:54 PM

    Loved the sign held by a female fan in the stadium: “My cheating ex-boyfriend is watching from the couch instead.”

  26. skolvikesskol says: Dec 25, 2011 11:56 PM

    The chicago bears are who we thought they were!!! Crown em!

  27. briwis7 says: Dec 26, 2011 12:09 AM

    Lets hope we get the Steelers again so we can pound them one more time.

  28. miamidolphins1 says: Dec 26, 2011 12:11 AM

    stairwayto7 says:
    Dec 25, 2011 11:32 PM
    Packers weak def will doom them! I say 1 and done Packer fan!

    no way packers are one and done, unless rodgers suffers an injury. their offense is to good to be stopped, and who the hell is going into green bay and beating them?

    saints- cant play outdoors in the frigid weather
    49ers- play good defense, but their defense is not good enough to completely shut down the packers offensive pass attack, and alex smith isnt going into green bay and winning

    cowboys/giants- whichever one of these teams makes the playoffs will be one and done. either way, rodgers would eat up the giants defense like he did a few weeks back.

    cowboys- they got weapons on offense, but their just way too inconsistent.

    lions- no way. as good as they looked vs san diego saturday, since their 5-0 start, 2 of which included games when they came back from 20 pts down in the 2nd half, they have looked real shaky. defense gives up lots of points, and while stafford is deff capable of having a good game, he turns the ball over too much.

    atlanta- i think they have the best chance. but still dont see it happening. they can run the ball the best out of the 6 playoff teams coupled with a very very good 1-2 combo in white and jones, a good 3 in douglas, and a tight end who is still really good in tony gonzalez. they also have a solid pass rush. still do not see them beating the pack, but id give them the best chance.

  29. 46defense says: Dec 26, 2011 12:15 AM

    “Lovie still can’t beat the Packers”
    ======================

    ???

    Lovie is what, 8-9 against the Fudgers? Yeah, that’s awful…

  30. nicholaslopez89 says: Dec 26, 2011 12:16 AM

    Crazy offense, but a terrible defense. I love my team and I have faith in them. I just hope they can outscore the saints and/or 49ers WHEN the time comes

  31. war27 says: Dec 26, 2011 12:19 AM

    Not sure that’s a good thing. They can win in San Fran or in that dome in NO.

    When it’s 10* and snowing a month from now, can they win in Wisconsin?

    I don’t think they can.

  32. donmajik7 says: Dec 26, 2011 12:25 AM

    The Pack better get a clue on D and fast!!! Its sad that every week we see how bad Hawk is, possibly the worst starting LB in football who can’t tackle before being dragged 5 yards. Smith should take his job cuz at least he can tackle. BJ Raji is an absolute joke of a DT and other then a good 7 game run last year is a bust. He takes almost every play off, he can’t win a 1 on 1 match up to save his life which is why Matthews is now facing triple teams. Peprah is not an NFL caliber safety and the main reason for so many blown plays and big gains in the air. Tramon is horrible this year and afraid of contact as is Bishop.

    This falls on the shoulders of Capers who has a life span of 3 years in every NFL job he has had before his scheem is figured out and he gets replaced. They ran at the left side all night and had no answer to stop it and made zero adjustments. Also on TT for not addressing the fact that the only other player on the team who could rush the passer was allowed to leave for the Eagles in free agency. I’m a Packer fan so it pains me to say this but 1 and done is the likely end to this season which is a shame based on Rodgers’ performance. No team can overcome these odds when their D has allowed more yardage then the #2 NFL offense has gained.

  33. zaggs says: Dec 26, 2011 12:28 AM

    “Sunday night’s game was a reminder how hard it will be to win in Green Bay in January. ”

    I remember people saying this about a certain New York team with a certain Manning at QB. How did that turn out?

  34. jimmysee says: Dec 26, 2011 12:32 AM

    stairwayto7 says:
    Dec 25, 2011 11:32 PM

    Packers weak def will doom them! I say 1 and done Packer fan!

    ————————————————————-

    So who exactly will do the “one and done” job at Lambeau?

    Who is up for the job?

  35. usmutts says: Dec 26, 2011 12:33 AM

    Interesting graphic put up comparing Rodgers and Favre. Based on that, if Favre is headed to the HOF, they might need to construct a whole new building just for Rodgers.

    I really like the Packers, but I like the Saints more. I sure hope they play each other again in the playoffs. The first game of the season was terrific and a playoff game would be special.

  36. zlmillerkazz says: Dec 26, 2011 12:36 AM

    Needed a certain amount of Points from Rodgers & Nelson too win my Fantasy Football Championship…

    – I won it on that 55 yard touchdown pass, how fitting… ahhhh.

  37. maddenwizkid says: Dec 26, 2011 12:37 AM

    Whenever somebody says the MVP could go to anyone whose not a.rod its disrepectful to the game of football. These are better than video game numbers!and the juke on urlacher I mean c’mon 54 is gettin old but he’s still pretty good and him and Briggs got the bizness on that one! MVP should be a cakewalk with these kinds of showings.

  38. bischof21 says: Dec 26, 2011 12:56 AM

    Zero penalties? Didn’t watch the game but wow. That’s hard to do.

  39. greenandgoldgirl says: Dec 26, 2011 1:01 AM

    Great game by the Packer’s makeshift O-Line! The vaunted Bears defense did not lay a hand on Aaron Rodgers. The juke move by Aaron on Urlacher and Briggs was great! And to top it off, no penalties by the Packers. Aaron was great still he said the O-Line was the mvp of this game. Aaron is a class act and should be the MVP.

  40. spellingcops says: Dec 26, 2011 1:02 AM

    Where is the Packer’s d ranked? Where is the Pats d ranked? Where is the Saints d ranked? Pretty sure (too lazy to look it up) that all 3 of them are statistically bad. Common denominator: Top 3 QBs in the NFL right now. They call it the most important position on the field for a reason, and the Pack has probably the best (this year anyway), although there’s a guy down south that seems to be catching fire…
    Either way, should be some awesome playoffs upcoming.
    *fan of neither team mentioned

  41. raider23mike says: Dec 26, 2011 1:07 AM

    Terrell Pryor < Tebow/Newton

  42. stevenfbrackett says: Dec 26, 2011 1:11 AM

    The Bears actually didn’t play badly at all until it came to finishing the drive. And even in their failures, they didn’t fail with stupid mistakes as much as just coming up a little short in most instances.

    McCown was a pleasant surprise and Bell could really turn into something. Needs a little work on his fumbling but at least he didn’t fumble away a score.

    It was nice to see the Packer offensive line be effective and to see the defense get back to forcing turnovers again. They had been painfully lacking in both areas the past couple of weeks.

  43. justwinbaby29 says: Dec 26, 2011 1:16 AM

    Sweet 16: Number of teams still alive to win the Super Bowl. Cut down to 12 by next Sunday night.

  44. packfaninchitown says: Dec 26, 2011 1:16 AM

    Rough couple weeks but they got the job done.

    Rest the starters next week and you’ve got three weeks before the first playoff game, plenty of time for Jennings, Bulaga and maybe even Clifton to return.

    JUST WIN BABY!

  45. nickynick04 says: Dec 26, 2011 1:29 AM

    The real Super Bowl is the NFC title game…The AFC is sooo weak….Pittsburgh is soft.( Packers abused them in last yrs game…..Palomola should quit,,,he attrocous….Packers love Harrison,,,they run all over him…he was shown up in the SB how soft he is…but he did get a sack on a blown coverage…….Pats are the only prolific ” O ” in The AFC…..

  46. vikescry1 says: Dec 26, 2011 1:30 AM

    hey stairway how them vikequeens doin? go back to flipping burgers cuz you don’t know what’s gonna happen.

  47. nickynick04 says: Dec 26, 2011 1:32 AM

    Dec 25, 2011 11:32 PM
    Packers weak def will doom them! I say 1 and done Packer fan

    OMG listen to this Steeler fan,,,,,you guys are a joke….ask Ray Lewis and the Ravens…The Pack abused you in the SB,,,Harrison was shown up same with Palomola….talk about overrated how many TDs did the Pack toast him for 2 or 3

  48. downsouth49er says: Dec 26, 2011 1:54 AM

    So what if it goes through Lambeau? I know a team in SF that isn’t afraid!! Bring it bytchez!!!

  49. dino2997 says: Dec 26, 2011 2:01 AM

    The way the Packers offense is it’s like a well oiled efficient machine with Rodgers at QB.

    On the dark side they have no defense, no pass rush and no running game. If Rodgers should falter even once they will lose in the playoffs.

  50. buzzbissinger says: Dec 26, 2011 2:02 AM

    @leatherface2012:

    Yer on crack.

  51. rayjayjohnsonjr says: Dec 26, 2011 2:18 AM

    Rodgers and the Pack will win it all unless some fluke of a deal happens. Go pack!

  52. leroysbutler says: Dec 26, 2011 2:31 AM

    The one team that can come into Lambeau in January and beat the Packers is the Giants. They’ve done it before. It would be a tall order but the Giants look to be the toughest matchup- wise for the Pack at home.

    Of course I don’t see Rodgers thowing an interception in overtime – ever.

    That being said, all the playoff teams have flaws. Any team can be beat (see Seattle/New Orleans last year) Green Bay should be favored to return to the Super Bowl and probably win it. It won’t be easy though.

    Rodgers – Brady Super Bowl = 80 points easily.

  53. davikes says: Dec 26, 2011 2:31 AM

    Niners in Lambeau would be a great game to watch.

  54. packerstexansfan says: Dec 26, 2011 2:45 AM

    The defense frustrates the hell out of me, but you can’t argue with the results. They limit points, which is the most important stat of all. Go Pack Go!

  55. zillabeast says: Dec 26, 2011 3:02 AM

    Sweet baby Jesus. I lose Rodgers for my fantasy football championship. I lost Adrian Peterson yesterday, and I will likely lose Calvin Johnson since next week means nothing for either side.

    I guess I am in either Alex Smith or Matt Moore’s capable hands.

  56. trucker2020 says: Dec 26, 2011 3:10 AM

    Rodgers will win the league MVP hands down.However the New Orleans Saints can score just as many points as GB & have a better Defense.N.O.,not GB will represent the NFC in the super bowl.

  57. mineallmine001 says: Dec 26, 2011 3:16 AM

    That ‘D’ is weak sauce!

    When you surrender over 300 to Josh freaking McClown then you are in sad sad shape.

    That williams ole tackle was the most pitiful thing Ive seen.

    I expect better ‘D’ from my team!

    We have a QB that is having a once in a lifetime season only to have it put in jeapordy by some turds ole arm tackling.

    The KC game was not a fluke!

  58. sportsguybayarea says: Dec 26, 2011 3:28 AM

    The Frozen Tundra

  59. discosucs2005 says: Dec 26, 2011 4:11 AM

    Capers really should turn these wins into a head coaching job while he has the chance. I have a feeling him (and Gregg Williams for that matter) wouldn’t be so highly regarded if the other halves of their teams didn’t play so well.

    When you look at the Saints numbers in a dome vs. out of a dome, getting the #1 seed is a pretty big deal. Same goes for the 49ers locking up #2 next week.

  60. johngaltwho says: Dec 26, 2011 4:28 AM

    Someone should tell Josh McCown the message you send when you celebrate a touchdown in a flashy way whilst your getting your a$$ kicked in a game. It says you value personal success more than team success and it says I know I’m a loser but I’m ok with that.

  61. bartpkelly says: Dec 26, 2011 4:59 AM

    Finely better stop dropping passes, the line better block better, and the defensive line needs to stop the run. S.F. and N.O. can control a game.

  62. 28for20 says: Dec 26, 2011 6:33 AM

    Here’s hoping there is only 1 game at The Frozen Drain Field in Green Bush!

  63. acieu says: Dec 26, 2011 6:40 AM

    Rodgers is almost as good as Tebow if you can believe ESPN’s synchophants.

  64. gonzolo4 says: Dec 26, 2011 8:08 AM

    How can people say this team is overrated, they’re the defending Super Bowl champs. They’re playing MUCH better than they ever did last season, the 49ers are a team that’s over rated
    They’ll be like the bucs next year, or the dolphins when they won the division a few season before. And I’m a dolphins fan dammit….

  65. bobleblah says: Dec 26, 2011 8:47 AM

    10 straight years – 10 different NFC teams in the Super Bowl. SF Detroit Atlanta Dallas would make it eleven.

  66. thatswhatimsayin says: Dec 26, 2011 8:50 AM

    Packers fans, settle down! your team beat a bears offense with half it’s starers on the sideline, it’s star punt returner at 50% a backup cornerback and a quarterback who hasn’t played football in 4 years. AT LAMBEAU FIELD no less. This guy put up over 300 yards on your d. both picks were thrown into the chest of both defenders all they had to do is hold on to the ball. Sorry to say your offense is good but your defense straight up sucks. Pack fans better hope they are playing against backup Qb’s throughout the playoffs. Pack D will doom your SB repeat chances. Not a hater just objective

  67. saintsly says: Dec 26, 2011 9:14 AM

    It’s damn shame that a team has to rely on the weather to win the NFC Championship !!!! The only problem is……..the weather affects both teams. The best team with a running attack is the Saints and 9er’s so Greenbay, strap on dem cleats and prepare to get dirty. Causue you are going down in your own house. Congrats…………..

  68. billh1947 says: Dec 26, 2011 9:27 AM

    Have posters gone nuts on this site? the Packers overrated? ya right,14-1,defending SB Champs,and their overrated? Dallas coming to GB and actually beating the Packers? are they even going to make the playoff?NO isnt the same team when out of their warm dome environment,SF on the road at GB will show Niner fans just how much playoff experience means to a team when it comes to winning,the Packers have it much easier this year then last and will make the most of it.

  69. cpnugent says: Dec 26, 2011 10:18 AM

    35-21 is not “blown out”. The author needs to get out and see a few more games. 45-7, for example, would qualify as a blowout.

  70. theghostoflombardi says: Dec 26, 2011 10:34 AM

    @donmajik7

    Have you even watched the Packers this season?

    Every single statement you made was wrong.

    Hawk is slow, but he’s great at play recognition and is always in on tackles in the running game.

    Raji can and does play well against 1 on 1 matchups. He hasn’t played as well as he did at the end of last year, but he continually gets into the backfield and disrupts the running game (which is his main responsibility as a NT in a 3-4 scheme).

    Tramon isn’t afraid of contact. In fact, his main weakness this year has been in coverage.

    And Peprah hasn’t been great, but he’s been serviceable. That’s about all you can expect from a backup FS who has gotten little playing time behind Nick Collins who has been in the pro bowl the last 3 years until suffering what is most likely a career ending injury this year.

  71. bordner says: Dec 26, 2011 11:05 AM

    This all sounds vaguely reminiscent of last season starting around Week 16. First it was the Giants fans saying “New York is coming into Lambeau and beating the Packers. Our D will knock Aaron Rodgers out of the game.” One clown even said that it would be cruel for the Packers’ coaching staff to let Rodgers play because the Giants would hurt him so bad.

    Then the next week we had to listen to the bears fans saying the same thing, telling us the season would be over after the bears beat the Packers at Lambeau. And of course, that Peppers and that awesome bears defense would knock Rodgers out of the game.

    Then the playoff game at Philly – we had to hear how the Packers can’t win a playoff game in Philly. And that the Philly defense would knock Rodgers out of the game.

    And then the Atlanta fans – we were told how they beat us once and they’ll do it again. We were told how great Matty Ice is and also how the Falcons D would knock Rodgers out of the game.

    Then the rematch with the bears – we were told how the last time didn’t count because they weren’t really trying and that genius Lovie didn’t show them everything that he had up his sleeve. I’m sure they also predicted that Rodgers would get knocked out.

    Finally, the Super Bowl – what’s funny here is that the Steelers fans weren’t really that obnoxious until after they LOST the game. Before that, they were mostly condescending. Either way, another Packer loss was predicted.

    Bottom line – I don’t listen to the other teams fans on here. Most of them suck when it comes to predicting the outcome of games.

  72. 1historian says: Dec 26, 2011 12:45 PM

    PVPSBXLVI

    P(NE) XXVIII

    P(GB) XXIV

  73. sfwillis52 says: Dec 26, 2011 1:37 PM

    The Niners mouth’s are watering with a chance to go play in Lambeau. Playing the Packers there that late in the year is only going to help us. Bad/cold weather is going to hurt the passing game, force teams to rely on the run, and make the game more of a defensive battle. All of those favor the niners…by a LOT

  74. war27 says: Dec 26, 2011 2:54 PM

    bischof21 says: Dec 26, 2011 12:56 AM

    Zero penalties? Didn’t watch the game but wow. That’s hard to do.
    ————————-

    It’s not really hard to do with the biased refs in todays nfl.

    if the games were called fair zero penalties are impossible.

    Listened more then watched last night but the Packers games i have seen show that the packers OL tackles better then most defenses and never gets called on it.

  75. sportsguybayarea says: Dec 26, 2011 8:04 PM

    gonzolo4 says:Dec 26, 2011 8:08 AM

    How can people say this team is overrated, they’re the defending Super Bowl champs. They’re playing MUCH better than they ever did last season, the 49ers are a team that’s over rated
    They’ll be like the bucs next year, or the dolphins when they won the division a few season before. And I’m a dolphins fan dammit….

    dolphins and bucs dont have a patrick willis and a bowman (just to name a few) on defense. also, they dont have a coach like harbaugh…this niners team is just getting started. they’lle be good for years to come

  76. 122u says: Dec 26, 2011 8:29 PM

    You nay-sayers can put down The Pack and make light of their victory over The Bears all you want.
    The truth is they are the defending superbowl champions until someone else says otherwise!
    How often does it happen that a NFL Team beats another decent NFL Team four times in a calendar year? The Bears have been a very decent team over that calendar year and a great rivalry was in existance before many of our grandparents were born. I consider that quite an achievement in what the Packers did to a quality Bears Team.

    The road to The Lombardi Trophy
    Goes through Lambeau Field
    Where It Belongs &
    Where It’s Gonna Stay!

  77. 13xworldchamps says: Dec 27, 2011 9:37 AM

    46defense says:Dec 26, 2011 12:15 AM

    “Lovie still can’t beat the Packers”
    ======================

    ???

    Lovie is what, 8-9 against the Fudgers? Yeah, that’s awful…

    ———————————————————-The Packers just Beat the Bears 4 times in one year, might I add including the NFC Championship game on your field……

  78. sendempacking12 says: Dec 29, 2011 7:58 PM

    Josh McClown did decent you got to admit it. But Packers did waaaaaaaaaay better. Thumbs up if you agree.

  79. sendempacking12 says: Dec 29, 2011 7:59 PM

    His real name is McCown

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