DETROIT – The Green Bay Packers will open the playoffs at home against the New York Giants on Sunday.
Because of their victory against Detroit on Sunday night, the Packers are the No. 4 seed.
The Packers are seeking their first Super Bowl win since 2010. Not unlike this year’s team, that edition of the squad faced must-win games to get in the playoffs, then used that momentum for a charge to the championship.
“You’d hate to go back to that,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. “I don’t want to put any other expectations on that team. Obviously, we’re in the playoffs now, and the goal is to win the Super Bowl. But this is a new team. This is an excited group of guys that believe in each other, and anything can happen when you get in the playoffs. We know that. We did that years ago. It’s a fun group of guys, though. It’s fun to win with these guys, and it’s fun to do it the way we did the last six weeks. We know we’ve got a great football team coming in. They’re playing well, they’ve played really, really well on defense, they’ve got some playmakers on offense, and we’re just happy to be back in Lambeau.”
Sunday’s playoff game will be dripping with history. The Packers beat the Giants 23-16 on Oct. 9. Rodgers threw for 259 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions and Eddie Lacy rushed for 81 yards. The defense, however, was the story. Eli Manning was limited to 199 passing yards and Odell Beckham caught 5-of-12 passes for 56 yards and a late touchdown. Green Bay recorded four sacks.
The Giants, of course, knocked the Packers out of the playoffs in 2007 and 2011 – both of which were played at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won regular-season matchups in both of those seasons.
New York has won nine of its last 11 games.
Here’s the NFC playoff picture:
No. 1 Dallas (13-3).
No. 2 Atlanta (11-5).
No. 3 Seattle (10-5-1).
No. 4 Green Bay (10-6).
No. 5 N.Y. Giants (11-5).
No. 6 Detroit (9-7).
Detroit plays at Seattle at 7:15 p.m. Saturday (NBC) with the Packers-Giants game at 3:40 p.m. Sunday (Fox).
The AFC’s top six are, in order, New England, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Houston, Oakland and Miami. Oakland plays at Houston at 3:35 p.m. Saturday (ESPN) and Miami plays at Pittsburgh at 12:05 p.m. Sunday (CBS) in the Wild Card round.
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.