After destroying the still in contention Oakland Raiders yesterday the Packers will huge favorites to beat the woeful Kansas City Chiefs, who fired their head coach today. If that does indeed happen the Packers will have only one thing to play for the rest of the regular season – 16-0. How much is that worth to them?
Head coach Mike McCarthy will have to decide. Is it worth it to risk the ultimate prize for a smaller prize that in the grand scheme of things means nothing. Nobody cares that the Patriots went 16-0 in 2007, all we remember is that they didn’t go 19-0. The ring is the thing. If Rodgers goes down against the Bears or Lions there won’t be any repeat championship in Titletown.
It’s possible McCarthy tipped his hand yesterday by pulling Rodgers in the third quarter with the Packers comfortably ahead. Maybe he wanted to get Matt Flynn as many live reps as possible in anticipation of him playing a majority of the final two games.
I guess I’m part of the undecided people of the Packernet poll. I want the best of both worlds, rest for Rodgers but two wins to give them a chance at 19-0, which has never been done. Flynn could probably beat the Bears even if Rodgers never took a snap. The Bears gave up 191 yards passing to Tim Tebow in the fourth and fifth quarters alone yesterday. Not bad for a “running back” as Brian Urlacher called him afterwards. The Bears are reeling without Jay Cutler. Much like the Packers would be without Rodgers.
My gut feeling is there is no way McCarthy sits Rodgers against the Bears on Christmas night in front of a national TV audience. Of course every thing depends on beating the Chiefs first. If the Chiefs pull the biggest upset of the year, with respect to St. Louis for knocking off the Saints, the question is moot. Then it’s play to win against the Bears and if they win that game they rest everybody against the Lions. The Packers can clinch home field with a loss if Pittsburgh beats the 49ers. Then its…well, you get the point.
McCarthy will have a decision to make. If he is looking for help from previous teams he won’t find it. The Colts laid down at 14-0 in 2009 and lost the Super Bowl and the Patriots went all out in 2007 and lost the Super Bowl. Glad I don’t have to make that call.
What do you think?