Thursday, September 9, 2010
Why Sunday is a "Must Win"
First, the Vikings lost. We all know that any viable playoff run must first start with winning the NFC North. With the Vikings losing in the Bayou tonight, Green Bay can take an immediate lead in the division if they win Sunday. Getting out of the gate early will be critical in setting the pace and establishing themselves as the team to beat.
Second, the Eagles could be testy. I'm not sure why, but the Eagles feel like a sleeper team to me. Especially on opening day at home. New QB Kevin Kolb seems like a budding star, and DeSean Jackson, Jason Avant, Jeremy Maclin, and Brent Celek are legit receiving options that could test the Packers thin secondary. This is the kind of game on the road that you need to be able to win to be a contender.
Third, if they win this game the Packers have a legitimate shot at being 6-0 by the time they face the Vikings. Beating Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Washington and Miami all feel very do-able. If the Packers are able to get off to that kind of start, they will turn their pre-season hype into regular season intimidation. They will switch from the team that everyone wants to knock off their pedestal, to the team everyone is afraid to confront. And they will have the confidence and swagger necessary to take down the Vikings in week 7 and, hopefully, put themselves in a 2-3 game lead in the NFC North.
If Green Bay loses Sunday, all these things run the risk of unraveling the other way. They will be fighting game-by-game with the Vikings for first place. Other teams will have tape on how to beat them. And the media will start rampantly speculating about the whether they were over-hyped. We don't want that to happen. So... it's a must win. Get it done!