The Packers won a nail-biter Sunday afternoon in Lambeau Field over the Bears, qualifying them for the 2010 Playoffs. They grabbed the No. 6 seed and will take on the Eagles next Sunday.
But it’s never too early to look forward to next season.
With the completion of the 2010 NFL regular season also came completed schedules for the 2011 season. Here is a breakdown of how schedules are compiled each season as a refresher:
Home and away against its three division opponents (6 games).
· The four teams from another division within the conference on a rotating three-year cycle (4 games).
· The four teams from a division in the other conference on a rotating four-year cycle (4 games).
· Two intra-conference games based on the prior year’s standings (2 games). These games match a first-place team against the first-place teams in the two same-conference divisions the team is not scheduled to play that season. The second-place, third-place, and fourth-place teams in a conference are matched in the same way each year.
Based on the rotating cycle and second-place finish, The Packers will face the NFC South and AFC West, the New York Giants (second in the NFC East), and the St. Louis Rams (second in the NFC West), along with their NFC North opponents.
The Packers are in the playoffs.
Say it five, 10, or 15 more times. Trust me, it won’t get old.
In a season marred by handfuls of injuries, close losses, and uncertainty, Mike McCarthy and the Green Bay Packers fought past it all to claim the NFC’s final playoff spot by taking down the Chicago Bears 10-3 at Lambeau Field.
The early games on Sunday did little to help the Packers, as the Falcons handled the Panthers to claim the No. 1 seed in the conference. Because of that, the Saints rested most of its starters late in the game and allowed the Buccaneers to secure a victory that moved them to 10-6.
That Buccaneers win took out the scenario that would have allowed the Packers to fall to the Bears and still make the playoffs, so for the second consecutive week the Packers needed a win.
For one half of play, it looked bleak in Green Bay. The offense, despite putting together solid drives, had stalled and failed to put any points on the board while the Bears seemed content to keep the pace slow and run out the clock on the Packers.
But the Packers’ defense and, surprisingly, special teams came up in a big way in the second half, allowing the offense to start with solid field position and put 10 points on the board. That was all the defense needed, shutting Jay Cutler and Bears down by forcing two turnovers to seal the victory and a playoff spot for the Packers.
Here are game balls for the Packers’ regular season finale.