The Packers are the real king of the NFC North. Can they use it to become Super Bowl champions?
That’s the question after the Packers swept the NFC North for the second time in franchise history with a 23-20 win over Detroit on Sunday. Green Bay finished the 13th season, took a first round and became the sixth team to sweep this division since the Central Division started in 1967.
When you look at the teams that have made this rare feat, it’s mostly a good hint of the upcoming NFC playoffs.
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Lost Super Bowl4 in Kansas City
Lost Super Bowl 8 in Miami
He won the Super Bowl 20
I missed the Divisional Round in Washington
You forgot about the Giants’ spin on the division
Three of those five teams reached the Super Bowl and four of those teams lost to the Super Bowl final champion.
The Packers were shocked by the Giants in 2011 with 37-20 upsets at Lambeau Field after their only season in the division. The last team in the Super Bowl finished 4-2 in the league, but won three playoff games before winning the Super Bowl 45.
This Green Bay team can learn from these two teams. Green Bay is not the unstoppable attack he had in 2011, but neither is the team that broke into the 2010 playoffs. The truth is that the Packers needed this week to rest on an offensive line without Corey Linsley and Bryan Bulaga and was overtaken by the Lions for three quarters.
The Packers are going to be a bit of an outsider, knowing that the 49ers, Seahawks and Saints would probably favor a head-to-head matchup at this point. That is why this season sweep can prove to mean more. Aaron Rodgers – who had the lowest full season of his career in 2019 – is the X factor. He may not be able to carry the Packers to two road wins. But Rodgers can still warm up, as he did in the second half against Detroit to finish 27 of 55 passing for 323 yards and two touchdowns in a touchdown.
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It turned out he could still lead the NFC Division title, with a sweep of the Bears, Lions and Vikings, which the Packers probably won’t need to play a third time. That’s probably just as important as the playoff itself.
Now, Rodgers has a decent shot to take back to the Super Bowl for the second time and to do something he has not had since the ’85 Bears: Sweep the division and win the Super Bowl.
Maybe they would have to go through the other King of the North to Baltimore and Lamar Jackson to do so. We cannot think of a better way to decide who is worthy of the throne.