The Green Bay Packers beat the Minnesota Vikings, 23-10, to clinch the NFC North and put them in the driver's seat for the No. 2 seed. The Packers are a win or Saints' loss away from a bye and a home playoff game. They are in great position, but a season sweep of the Vikings shouldn't inspire much confidence in Aaron Rodgers and the Packers heading into the playoffs at any seed.
Rodgers was unimpressive again, completing 26 of 40 passes for 216 yards, one interception and zero touchdowns. The Rodgers of old who struck fear in the hearts of opponents appears to be gone forever, or at least on vacation. Rodgers hasn't thrown for 300-plus yards since October and has only thrown eight touchdown passes in the second half of the season with four of those coming against the Giants in one game.
Then there's the issue of who the Packers beat. Kirk Cousins completed 30 of 63 passes for 342 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions in two games against the Packers this season. Early in the year Vikings receivers were done with Cousins, but he strung together enough good games to briefly get in the MVP discussion. Only it turns out all he did was beat up on a bunch of crappy teams.
No NFC playoff team should be worried about going to Lambeau during the second weekend of the playoffs, however the seeding works out. The Seahawks know they can beat anyone. The 49ers already embarrassed the Packers this season. The Saints might get a little worried if Drew Brees has to play in poor weather, but I think Rodgers would prefer a dome too. The Vikings were in both Green Bay losses during the fourth quarter despite Cousins and the Eagles already beat Green Bay in Green Bay this season.
If anything, the Packers win will make their eventual playoff exit seem more of a disappointment than it should be. The Packers just haven't been that impressive since they beat a Patrick Mahomes-less Chiefs team during Week 8 capped a 7-1 start.
Now they could end up losing at home as a top-2 seed. It will be considered a choke job. It will be a mark against Rodgers and have people questioning Matt LaFleur after a 12-win season. The only way the Packers can avoid all this is to win the whole damn thing. Does anyone really think that will happen?