Posted September 25, 2012

Packers-Seahawks outcome could have lingering effect on playoff race

Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks

Touchdown or interception? Either way, the debate about this game will last all season. (Stephen Brashear/AP)

Monday night’s calamity in Seattle caused enough of a stir in the short-term. But what if that game eventually impacts the Packers’ or Seahawks’ playoff fate?

There’s no telling how either team will react to their Week 3 ending. The way the NFL’s playoff tiebreakers are set up, though, Seattle’s win could become a huge factor down the stretch.

The first tiebreaker in the wild-card setup: Head-to-head.

The second: Conference record.

By virtue of Monday’s game, the Seahawks will carry the edge over Green Bay in the former and, with a 2-1 record inside the NFC, currently has a leg up on 11 other NFC teams. It’s pretty simple to craft a scenario where Seattle’s or Green Bay’s playoff fate depends on one of those tiebreakers, or to find one where the Seahawks sneak into the playoffs by a game or the Packers miss out by one.

What if Seattle finishes 11-5 and Arizona 10-6? Or Chicago finishes 10-6 and Green Bay 9-7? Monday’s game was just one of 16, but it’s easy to see how it may loom large.

Green Bay’s schedule presents an opportunity to put Monday’s loss in the past, but the challenge of recovering mentally from such a setback is a big one. The Packers’ next game is against the 0-3 Saints — a team that’s reeling in its own right and is even more desperate for a win than Green Bay. After that, it’s a three-game road trip to Indianapolis, Houston and St. Louis, followed by home games with Jacksonville and Arizona.

Maybe the Packers go 6-0 in that pre-bye stretch to get to 7-2, which probably would be enough to take control of the NFC North.

But keep in mind that last year’s two wild-card teams in the NFC, Detroit and Atlanta, each went 10-6. The Packers now need to finish the season 9-4 or better to reach that mark, with road games at Detroit, the Giants, Chicago and resurgent Minnesota still on the schedule. The good news for Green Bay is that neither of the NFC’s two undefeated teams (Arizona and Atlanta) reside in the North, but the unfortunate loss to Seattle still dropped the Packers behind both Chicago and Minnesota in the division.

On the other side of the coin, Seattle badly needed Monday’s game to keep pace in the surprising NFC West. Following up on San Francisco’s conference title game run from 2011, the Cardinals have streaked out of the gate with a 3-0 record that includes wins over the Patriots, Eagles and these very Seahawks. And the 49ers, despite a setback in Minnesota, look like a Super Bowl contender.

The Seahawks’ schedule takes a difficult turn here, too, so having a second win in the bank might ease the burden. Four of Seattle’s next five games are on the road, away from the 12th Man: at St. Louis this week, followed by at Carolina in Week 5, a stop home to take on New England, then back-to-back trips to Detroit and San Francisco.

Seattle closed last year strong but started just 2-6, so getting off to a good start was a focus heading into September. Golden Tate’s dramatic catch kept that hope alive.

The trick for both teams will be forgetting about Sunday as quickly as possible. Maybe that would be easier to do if, say, Seattle had recovered Cedric Benson’s late fumble and won the game that way, but the task is no different now.

Not only do the Packers and Seahawks face the challenge of a shortened week, thanks to playing on Monday night, but they must deal with the fallout from the game’s emotional roller coaster — one that surely will not dissipate much among the fans and media surrounding the teams.

There is a long way to go in the NFL season. If the Seahawks end up hosting Green Bay in a playoff game or the postseason field is close enough that one of these two teams is impacted by what many consider the wrong outcome, however, we’ll be talking about the Hail Mary drama all over again.

16 comments
JustinCase
JustinCase

Everyone and the media forgets that GB was the recipient of a just as bad blown call in 2010 on a Vikings TD in week 7 (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGlMvgoR8EY). This ridiculous TD reversal gave the Packers a victory they should not have had. GB finished 10-6 instead of 9-7 and won tiebreaker for the 6th seed instead of missing the playoffs. They went on to win the Super Bowl.

 

There was no outrage back then and know the shoe's on the other foot but everyone is making a big deal about it. Welcome to the boned club GB. 

BillFerguson
BillFerguson

Correction Golden Tate's alleged catch. He didn't catch the ball.

eb1978
eb1978

People, do you realize that GB should not have even scored their touchdown?  Phantom PI call on Kam Chancellor and then giving Aaron Rodgers that 1st down after the replay (that was NOT conclusive enough to do).  It was bad officiating throughout the whole game, but let's not kid ourselves, Green Bay should not have even been leading in this game.  

RogerBertram
RogerBertram

I'm a Packer fan for 50+ years and I have never seen such a balant missed call.  I will not watch the NFL anymore until they get the Regular refs back

 

cmccartn
cmccartn

I'm done watching until they bring back the real refs

 

davidpredmore
davidpredmore

Yeah, I posted this on another thread - a couple of games where the Packers were specifically handed games by the refs.   I didn't hear A. Rogers speak up after the 2010 game.  Lol.

 

2002 Vikings v. Packers December 8, 2002 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, the Packers came from behind to defeat the Minnesota Vikings, 26-22, in a contest in which the league would later admit that Coleman and his crew made nine officiating errors (most if not all against the Vikings).  One of the errors included a 28-yard pass interference penalty that was called on Vikings safety Corey Chavous, which helped the Packers to score their game-winning touchdown. The win helped keep Green Bay in the race for home-field advantage in the playoffs.

 

October 23, 2010  League admits to two touchdown errors in Sunday night game

Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on October 25, 2010, 5:44 PM EDT

 

The one that had the most impact on the outcome came from the inability of the officials patrolling the end zone to do their jobs properly, in real time and/or under the replay hood.

The availability of replay review is no substitute for getting it right in the first instance.  On two separate occasions with scoring plays on the line, the officials got it wrong.

On the third occasion, referee Scott Green simply botched the replay review.

And all three calls worked against the team that lost by four points (the Vikings) 

Read the rest here -  http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/10/25/league-admits-to-two-touchdown-errors-in-sunday-night-game/

R9
R9

 @JustinCase Exactly.  Just like the media seems to forget that Seattle lost Superbowl XL due to blown calls: referee Bill Leavy even admitted publicly that he blew two calls in the fourth quarter which allowed Pittsburgh to win.  I guess it's not as important when an egregious call helps, rather than goes against, one of America's "favorite teams."

SusanBarth
SusanBarth

And GB should not have received the pass interference call on Sam Shields.....it should have been on Sidney Rice....apparently you missed that bone-headed call.

MattReines
MattReines

 @eb1978 

Idiot. If they didn't give the first down then field goal. And it's still 9-7 at that point. So yes they would have been leading. You Sir are a moron.

tlibrpus
tlibrpus

The "real refs" screwed  the Seahawks in 1998 when they gave Vinny Testeverde a touchdown when he clearly didnt have one .That cost the Seahawk a possible playoff spot  .And we wont EVEN talk about how the"real refs" stiffed the Seahawks in Super Bowl XL .@cmccartn

AlfieAlmeda
AlfieAlmeda

 @MattReines  @eb1978 hey idiot, if the seahawks are down 2 then they could just win with a field goal. if everything plays out the same after the GB scoring drive except being down two: GB three and out. SEA gets the ball back inside the GB 49yl with 58 seconds to go. One first down and a couple yards, and the hawks are kicking the game winning field goal. you sir are a moron. SEA wouldn't need that last second hail mary. 

komin
komin

 @@MattReines  @@eb1978 not guarantee FG. So the kid was going to over 55 yards if the PI was not called. ya right@!!  Mattie