Packers 60-second rant: Potentially dangerous playoff opponents

Posted Dec. 06, 2011 @ 6:20 p.m.
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Part of the Tuesday routine these days at the Pro Football Weekly home base is the late-afternoon taping of PFW's weekly video "No Huddle" segments. Our crack video team goes from office to office (or cubicle to cubicle) to get answers from the PFW editors to whatever question we come up with for the week. I just found out this week's question: "Which team is best-suited to beat the Packers in the playoffs."

Hmmm, sounds like a good lead topic for this week's rant.

As I've already written a couple of times this week, I really believe the Packers are in perfect shape to finish 16-0 after escaping with a thrilling victory over a Giants team that appeared, according to many league observers, to have the best shot at raining on the Pack's perfect parade.

But once the second season starts — which at the moment has only two locked-in participants in Green Bay and San Francisco — the playing field levels considerably.

Any team hoping to beat the Packers must have an explosive offense capable of winning a high-scoring shootout.

In other words, offenses like the ones Drew Brees and the Saints displayed vs. the Packers in Week One and Eli Manning and the Giants displayed last week.

If I were Mike McCarthy, I'd be more than a little nervous over the prospect of having to face either of those high-powered attacks in a postseason rematch, which remains entirely possible.

In the AFC, which I can't figure out for the life of me this season, I see only the Patriots having the necessary firepower to burn the Packers in a Super Bowl showdown.

Let's move on to a few other topics real quickly, starting with my belief that there's no way McCarthy will entertain thoughts of preserving his resources for the playoffs at the risk of losing a game, which the team can afford to do with a postseason berth secured.

What the Packers emphatically proved last year was that the hottest team down the stretch — and into the playoffs — will end up being the team that wins the Super Bowl. Momentum isn't everything, but it comes damn close. There's no way, I say, McCarthy takes his foot off the pedal now and risks losing the special edge his team is currently savoring. That means sticking with maximum usage of the Packers starters, provided they are healthy enough to play.

One last thought on my new favorite Packers player. I've been a huge Clay Matthews fan from the get-go, and while I still love the way he plays the game with such nonstop energy, I love even more the contributions that old geezer Donald Driver is making all of the sudden in what up to now has been a tremendously entertaining season.

Being an old geezer myself, I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying watching Driver show just how much gas he still has left in the tank.

Way to go, old man.