History Will Be on One Underdog’s Side This Weekend

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Packers vs. Falcons 2010 divisional playoffs

Packers vs. Falcons 2010 divisional playoffs

The Green Bay Packers are going to stroll into Arizona to face the Cardinals this weekend as a substantial underdog.

The Cardinals are currently favored by seven and that sounds about right, considering they beat these same Packers by 30 less than a month ago.

Frankly, the Cardinals are the better team, but the great thing about the NFL playoffs is the better team doesn’t always win. Neither does the higher-seeded team.

You probably feel like a lower-seeded team wins every year in the divisional round. That’s because that happens nearly every year.

Out of curiosity, we went back through the divisional round results to find out the last time all four higher-seeded teams were victorious.

The answer is 2004.

So for the last 10 years, at least one lower seed has triumphed in the divisional round.

Here are those teams:

  • 2014: Indianapolis
  • 2013: San Francisco
  • 2012: Baltimore
  • 2011: New York Giants
  • 2010: Green Bay, New York Jets
  • 2009: New York Jets
  • 2008: Arizona, Philadelphia
  • 2007: San Diego, New York Giants
  • 2006: Indianapolis, New England
  • 2005: Carolina, Pittsburgh

In half of those years, two lower-seeded teams won in the divisional round, but never more.

The Packers were both on the giving and receiving end there, beating top-seeded Atlanta following the 2010 season and losing to the fourth-seeded Giants the following year. That win in Atlanta came after a 20-17 regular season loss by the Packers at Atlanta in week 12.

We’re not suggesting you should hang your hat on the Packers this weekend because of this, but one of the lower seeds is very likely going to move onto their conference championship game.

Might as well be the Packers. Right?

About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

31 Comments on "History Will Be on One Underdog’s Side This Weekend"

  1. Eduardo

    And being the game’s on Saturday night means excessive drinking. Woohoo. Go-Pack.

    BTW…where’s Dave the Lions fan?

  2. PackAttack

    Packers Keys to Success:

    It amazes me that I still read shit like “Green Bay needs to establish the run game against Arizona to be successful” and, “the Pack need to win the battle in the trenches in order to have a chance”. What the fuck are football fans smoking with this line of thinking? This isn’t the 1970 smash mouth gridiron where a solid run game was the key to offensive efficiency, this is the fucking 21st century where a consistent aerial attack is the only way to score points and keep pace with your opponent. You aren’t going to score 30+ points running 20-25 times against Arizona, and you will need points (and a lot of them) to advance.
    I got news for you. Arizona is going to score points and they’re going to score quick. Sure David Johnson is going to get his share of carries, but he’s also a lot more explosive than both Eddie Lacy and James Starks combined, and Carson Palmer is going to throw early, often and deep. This is an aggressive offense with a shit ton of weapons — and since Sam Shields can’t seem to find his way out of concussion protocol, and now with Quinten Rollins going down, who knows how stable the Packers secondary is going to be on Saturday. So how does that affect the offense?…………..

    Key to Winning: I said it last week and I’ll say it again. If you want to win in the Playoffs you MUST get the ball into your best players hands….a lot. Throw, throw, throw and throw some fucking more. In the 2nd quarter against Washington Rodgers threw on 22-of-24 downs and the result was 17 points (the most since last December vs Atlanta). The aerial attack opened up the running game and the rest was history, but again this is the 21st century where you MUST throw in order to win games, the passing game will open up the run game – it’s not the other way around. And don’t fool yourself, Washington sucks and AZ is probably the best overall team in the NFC, this is a much different game for Green Bay regardless of their success last week.

    How to beat AZ Defense: You aren’t beating Arizona on the ground, nope I’m sorry. Not only is running the ball against AZ unproductive, it’s laughable to even consider it as an effective strategy. AZ was top five in the NFL this year in least amount of rushing yards allowed, least amount in yards per/carry, least amount of rushing yards per/game and were top three in most strip fumble. So best of luck to you if this is the game plan your going into the Valley with, needless to say you’ll be fucking smoked if you think running on this team will work.
    You have the best QB (from a talent perspective) in the entire league — fucking use him! It’s time to go 5 wide sets (Cobb, Jones, Abbrederis, Janis and Quarless/Rodgers) and hit the air non-stop. Shit — having Janis out there over Adams might actually help stretch the defense and open up the middle of the field more. Use bunch formations and run crossing patterns, backside slants, screens, go routes (with Cobb preferably) and let Rodgers take chances down the field. Use the hurry up offense and keep the tempo high. This offense should be 85/15 pass to-run ratio — 1st down should be 70-80% passing downs and chances MUST be taken deep! Arizona defense was beaten more than 14 times for passing plays of 40+ yards or more this season (top 5 for most in the league), this is a beatable secondary especially with honey badger done for the year. Up front, the AZ defense only had 36 sacks this year (20th in the NFL and most of those came vs GB back in Week 15), this isn’t a unit that should be dropping immeasurable pressure on Rodgers. The way to beat this team is through the air, early and often, you need to spread this defense out and use 4-5 receivers and beat them vertically. James Starks and Eddie Lacy are not going to win this game for you —- Aaron Rodgers is.

    Beat AZ through the air, it’s the only hope the Pack have.

    • ay hombre

      Do you cut and paste this shit on a daily basis? Big Gay Clay said everything you just said and much more succinctly. See below.

    • Deepsky

      I agree with much of what you say here, but success really comes down to Janis and Abbrederis making plays. Janis has been targeted only 11 times and has caught the ball 2 total times this entire season. Abbrederis has better stats, but still is not much of a play maker.

      I agree with you about the bunch/crossing routes/slants. If the Packers are going to air it out, they need high percentage pass plays on first down, because 95% of the time the Packers miss on a pass play on first down, they run it on second down, then face 3rd and long where Rodgers gets killed. The Packers unfortunately still think they can throw a back shoulder fade, but no receiver on the team has been able to sync up with Rodgers this year on that play and Rodgers accuracy is off.

      So yeah, I agree with you, the way to win is passing, but they need to call plays that get guys open and they need guys like Janis who can get open long to make plays.

    • Ted Hawthorne

      PackAttack has written a brilliant and cogent prescription.
      This IS the only possible path to victory. However, I’m
      afraid Buffoon is too stunted to employ it.

  3. Big Gay Clay

    We need to pass to set up the run but we also need to stay unpredictable. That’s what we did from the second quarter on last week. NO MORE HB STRETCH PLAYS ON FIRST DOWN!!!!

    • PackAttack

      Couldn’t agree more — this guy gets it. I’ll bet you Clay either played football or is an athlete of some kind. Guys who played tend to understand this type of shit better than most.

      Well said.

    • PackAttack

      Right and you know that how???

      Do some research and you’ll see quite clearly that AZ strength on defense is stopping the run, they’re a top 5 unit against the rush and lead the league in most caused fumbles — this unit will destroy Lacy and Starks. Running the ball against AZ is a waste of time and a waste of dows. Against the pass the AZ secondary is vulnerable, especially deep getting beat for 40+ yards 14 times this year (top 3 in the NFL). AZ defense allowed 24 TD passes through the air (that’s the most of any teams remaining in the playoffs). Your only way to beat this team is through the air, not on the ground.

      Only a fucking idiot would think that running the football with James Starks and Eddie Lacy is going to win you a game against Arizona’s elite offense. That’s quite possibly the most pathetic and laughable statement I’ve heard in quite some time.

      #1 – AZ is going to score a lot of points. It’s the #2 offense in the NFL (GB is #25). AZ is #2 because they throw, a shit ton. You will need 30+ points to beat this team and your suggestion is to run the ball against? HAHAHAHAHA okay. Good luck with that.

      #2 – Running wastes time and kills rhythm. In high scoring games you need tempo, rhythm and a fast paced offense to keep up. Running the ball kills all of that — not to mention your options when it comes to running are a fat ass out of shape pile of shit, James Starks who’s a questionable NFL talent to begin with and John Kuhn. I’d actually consider listening to you if Green Bay had a halfway decent option in the backfield but unfortunately they don’t.

      #3 – Whose hands do you want the ball in the most? Rodgers or Lacy/Starks?

      Enough said.

      You run the ball vs AZ you’ll get smoked. I’ll guarantee it and if you’re so sure on your stance I suggest we throw down some money on it.

    • PackAttack

      Seattle crushed AZ and nearly beat them (back in 4) — and in both of those games (before it became a route in Week 16) Russell Wilson absolutely torched the AZ defense and beat constantly beat them — THROUGH THE AIR!

      Nick Foles beat this unit with 3 passing TD’s back in Week #4. Jarvis Landry beat this unit with 2 passing TD’s and Martavis Bryant had 137 yards and 2 TD’s. The Bengals should have beaten them in Week #10 with Dalton throwing 39 times for 315 yards — who had the most success (screens and check downs) the result 31 points and pathetic 3.5 yards per/att on the ground.

      Yes — great idea Kato, let’s shake our heads and stick with the ground and pound with Fat Boy Lacy and Starks — I’m sure those two will lead us the rest of the way. Great idea.

      Fucking moron.

    • PackAttack

      Looking at the box score and seeing how many times a offense ran vs passed isn’t the way to accurately analyze a team’s offensive game plan and what worked most effectively. Most offenses (like Green Bay) start running the clock out as early as the 3rd Q — like Seattle did against AZ in Week #16. Green Bay came out hot with the aerial attack vs Washington and it opened up the running game.

      Running the ball does not produce consistent points or success especially on a team where you have a 2-time NFL MVP at QB who can dominate defenses. The only way to beat AZ is to go 4-5 wide, hurry up offense, short passing screens, crossing routes and constant go routes to open up the middle of the field.

      Running the football isn’t going to work.

  4. ay hombre

    I think PackAttack is largely a blowhard but I couldn’t agree with him more. I mean…I think I agree with him. You don’t think I actually read all that do you?

    Here’s my dream…and I’ve had it a long time. We hit the field with Jones, Cobb, Abbrederis, Janis and either Lacy or Starks. No tight end.

    From that personnel the Packers can run three, four or five wide sets and can move the RB, Cobb, or both in and out of the backfield.

    Let Arizona pick their poison. If they want to nickel or dime up versus that personnel, then you come with more power, delayed draws, screens, etc.

    If they want to set up in base, you go four and five wide all day and attack the shit out of them and never let whoever they have on the field off.

    McCarthy told ARodge before the last game, “If we’re going to get to the Super Bowl, it’s going to be because of you.” His gameplan and mode of attack in that game backed up that statement.

    I can’t see him going back on that, trudging out three tight ends on Saturday and attempting to play power football. Then again this is the Buffoon.

    I roll with PackAttack. Pass to set up the run.

  5. Bo Stanley

    Hombre almost had a very good statement. Almost, but then he fucked it up as usual by mentioning John Kuhn’s name.

    John Kuhn should be playing Rugby in Australia, or somewhere far far away from an american football field. The guy is worthless in all formats, much like James Starks.

  6. PackAttack

    It’s not rocket science. If you want to win against elite teams you’ve got to have the ball in your best player’s hands as much as possible — case closed. Splitting the run-to-pass 50/50 won’t work against teams like Arizona who dominate the run game. How the hell is running the ball with Eddie Lacy & James Starks going to get you the 30 points you need to beat Arizona?

    It’s not hard to understand. You have a good QB — use him as much as you can. Give him the 5-wide he needs to spread the defense out, run the hurry up non-stop aerial attack, fast paced tempo with screens, crossing routes, go routes, bunch formations and out-routes, move Cobb around, let Janis run his post routes so the middle of the field opens. This is your only hope of beating Arizona.

    Here’s what’s going to happen. Rod is going to come out hot and they might actually get a 14-0/21-3 lead — BUT, per usual McCarthy will think the game is over and start grounding and pounding with Lacy & Starks and try and control the clock. This will play right into AZ hands and they will completely blow apart the Packers pathetic running game. The offense will stall and start going 3 and out. Arizona will keep throwing and eventually tie the game or take the lead. By that point the momentum and all rhythm, tempo and confidence will have shifted and the Pack will end up falling short. It’s what happened last years vs Seattle and it’s a stable of McCarthy’s absurd mindset.

  7. jtmax

    I somewhat agree with PackAttack on passing more than rushing. You do want to let your best player take the most shots. However, it would be a mistake to spread too many receivers out. It does not give Rodgers time to go through a long progression. Az has too good of a pass rush. Best is to have 2 wideouts with max protection with TE or RB always leaking up field for delayed pass should the wideouts not get open for checkdown. Rodgers must have time to pass and if our receivers can’t get open, he needs to be able to automatically dump to TE/RB. Keeping AR clean is the KEY. He has the best arm in the world and we just need to keep him upright so he can keep firing from that arm.

    • PackAttack

      Wrong on both accounts. Rodgers doesn’t need more time he needs more options and he doesn’t need checkdown options he needs to attack deep.

      The reason Rodgers has been needing more time is because his receivers aren’t getting open when they go 3-wide. The offensive line breaks down and Rodgers is forced to flee the pocket and run for his life. You know this.

      You should also know that Jones, Cobb and Adams/Abbrederis can’t beat man-on-man coverage. Going MAX protection w/ TE/RB isn’t going to change the fact that they can’t and won’t get open especially against Arizona’s Cover 2 or Base defense — you should know this — you should also know that James Jones isn’t going to stretch the field and Cobb apparently can’t run go routes so the entire middle portion of the field is congestion eliminating the idea of “check downs” as viable offensive game plan.

      The only way you’re going to open up the passing game is to exploit matchups in the secondary and spread the defense out. Seattle, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh all did this. When the Packers run out 4-5 wide sets and spread the defense out you’ll get favorable matchups and often time the checkdowns/screens are going to be more favorable if you have players like Cobb/Janis (chances are one of those two will be running a go-routes) helping open the middle of the field for viable checkdown options.

      AZ runs a lot out the of nickle and they’ll blitz a lot out of this package which makes them susceptible to getting beat deep (14+ pass plays allowed over 40 yards this year). Let Petterson run with Jones and Jerraud Powers with Abbrederis or Cobb (depending on who lines up at the flanker), let Cobb beat Bethel one-on-one (that’s your best matchup). Then exploit your matchups in the slot and with your 4th/5th receiver in Janis and Rodgers/Quarless taking on LB’s Minter and Bucannon. The matchup to exploit will be Janis (if dipshit McCarthy actually lets him play). This is the time to roll him out and see if he can beat Jefferson and Rashad Powers deep. Both of their safeties are beatable over the top.

      Gotta take chances over the top in this game. Arizona is most beatable deep and through the air with how aggressive they are in the blitz packages. Let Rodgers attack vertically down field — that’ll open up everything else.

      And Rodgers “technically” doesn’t have the best arm in the world. Most football experts would argue with you that Cutler, Stafford and Cam all throw the ball with more authority and velocity than Rodgers does.

      • jtmax

        Well,
        PackAttack. You must get your head out of your behind. If you watched any of the games this season, spreading it out has been a disaster. Our receivers are too slow so by the time he goes through his progression to find an open receiver, he’s sacked or running for his life.
        Who has the highest QB rating in the history of NFL? Rodgers. Stafford and Cam has never won MVP. Rodgers was superbowl MVP and was MVP last year.
        I’m glad you’re not our coach PackAttack.

        • PackAttack

          Typical dipshit with no clue as to what he’s talking about.

          “If you watched any of the games this season, spreading it out has been a disaster”
          —————————————————–

          Spreading it out? This just shows what a typical fucking idiot you are and how little you know. Through 16 games in 2015 the Green Bay Packers “spread it out” (which falls under the definition of 4-5 wide receiver sets) a total of 19 times which ranks as the 24th lowest total in the NFL (pro football focus, advanced football analytics) and in those sets Green Bay averaged 9.8 yards per/attempt passing. So you’re wrong on both accounts moron — next time actually research before opening your mouth.

          And since when does QB rating have anything to do with arm strength dipshit? You claim the guy has “the best arm in the world” when clearly there are others better — Tom Brady isn’t even in the top 10 in the NFL in arm strength and he’s the greatest QB of all time — arm strength has nothing to do with how good a QB is.

          Go away. Stop embarrassing yourself and get a fucking clue boy.

        • Casino Blitz

          jtmax
          your an idiot. the pack never go with a spread formation and when they have it usually works and QB ratings and mvps have nothing to do with your comment that Arod has the strongest arm in the world. which is a massively preposterous statement.

          and if what you say is true about the packers receivers being so slow then going with a rb/te combo is only going to make things worse.

          I’m not sure you know whats coming out of your mouth

  8. jtmax

    Packattack
    Did you not see rodgers throw the ball 65 yards to beat stafford? Im convinced that you actually watch a packers game

  9. Fart_Tosser

    PackAttacck, quit with the embellished walls of text. Not going to bother attempting to read your stuff anymore

  10. Kato

    Packattack is apparently going to call me names lol. Well, listen here bro. I don’t three fucks about four fucks if you played football or not. it doesn’t make you a fucking expert. I agree with you in one count that you want the ball in your best players hands, which happens to be Arodg. Did you not watch them over the past two months of the season? They couldn’t throw if their lives depended on it. If you want them to attack deep, the offensive line would have to hold up. You mention that they average 9 yards per pass play in those spread formations? A lot of that was probably situational and the packers were down and playing against prevent defenses. And one of those plays the hail mary, 65 yards. They just simply don’t have the personnel to spread the field. The Steelers have the best trio of receivers in the league, bar none, and were playing to their strength. Same with the bengals. Makes a difference when you have a legit deep guy like AJ green, and a guy that can dominate the middle of the field like eifert. Plus guys like sanu and Marvin Jones who are established

  11. Kato

    If you try to get into a shootout with the cardinals, you will lose. Putting the ball in your best players hands only does so much. The skill position players on the packers against the cardinals defensive backs is a mismatch. The packers best chance is to run the ball, play action pass, and utilize the short passing game. Ball control offense. Control the clock, keep the cardinals offense off the field, play defense, and be unpredictable. Doesn’t necessarily give them a great chance to win, but it is best chance.

  12. Kato

    Arizona gave up 24 td passes. Yeah, and none of those were a function of them getting big leads (they were the leading scoring offense in the league) and opponents were throwing a ton to play catchup. People have a a good understanding of situational football they do not.

    Yeah let’s play spread with James jones, Randall cobb, Jared abbrederis, and Jeff Janis and throw 50-60 times against the #8 pass defense in the nfl. This should end well, especially given the packers had one of the worst pass offenses in the nfl…..

  13. Kato

    Packattack I would be more in tune with your game plan if it was jordy, James jones, Randall cobb, Greg Jennings, and Finley like it was 4 years ago

  14. Kato

    “Arizona was in the top three in strip fumbles” well, only four lost fumbles were by running backs, the rest by recievers and qbs. Hardly a reason to avoid running the ball. I would recommend actually researching stats before just using them as an argument. Also, you don’t play scared because a team strips the football. It just means you have to be more cautious with protecting the football. The cardinals will turn the ball over. If the packers win Saturday, it’s because they controlled the clock utilizing a mixture of the short passing game and running the football by converting 3rd downs, played defense, won the turnover battle, and score points off of those turnovers. If you look at any of the the cardinals losses this year, that is what happened.

    Don’t try and engage them in a shootout, don’t try to play a type of game you aren’t good at.

  15. cd4packers

    It doesn’t really matter what packattack or any of you think the Packers should do. I highly doubt they are going to read this blog lol. They will do what they think is right. You’re wasting your time writing all this crap in such detail. Give us your ideas. That’s fine, but don’t get pissed when the Packers don’t use any of them. It’s just going to give you ulsers lol. Please, shorten your comments!!! Try summarizing your ideas!!! Thanks.

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