In 2010, the Packers avenged a past heartbreaking playoff defeat, got even for a close regular season loss over a team it was much better than, won the rubber match with a division rival and atoned for Super Bowl XXXII with its own Super Bowl victory.
Fast forward to this year and it could happen all over again. The order might be different but the script is beginning to write itself.
Up first this year was the hated division rival. Like the trilogy versus the Bears in 2010, the Packers won the home game in the series versus the Vikings thanks to two second-half interceptions and lost the road game by three points on a game-ending field goal. In both playoff games, the Packers’ forced the backup quarterback into action because of injury.
In this round, the Packers have a rematch with their Week 1 opponent, who also gave the franchise one of the more painful losses in the team’s playoff history. The Eagles were that team in 2010. The Packers did win the Week 1 game that year, but it was similar to the 4th & 26 game from 2003 all the way up until the final seconds. A big Packers’ lead almost became a blown victory but this time the defense would come through.
The 49ers play the role of the Eagles this time around. They won the Week 1 game and will try to replicate the result of the 1998 Wild Card contest, which was won on the last-second touchdown catch by Terrell Owens. What should make Packers fans feel better is the team has won 13 of the other 15 matchups between the two teams since 1995.
So will the Falcons be a casualty in the Packers’ playoff run once again or would it be a team that narrowly escaped with a victory like Atlanta did in Week 12 in 2010? The two-point loss to the Seahawks has stuck with this team all season and what better way to get even for that loss than for a rematch in the NFC championship game at Lambeau Field.
If all that happens in the next two weekends, there’s a very good possibility the team looming in a Super Bowl matchup is the same one who gave the Packers that Super Bowl XXXII loss. What better way to atone for the franchise’s lone Super Bowl loss than to beat that team.
Beat the divisional opponent. Check. Now three more check marks to go.