The Green Bay Packers can sew up the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs on Saturday and they don’t play until Sunday night.
If the Seattle Seahawks, playing at home, can upset the San Francisco 49ers, the Packers will earn the top spot for the postseason, meaning the path to Super Bowl XLVI will go through Lambeau Field.
The Seahawks are playing better football of late and the Niners are coming off an emotional victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on a short week. Anything is possible.
But even if the Packers are in the driver’s seat before their game with the Chicago Bears kicks off, it sounds like Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy will play his primary starters in the game. The Packers have been beat up by injuries recently, particularly on both sides of the line, and wide receiver Greg Jennings is likely sidelined until the playoffs with a sprained knee.
“It’s like anything,” McCarthy said. “Injuries are part of the game. You can only control what you can control. We have to be prepared to beat Chicago. That’s not sitting here going back and forth ifs and buts. I know this is Christmas time and so forth, but we’re prepared to play this game. Frankly, I don’t see anything changing my mind. I can’t worry about what other people are doing. We have 13 wins. Our target has been 14 wins. That’s the way we’ll go into the weekend.”
Translated, it sounds like the Bears won’t get any charity if the Packers have already secured the top seed.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune