The calendar still reads August. If I’m the Green Bay Packers, I don’t care.
Tonight is just not another preseason game. For Green Bay, it shouldn’t be a preseason game at all. Coach Mike McCarthy of course will eventually get his backup players into the game, but since the third preseason game is the closest to a dress rehearsal as you can get in the NFL, McCarthy very well could roll with his starters into the third quarter.
As well he should.
The game tonight at Lambeau Field against the Seattle Seahawks doesn’t count at all in the standings. The results will have absolutely no bearing on either team making the playoffs. As long as they both emerge without any major injuries, the game could be considered a win for both sides.
Not for the Packers. Preseason game be damned, this is war.
There’s no need to sit here and recap the “Fail Mary” game in Seattle last year that ended up costing the Packers a first round bye in the playoffs. Had the correct call been made, Green Bay (more than likely) would have still faced the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round but at Lambeau Field rather than San Francisco.
No matter how much McCarthy or the players said otherwise, that “loss” to Seattle had to sting all season long. The coach and his players did an admirable job in public, but that kind of situation just has to sting a locker room. Imagine being passed over on a promotion at work because someone read your resume wrong. You’d be upset for a long time, wouldn’t you?
The Packers went on to win six of their next seven games and still won the division and made the playoffs. Still, you can’t help but wonder what might have been.
Never before did I think it possible that a preseason game could set the tone for the regular season, but the game tonight against the Seahawks very well could. This summer everyone has been going gaga over Seattle and second year quarterback Russell Wilson and the Packers have largely been ignored except when former players open their mouths about the leadership of the best quarterback in the league.