That’s the dilemma facing the Green Bay Packers this week as they wait out their first round bye and for their opponent in the divisional round to be determined. While it’s doubtful the Packers are playing children’s board games in the locker room (well, maybe), we fans can play the wishing game and debate for hours on end who we want to see the Packers play in their first home playoff game since the 2007-2008 season.
(Be sure to cast your vote in the Poll at the end of this post)
The Packers can face one of three teams: the New York Giants, the Detroit Lions or the Atlanta Falcons. Should Detroit upset the New Orleans Saints the Lions come to Lambeau. Should the Saints hold on, the winner of Falcons/Giants would get the defending champions next.
So who would be the best matchup for the Packers? Honestly, an argument could be made for all three. The Packers played (and beat) all three during the regular season, and defeated the Lions twice. So familiarity with the opponent will be an advantage regardless.
I’ve decided to rank the three from the best matchup to the worst. This is by no means a rock solid list. I tossed all sorts of different variations in my head but I finally settled on the order below.
1. Atlanta Falcons They’re number one for a couple reasons. First, they are a dome team. So are the Lions, yes, but at least Detroit’s climate is very similar to Green Bay’s. Atlanta’s meanwhile, despite the occasional snow storm, is a much warmer climate. Even though they play indoors, they still don’t commute to work and live in this weather like the Packers, Lions and Giants do.
A second reason is that for whatever reason, the Packers seem to have the Falcons’ number. After beating the Packers at home during the 2010 regular season, the Falcons got spanked by the same team in the divisional round last year. This year, again at the Georgia Dome, the Packers beat Atlanta again 25-14 after the Falcons blew a 14-3 lead.