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Green Bay Packers a Lock for Super Bowl XLVI? NFC’s Recent No. 1 Seeds Haven’t Fared Well: NFL Fan’s Take
The Green Bay Packers entered the 2012 NFC playoffs as the favorite to win Super Bowl XLVI. At 15-1, the Packers finished the season by scoring 45 points with their backup quarterback against another playoff team. The Packers scored 560 points throughout the regular season. That was the second most in NFL history behind only the 2007-08 New England Patriots (589 points).
The Packers earned home-field advantage and the NFC's No. 1 seed. However, that hasn't meant much since 2008. Here are the last teams who've earned No. 1 seeds in the NFC since the 2007-08 season. Three of them never won a playoff game. One of them won the Super Bowl. One is to be determined as of this writing.
2007-08: Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys were back! The Cowboys earned the No. 1 seed with a regular-season victory over the Green Bay Packers and a 13-3 record. The NFC Championship was expected to pit Brett Favre into the "House of Horrors" in Dallas, Texas. All the Cowboys had to do was defeat a New York Giants team that they'd swept during the regular season, both games won by double digits.
2008-09: New York Giants
The New York Giants were the defending Super Bowl champions. They won three consecutive road games against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers. They'd upset the 18-0 New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. They had a combined record of 0-4 against these teams during the regular season. Eli Manning had never won a playoff game before this.
Back-to-back Super Bowl appearances would be nothing now that they had home-field advantage to get through two playoff games in the NFC, right?
The Philadelphia Eagles ousted them in the divisional round of the playoffs, 23-11. The Giants managed to score only three field goals (nine points) in five red zone trips. The Eagles had also beaten them in New York when they played in the regular season.
2009-10: New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints were the first No. 1 seed to win the Super Bowl from the NFC since the 1999-00 St. Louis Rams. Yet, they were within a 54-yard field-goal attempt by Ryan Longwell from not even participating in the Super Bowl that season.
The Saints were somewhat similar to the 2011-12 Packers in that they had an explosive offense that scored 510 points throughout the regular season and a defense that lived-and-died by the takeaway.
2010-11: Atlanta Falcons
Were the 2010-11 Atlanta Falcons the most fraudulent No. 1 seed in NFL history? Albeit a 13-3 regular-season record, they certainly never silenced their critics with their one-and-done showing against the Green Bay Packers in the divisional playoffs.
The Falcons had previously beaten the Packers during the regular season, 20-17. The Packers finished the season with 16 players on injured reserve. The Falcons had avoided the injury bug for most of the season. Sporting a 19-2 record in the Georgia Dome, Matt Ryan was supposed to get his first career playoff victory.
The Packers took a 42-14 lead into the fourth quarter before they won 48-21. Once again, the prolific passing offenses of the New Orleans Saints and Packers would prove to be too much for the Falcons. The Packers out-gained the Falcons in total yardage, 442-194. Aaron Rodgers finished 31-of-36 for 366 yards and three touchdowns en route to an eventual Super Bowl championship.
2011-12: Green Bay Packers
To be determined as of this writing
Last No. 1 Seeds From NFC To Win The Super Bowl?
2009-10 New Orleans Saints
1999-00 St. Louis Rams
1996-97 Green Bay Packers
1995-96 Dallas Cowboys
1994-95 San Francisco 49ers
Joshua Huffman graduated from Middle Tennessee State University as a marketing major in 2009. He's been a Middle Tennessee resident from 1986-88 and 2001-present. He lived in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin from 1988-01 and for approximately eight months in 2009-10 while completing a 20-game volunteer position with the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers. His favorite sports organizations include the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Cubs and Nashville Predators. He also follows the Tennessee Titans, his favorite AFC team.
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