Vince Lombardi lost only one playoff game while coach of the Green Bay Packers, it happened in Philadelphia in the 1960 NFL Championship game, 17-13 at Franklin Field. Mike Sherman's best Packer team was run out of the 2003 playoffs in a gut wrenching overtime loss. It also happened in Philly, the infamous 4th and 26 game where Fred Mitchell converted the nearly impossible first down to allow the Eagles to drive for a game tying David Akers field goal in the Divisional round. Brett Favre was picked off by Brian Dawkins to start overtime and Akers won the game 20-17. Mike McCarthy's third playoff team in the past 4 years will play the NFC Wild Card game this weekend and......it can't happen in Philly again, can it?
The 10-6 Packers, the 6th seed in the NFC field, take on the 10-6 Eagles Sunday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field. To avoid the brotherly love heartbreak for a third time, the Packers must contain Michael Vick, run the ball enough to allow Aaron Rodgers to operate the play action passing game, protect against the expected Eagle blitz, play sound special teams and above all, avoid the big turnover mistake. All things being equal in Arizona last year, it was the two turnovers early that allowed the Cardinals to jump out to a 14-0 lead and after an epic regulation shootout, it was the Rodgers fumble that ended the classic 51-45 game in overtime. This Packer team enters the post-season with a lot of confidence, winning two must win games just to get in the dance while the Eagles clinched the NFC East in week 15 and subsequently dropped their last two games of the season. Both teams thrive on the big play and while the Eagles made a few more on offense, the Packers made a lot more on defense this season. I can't wait to see what defensive coordinator Dom Capers has in store for Michael Vick, knowing he'll face him for the entire 60 minutes this time. I like the Pack's chances to advance, I'll have post game analysis posted Sunday night from Philly and click on the link below to hear what the guys are saying about the key Wild Card matchups.