The Packers were stunned on the road by the Buffalo Bills, meaning they many no longer have any control of getting home field advantage in the playoffs.
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It’s hard to tell if the Green Bay Packers lost because Buffalo’s defense is great or if there are legitimate concerns about the team when they don’t have the Lambeau crowd supporting them. Nonetheless, the Packers dropped their 4th road game of the season, leaving serious doubts as to whether Green Bay would remain a Superbowl contender if they didn’t have home field advantage throughout the playoffs. At 10-4 and right now in 6th place in the NFL playoff picture, the Packers need to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (easy enough) but then face a Lions team that held them to just seven points back in Week 3 in order to clinch the NFC North title and have any hope of a first-round bye.
The Packers are the only team this year that are unblemished at home and have a losing record on the road – and that is not a good sign considering they have no control over who gets the first round byes. All the Packers can do at this point is win out and hope that the Cardinals, Seahawks, Cowboys, Eagles and Lions mess up royally along the way.
Here are the five best teams in the NFL heading into Week 16:
5. Dallas Cowboys – The 2010-2013 Cowboys would’ve outright lost that game after dropping a 21-point lead. But there’s something extremely special about a team that can go on the road and beat teams as great as the Eagles, Seahawks and Rams on the road – and with a great deal of ease too.
4. Denver Broncos – Peyton Manning has been in Superbowl form the last few weeks. That is not a good sign. Nonetheless, the team is finding ways to dominate opponents without him being the league MVP. One more win and they have a first-round bye – which they will probably need.
3. Green Bay Packers – That loss came out of absolutely nowhere, but what’s worse is that it might cost them a first-round bye if don’t beat the Lions in Week 17. The team had half as many drops in that game against Buffalo as they had all year.
2. Seattle Seahawks – The Seahawks got the right schedule at the right time. The Arizona Cardinals will be using their third string QB against the Legion of Boom. Home field advantage throughout the playoffs: Meet your 2014 Seattle Seahawks.
1. New England Patriots – Lost in how awfully their opponents have been losing to them is the fact that the Patriots opponents have actually been pretty good most of the time. And yet they’ve dominated the likes of Denver, Indianapolis, Miami, Buffalo and pretty much everyone except the Packers and Chiefs, thankfully they most likely won’t have to worry about playing another team in a hostile environment at least until next season.