In an improbable upset, the lowly Kansas City Chiefs defeated the previously undefeated Green Bay Packers on Sunday. There were several games this year where I picked Green Bay to lose. This was definitely not one of those games. The Chiefs entered with only five wins, and had just fired their head coach on Monday. Green Bay was thought of as possibly one of the best teams ever. The loss prevents the Packers from a perfect season, and assures that the 1972 Miami Dolphins are still the only NFL team to finish a complete season without a loss.
As bad as this loss seems, I would actually be happy if I were a Packers fan. The Packers no longer have to deal with the added pressure of trying to remain unbeaten. It was impossible for the players to do an interview without being asked about going undefeated. Although they all claimed they were not thinking about it, you know they were. They can now put all of their time and effort into preparing for the end of the season and the playoffs.
If I'm head coach Mike McCarthy, I am the happiest guy on the planet today. He no longer has to make the difficult decision to rest his starters or play them while playing for an undefeated season. He would have been scrutinized for making either decision. Some would call him a coward for resting them and sacraficing an undefeated sason. Others would have called him a fool if Rodgers would have been injured while trying to stay unbeaten.
Look at what Jim Caldwell went through with the Colts a few years back when they were undefeted and already the top seed in the playoffs. He decided to rest his starters to assure a healthy team for the playoffs- rather than going for an undefeated season. Caldwell caught all kinds of flack for throwing away a perfect season due to his fear of an injury to ones of his stars.
Luckily for McCarthy and Green Bay, the only thing they have to worry about is locking up the #1 seed.
So, while all you Cheeseheads were probably upset yesterday, just remember that the loss to KC is a blessing in disguise. Besides, a 16-0 regular season does not guarantee a Super Bowl title- just ask the 2007 Patriots.