Which will happen first: Packers lose or Colts win? [Poll]
After watching Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers destroy the Minnesota Vikings, 45-7, on Monday night, it's hard to imagine these guys ever losing again. They're 9-0 this year and 15-0 since their last loss, to the New England Patriots on Dec. 19 last year.
But the Packers are still seven wins away from joining the 2007 Patriots as the only teams in NFL history with 16-0 seasons -- and many of their opponents should put up a bit more of a fight than the hapless Vikings, including five teams with winning records and six that will likely be fighting for playoff spots.
After hosting the struggling Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5) next week, Green Bay visits the Detroit Lions (6-3) for a Thanksgiving meeting between NFC North rivals. Then on Dec. 4 comes a road game against the New York Giants (6-3) -- the team that gave those 2007 Patriots everything they could handle in the final game of the regular season and then prevented them from going 19-0 by winning Super Bowl XLII.
That is followed by games against a pair of AFC West contenders -- home versus the Oakland Raiders (5-4) on Dec. 11 and visiting the Kansas City Chiefs (4-5) on Dec. 18. The Packers finish off the season with home games against division rivals, the Chicago Bears (6-3) on Dec. 25 and the Lions on Jan. 1.
Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Colts (0-10) are trying to avoid joining the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only 0-16 teams in league history. Two of their best chances for a victory come the next time they take the field -- Nov. 27 hosting the Carolina Panthers (2-7) -- and in the last game of the season -- Jan. 1 at the Jacksonville Jaguars (3-6).
In between, the Colts have dates at the Patriots (6-3) on Dec. 4, at the Baltimore Ravens (6-3, including losses to the Jaguars and the 3-6 Seattle Seahawks) on Dec. 11, home against the Tennessee Titans (5-4) on Dec. 18 and home against the Houston Texans (7-3, but may be without starting quarterback Matt Schaub) on Dec. 22.
Writers from around Tribune Co. will discuss which will happen first, the Packers lose or the Colts win. Check back throughout the day for more responses, and join the discussion by voting in the poll and leaving a comment.
Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times
The Packers will lose before the Colts win. Even great teams are capable of a letdown, and when you factor in that Green Bay is likely to ease its foot off the gas if it locks up the top seed in the NFC, the odds of another 16-0 regular season go down. Besides, as the Patriots reminded us a few years ago, a perfect regular season guarantees nothing.
Meanwhile, any wind filling the sails of the Colts is gone. They are simply playing out the season and in the last four games have been outscored, 127-27. Jim Caldwell is on his way out -– deserved or not -– and Andrew Luck is on his way in. For so long, because of the remarkable reliability of Peyton Manning, the franchise worked without a net. This season, it slipped off the wire.]
[Updated at 10:48 a.m.:
Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune
The Packers are doing so many things so well that it is difficult to imagine them losing in the near future. But in the next three weeks, they play two opponents, the Lions and Giants, who are very capable of beating them or anyone else.
It won’t help the Packers that both games are on the road. Ford Field in particular should be in an absolute frenzy on Thanksgiving Day, and the Lions will have something to prove against a rival. The Packers appear to be able to adjust their game and play well under any conditions and against any opponent, but these games will be true tests.
The Colts are playing so poorly it's difficult to imagine them winning this season. In their last four games, they have been outscored 137-27.]
[Updated at 11:23 a.m.:
Ron Fritz, Baltimore Sun
I guess it depends on who plays earlier in Week 12, and since the Packers have to face the Lions in Detroit on Thanksgiving Day, I’m going to say the Packers lose that game. If they don’t lose, they ruin the holiday for thousands of Lions fans. The Lions have to win that game so they can eat the turducken after.
Detroit has a real shot at the playoffs and a win over the Packers would go a long way toward helping secure a spot. I see Ndamukong Suh making life difficult for Aaron Rodgers, and grabbing a big old wing for his efforts. You haven’t seen Rodgers get beat up much this season, and Suh is just the guy to drive him into the artificial turf a few times.
If the Colts played the Carolina Panthers earlier on Thanksgiving, they’d be eating the turducken. Both streaks are going to end in Week 12 -– the Packers lose and the Colts win. Let us give thanks.]
For the record, 9:52 a.m., Nov. 15 : The caption on an earlier version of this post identified the quarterbacks in the wrong order.
Photos, from left: Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers (Credit: Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images); Indianapolis quarterback Curtis Painter (Sam Riche / MCT)