As things turned out, there would be little suspense in either game. The Panthers jumped all over the Giants early, behind noted Viking-killer Matt Moore, and ended up stunning New York 41-9 in their final game at Giants’ Stadium. The Packers, meanwhile, had little trouble with Seattle, going up 24-3 at the half on their way to a 48-10 dismantling of the Seahawks.
Clearly, there was no hangover for the Packers after that disappointing last-second loss to Pittsburgh last week.
Five of the six NFC playoff spots have now been handed out, pending the outcome of this afternoon’s Cowboys-Redskins game. Should Dallas win they would clinch, and eliminate the Giants. Should that happen, the Giants would have nothing to play for a week from today at the Metrodome in the season finale, possibly making life easier for the Vikings should they need that game to sew up the 2 seed (or even, dare I say, the 1 seed?).
Of course, the more immediate concern for the Vikes is that they take care of business tomorrow night at Soldier Field. If they lose to the Bears, no one will be thinking about seedings, and everyone will be thinking that the Vikings are set up for an early playoff exit no matter where they play.