It’s a game that changed the course of the 2002 season. The Packers had the chance to clinch homefield advantage and a first-round bye against a New York Jets team that was battling to get just a playoff berth.

Instead, the Packers failed and the end result was the Packers losing 42-17 to the Jets.

But what if the Packers were able to pull off the victory and get home field advantage?


The Packers were looking to lock up home field advantage after the Philadelphia Eagles lost the day before against the New York Giants.

Coming into the game the Packers were on a four-game winning streak and didn’t lose a game in the month of December that year.

The Packers struggled from the start of the game and even though the Packers were able to keep the game close through the first two quarters (The Jets led the Packers 14-10 at halftime), the Packers weren’t able to keep up in the third quarter and the Jets proceeded to score three touchdowns.

By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, Brett Favre was pulled from the game and the Packers went on to lose the game and went from being a 1 seed in the playoffs to a 3 seed and having the play less than a week after.

The Aftermath

The Packers went on to lose in the wild card round of the playoffs to the Atlanta Falcons 27-7. To make things worse the Packers lost at Lambeau Field in the playoffs for the first time in team history.

Michael Vick ran all over the Packers defense which started to show its age. They lacked speed and weren’t able to stop the Falcons running game at all.

The Packers offense weren’t able to generate any offense and were dealing with multiple injuries at the wide receiver position.

This was by far the worst defeat the Packers had at home during the playoffs at that point.

What if the Packers Defeat the Jets?

If the Packers were able to win against the Jets, I feel like they would’ve been able to get to the Super Bowl that year and the Lambeau mystic wouldn’t have been broken.

The reason I think that is because they needed that one week off. The team was battling injuries on both sides of the ball.

On offense, Donald Driver and Terry Glenn were battling injuries at Wide Receiver, Ahman Green was also battling a knee injury. On Defense, Darren Sharper was battling an injury and was out of the game against the Falcons.

The Packers would’ve been well rested and probably would’ve had played ether the San Francisco 49ers or the New York Giants in the Divisional Round.

The Packers had already defeated the 49ers earlier in the season and the Packers would’ve been more then prepared to beat the Giants.

That would leave the Packers to face ether the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship game. I believe this Packers team would’ve been able to defeat ether of these teams at Lambeau Field and the Packers would’ve advanced to Super Bowl XXXVII.

With Brett Favre getting the rest he needed and the Packers being able to rest up the players who were injured I believe the Packers make it to Super Bowl XXXVII and meet the Oakland Raiders, who I still believe make the Super Bowl in 2002.

But the story would be the same for the Raiders but in a different way. Instead of the game being a blowout like it was, the game is close and is a back-and-forth battle between two of the best Quarterbacks at the time Rich Gannon and Brett Favre, two MVP Quarterbacks battling it out.

In the end though I think the Packers still win and get their 4th Super Bowl, winning 35-28 on a late Brett Favre touchdown pass to Donald Driver.

With the Packers winning the Super Bowl though I do think Brett Favre does retire sooner rather than later. Remember the talk of retirement started for Favre in 2002 after the loss to the Falcons. I think had he won the Super Bowl in 2002 he would’ve maybe played one more season before retiring.


Hau Khuong has been a Packers fan since 1996. He currently works as a video editor in Green Bay and writes for and you can follow him on twitter at @HauKhuongSports.