The Panthers have the harder slate, and the Packers have some control of their fate there. So it probably makes sense for the Packers to root for the Falcons, too, so Atlanta can rise to No. 5. Then Green Bay can try to beat out Carolina for No. 6.
That was the case in the Mavs’ two previous games, a seven-point loss at Milwaukee followed by a five-point loss at Minnesota. Dallas has made it a theme this season of playing just well enough to lose at the end of games.
“It feels like we’re shooting ourselves in the foot,” forward Dirk Nowitzki told reporters after Sunday’s loss to the Timberwolves. “Every time we’re right there, you know, it’s a bad turnover, a guy makes a tough shot, or they make a layup after we don’t box out. It’s just little things here and there, and three tough ballgames in a row.”
Previous winners of the award will wear a special jersey patch of Walter Payton’s cloaked silhouette.
Brees, Giants quarterback Eli Manning, Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis, Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald and Cowboys tight end Jason Witten will wear the jersey patch beginning this week.
All 2017 nominees will also wear a Man of the Year helmet decal through the end of the season, in recognition of their accomplishments on and off the field. This tradition will continue for future nominees and winners of the award. Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan and Falcons guard Ben Garland were the first to wear the Man of the Year decal on Thursday.