By Drew Olson Special to Published Nov 12, 2007 at 5:30 AM

The National Football Conference championship is slated for Jan. 20 at a site to be determined.

Super Bowl XLII will be played Feb. 3 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

With seven games remaining in the regular season, it appears possible that the Packers will participate in one - if not both - of those games.

Pass the Packers Kool-Aid, please.

At times during the first two months of the season, the Packers' success seemed to defy logic. Or, did it?

You tried to rationalize the victories. The Eagles couldn't catch a punt. The Giants and Chargers had down weeks. The Vikings stink. The Bears should have been beaten. The Redskins had injury problems.

The Broncos lost the coin toss in overtime and gave up a howitzer. The Chiefs, well, they played pretty well ...

Midway through the Packers' 34-0 thrashing of Minnesota Sunday afternoon at Lambeau Field, the most lopsided outcome in a storied rivalry, the realization finally began to sink in:

The Packers are good.

Coach Mike McCarthy and his staff draw up a pretty good game plan. Among their top priorities Sunday were stopping Adrian Peterson, the Vikings' standout rookie running back, and tiring out the stalwarts on Minnesota's stout defensive line.

Missions accomplished.

This was a bona fide trip to the woodshed. A spanking the likes of which isn't seen in this parity-filled era of sports (have you seen the college results lately?).

The Packers dominated the Vikings not because they were lucky or the guys in white and purple had a bad day (though it's hard to consider any day "good" when Brooks Bollinger starts at quarterback).

The Packers won because they are good. Period. They are good enough to win their division, play one or two home playoff games and earn a trip to Phoenix (and the right to be embarrassed by New England).

Some thoughts about the game:

Stat of the day: Favre surpassed the 60,000-yard mark for his career. Only Dan Marino (61,361) has thrown for more yards in his career.

Shocking stat of the day: The Vikings were 0 for 8 on third down, a number that can be attributed to Peterson's 45-yard output.

Head games: Though he recently turned 38, Favre proved in the previous two weeks that he could still throw a pretty solid deep ball.  Any erosion in his physical skill likely is offset by his incredible football IQ. The coaches deserve a lot of credit for coming up with the schemes, but Favre seems to anticipate and exploit weaknesses in the defense. He might not capitalize on every favorable receiver-defender matchup, but it sure seems that way.

Effective strategy: A week ago, Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk knocked Chiefs running back Larry Johnson out of the game with a tackle that led to an ankle injury. Sunday, Al Harris knocked Peterson out with a low tackle that led to a sprained knee.

That's one way to stop the other team's running game.

Coming out party: Packers running back Ryan Grant rushed for 119 yards in 25 carries and scored his first pro touchdown. Grant runs hard and (Warning! Coaching phrase ahead) downhill, seems to be having an impact on teammates Vernand Morency and Brandon Jackson, both of whom seem to be getting to the line more quickly and finishing runs with more gusto.

Foot in mouth disease: Vikings safety Darren Sharper was so intent on intercepting a Brett Favre pass that he knocked the ball out of teammate's hands and watched from the turf as it ricocheted into Ruvell Martin's arms.

Clear the trophy case, back up the Brinks truck: He'll get competition from Rod Marinelli, Dick Jauron and Romeo Crennel, but McCarthy has to be considered a favorite for Coach of the Year honors. He'll get rewarded with a big contract extension after the season.

On guard: For all of the talk this week about their lackluster play, Daryn Colledge and Jason Spitz seemed to come out strong on Sunday. Mark Tauscher's ankle injury isn't considered serious.

Five alive: The Packers ran a few plays with five wide receivers. That's pretty impressive, considering the team rushed for more than 100 yards.

Pick six: Only six teams in the NFC have winning records.

Drew Olson Special to

Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.