After Win Against The Falcons, Where Do The Packers Stand.
Photo By: Packers Wire
The photo of Josh Jackson blocking a pass to Sanu Jr. basically summarizes the week 13 matchup between the Packers and the Falcons, “Playoff hopes for the Falcons? Nope”. Last Sunday’s intense matchup really showed many of us to things on how the Packers operated under the newly found leadership of Interim Head Coach, Joe Philbin. One, Philbin cannot do replay challenges to save his life. He literally gave up his two chances during the first drive of the game for the Falcons! Second, maybe the Packers have found the spark they were looking for this whole season, but there is still a lot of internal issues this battered team needs to do in order to slide into the playoffs.
The Pack has been kicked and spat in their eyes this entire season, and not just by other teams,but by their own poison. This last game on sunday showed Pack fans that, when used right, the offense for the Packers can make plays and come up with points when its most needed. This game looked very much like the old Packer’s offense that we missed so dearly. Though it wasn’t his best game, Rodgers managed to pull through and manage to come away with a good game. Breeland and Jaire Alexander again thrived and against one of the best wide receiving cores in the league. The Pack still struggled to defend the run and get enough pressure on Matt Ryan, but in the late part of the game, the defense manged to step up and scuttle the offensive attack of the Falcons.
We did see a lot of Rodger’s magic return when he rushed for over 40 yards in the game and was able to get out of the pocket and throw some bombs into the Falcon secondary. But with his spectacular showing, it also opened our eyes to a problem in the Packer’s offense. The line that is meant to protect Rodgers has not been playing to perfection, allowed Rodgers to be sacked multiple times and now the sack numbers on Rodgers is now 39, which is bad. If this team wants to show that they are Super Bowl caliber, the offensive line needs to step up and give Rodger’s a little more time to go through his progressions and especially with the rookie wide receivers. I am also suprised that the Packers didn’t utilize Jake Kumerow enough in Sunday’s matchup, he was on the field for 6 snaps and was not targeted at all. I understand that the rookie wideouts are showing improvement, but Kumerow has been in the league longer than the rooks, so Rodger’s and Joe Philbin should give him more chances to prove that he can be a weapon for the Packers and A-Rod
So, here’s what happens now, the Pack is 5-7-1 and their chances of the Playoffs are hanging by a finger over a cliff, and I don’t say a fingernail because the Falcons would fit better in that spot after their loss to the Packers. So what do you do now, with Joe Philbin at the helm, you win the rest of the games for the season and pray that a lot of teams in the NFL help you out. The Packers schedule for the remainder of the season is very easy, but many would say, “but what about the 9-4 Bears who are on fire on defense”. I’ll tell you why the Bears will lose in week 14. One, the Bears have never won at home against the Packers since 2010, and I believe this is the time for Rodger’s to end their road losing streak. This team has a lot of confidence, especially after the win against the best receiving core in the NFL. After you face the Bears, the Packers will play the Jets in their territory, and that will be a breeze, hopefully. Then they play the Lions at home and the Packers are very good in home games in December and the Lions are still struggling to find their rhythm even with their new head coach, Matt Patricia, who was mentored by Bill Belichick. The Packers can easily beat this team. Why? because the only reason they lost to the Lions in the first place was because Crosby missed 4 field goals and 1 extra point in the previous match and if he had made all of them, the Pack would have been victorious 36-31. So believe that this team can still be a threat, especially if they’ve done it before when they ran the table in 2016 and made it all the way to the NFC Championship. But in order for this to work, the Packers need a plethora of things to happen in order for this final equation to work.
So here’s the scenario, the Packers are still in the hunt for a wildcard spot in the 2018 playoffs. The only way the Packers can get there is if the following teams lose a certain amount of games. Topping this list of, the Vikings, the most important piece of this equation involves the Vikings losing 2-3 of the rest of their games, also another way this could work is if the Seahawks lose the rest of their games, but that seems unlikely because they play the 49ers, Chiefs, and the Cardinals, so the chance of them losing the rest of their games is unlikely. As for the Vikings, their schedule for next three games include the Dolphins, the Bears, and the Lions. With the way it has been going for them and their issues with Kirk Cousins, it would seem very likely that the Vikings will lose against the Bears and the Dolphins. For the other factors, the Redskins, the Panthers, and the Eagles need to lose only one game each. That is a very likely scenario. Redskins are down to their 4th string quarterback in Josh Johnson, who was announced earlier this week as the starter over the veteran Mark Sanchez. Then the Eagles come to LA to play against an angry Rams team who managed to lose against the Bears on Sunday night and Wentz is reported unlikely to play this sunday due to a back injury, so their season will be on the line this sunday, and even if they win, they also have to go throughthe Texans. The Panthers on the other hand, have it the worst, it seems completely unlikely they’ll survive a matchup against the Saints in Monday Night Football, and when they face them again three weeks later. Let me also remind you the Saints recently stole the top seed from Rams after their embarrassing loss against the Bears. At this point in the season, it would seem that the playoff Gods are in favor of the Packers as of right now, which is good, but they’ll need to earn that spot by winning the rest of the games in the 2018 season and figuring out their personal issues. But with all that aside, don’t ever lose hope in the Pack and never count Mr. Aaron Rodgers out.
Featured Photo by: (Photo: Wm. Glasheen/USA TODAY NETWORK-W)