Yesterday was Aaron Rodgers day and on that day he delivered some great news to the Packers Nation. The man himself made a post stating that he was cleared to play and will be returning against the Panthers this Sunday.
I know what a lot of people are thinking. The Packers are 7-6 and currently in the playoff hunt can they do what they did last year and run the table? I will say I like Aaron Rodgers but this time around I will have to say absolutely not. Lightning can strike twice in the NFL but the NFC is unpredictable and I cant just take 5 weeks of his work and immediately place him in the playoffs because of his name and stature.
3 tough final games
The Packers are definitely not the worst team in the league but they are not the most impressive. Their offense is a little below average even though the running game is starting to pick up and the defense is just not as good as it should be to help them run the table. Aaron Rodgers can’t do it all by himself. They have an 89% chance of making the playoffs if they win out according to ESPN’s Football Power Index. The 3 teams they play combine for a 26-13 record and they are all over .500. Let’s look at their final 3 opponents:
This is definitely not going to be a cake walk for the Packers so I don’t think the Packers Nation can R-E-L-A-X just yet. Cam Newton and the Panthers are playing some good football this year and they have a top notch defense that’s well rounded. Their bread and butter on offense is the run game because we never know when Cam is going to step back and throw 300 yard games or not. The Packers defense is near the bottom of the league in yards allowed per game but that’s not what worries me. The Panthers lead the league in sacks right now and the Packers have the 3rd most sacks allowed this season so that collarbone is definitely about to be tested this Sunday.
The Vikings have a great system and you know it’s great when you can win games with a 3rd string QB. This is another team that has a very good offense that will give the Packers defense a hard time but this one is well rounded. They can throw the ball well and run the ball as well. Oh boy…. This is another great defensive team but this one is top 5 in the league shutting down both the run and the throw and only allowing 18 points a game (3rd in the league). Plus this is another team that is good at getting to the QB. Green Bay’s O-Line will definitely have to show up and protect Aaron Rodgers especially if they want to run the table. Hey isn’t this the team Aaron Rodgers was playing when he was injure? *SNIFF SNIFF, I smell revenge game.
This is probably the only game that I feel the Packers can pull out with ease. The Lions have one of the worst defenses in the league while the bread and butter of the offense is the passing game. They are definitely a top 5 team in scoring but none of that matter. Consistency is the key. The Lions came out the gate hot then disappeared into the back of the pack trying to run the table themselves and pray that a Football apocalypse happens for them to make the playoffs. This game is in week 17 so winner will have the advantage and I The Packers have a very good chance of being winners that day( Sorry Big Bro I know you’re a Lions fan RIP).
This is the craziest part of it all, Too many scenarios can take place here and I’m not going through all of them (feel free to click on the sources they have all of them) so I’m going to just stick with one. What if the Packers run the table? To start they would knock out the Lions (beating them week 17) and they own the tie breaker over the Cowboys so they would be gone too. Now let’s see who we have left here. We have the Rams, Seahawks, Panthers, Saints, and Falcons. Follow me hear this might get messy. I’m going to break down all the scenarios in points.
- Packers win out they will immediately get rid of the Lions (week 17win) and the Cowboys (own tiebreaker) so now they have to worry about the Rams, Seahawks, Panthers, Saints, and Falcons. They have a better chance getting past the Seahawks and Panthers.
- Packers must defeat the Panthers and the Panthers need to lose one more game(FALCONS RISE UP)
- If they lose to the Panthers and the Panthers win the division it won’t be pretty. They will be competing with the Saints and Falcons for the last spot and both teams own tiebreakers over them.
- The Seahawks must lose one more game and the Packers can move past them since they own the head-to-head tiebreaker. They would need the Rams to win this Sunday as well because if they don’t then the Seahawks still have a shot at winning the division and they would own the tiebreaker. Rams must win all three games in my opinion to avoid a win out/lose out scenario.
- Now if the situation flips then they would have to get pass the Rams. That is a long shot because besides the Seahawks they have to play the 49ers and the Titans but this is football and anything can happen (Seriously I would be shocked if they dropped both of those games.) Luckily the Packers would only need for them to lose 1 more game if they lose to the Seahawks or lose 2 straight if they beat the Seahawks to move past them with tiebreaker. Check out all the other scenarios when it comes to the rams here
- The Packers would need the Falcons to lose 2 games or the Saints to lose all 3 to move past one or both of these teams.
- A week 17 scenario could be created between the Falcons and Panthers where loser gets behind the Packers but they still need the NFC west situation to work in their favor.
- Last interesting thing. The Packers can still win their division if they win out and the Vikings lose the next 3 games and that’s a guaranteed playoff spot.
I know that was a lot but that’s why we have sources to explain it deeper. Please check them out if you want to know more. So in conclusion the Packers can win out but I don’t see it happening with that defense and 3 tough test (even though I’ll give them that win against the Lions) but then again this is football and anything can happen. Here are some teams that Packers fans need to cheer for to help them out.
Tampa Bay (Week 15 and 16)
LA Rams (All 3 games)
Saints (Week 16-17)
Dallas (Week 16) and Arizona (week 17)
Cincinnati (Week 15) and Chicago (week 17)
Best Chance: Win out the rest of the season. Hope and pray the Rams beat the Seahawks and win the NFC West. Pray Carolina loses one more game and the Playoff spot will be yours.
Now what do you think, can they run the table and get in?