Everyone by now knows Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has a broken collarbone and will be out multiple weeks. Well, OK, next man up, no excuses, right?
We all know how important A-Rod is to the Packers, and the skills and talent he brings to the table. However, the fact of the matter is the NFL stops for no one, and there is a game to be played on a short week this Sunday at Lambeau Field against the Philadelphia Eagles, who are fighting for a playoff spot themselves.
So ready or not, we line up on Sunday.
To win this game here is what needs to happen: The defensive line needs to take control of this game and be the bad SOBs they have been prior to them getting kicked and pushed around against Chicago.
Their performance throughout the game was most disappointing and couldn’t have come at a worse time. At a time when they needed to hold the fort, steady the ship and continue to play smashmouth football like they have the previous seven games and put the HAT on themselves, they were nowhere to be found. They allowed more than double their rushing yards per game (82/171), and tacking 10 yards on their per-game average of rushing yards allowed for the season!
The Band of Brothers seemed tired and worn out. Was it possibly because they’ve had half a season of literally punching and taking punches from men of equal size and strength? Whatever the reason, it was just a bad game for everyone. Moving forward this unit has to perform at and even above what they had been doing prior to Monday night.
There are fresh bodies in C.J. Wilson and Josh Boyd, and to a lesser extent Jerel Worthy (PUP), so there is a relief core should someone need it. The no excuses mantra applies to this group just like everyone else, and now with Rodgers out for a spell, this group, more than any other, has to take charge and return to the Nasty Boys that had them as a top five rushing defense prior to Monday.
These next three games (Philly, at the Giants, and Vikings) are all winnable, but now more than ever they are all lose-able, too. With Detroit and Chicago and GB neck-and-neck in the NFC North, and the 49ers or Seahawks almost assured of one wildcard entries, this next stretch of games is more critical than any three-game stretch since the end of the 2010 regular season.
Postseason berths may or may not be won or lost during this stretch, but it’s as close to crunch time as you can get. Crunch time will be the last five games; this three-game stretch is about surviving until we get to the final five game stretch.