When we get to this point in the NFL season, it’s must-win territory – for every team – but it’s even more so for the Green Bay Packers.
Without their star quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, the Packers haven’t won a game since October and last week against the Detroit Lions were crushed, humiliated, embarrassed and just about every other adjective you could come up with. It was just plain bad. From start to finish, the Lions dominated the line of scrimmage, gashed the Packers defense with the running game and opened things up for quarterback Matthew Stafford to find Calvin Johnson.
The Packers have more problems than just missing their starting quarterback. We all know it. We have seen it. We know how this team has been exposed by opponents and are mystified by how this team is so different that the one wearing the same uniform back in October when they were 5-2. It’s almost like the Packers regulars have been kidnapped and replaced by imposters.
But it’s now December and it’s time to forget November … and while this upcoming game between the Packers and Atlanta Falcons was once seen as one of the best matchups of the coming weekend, it’s since been kicked out of prime time on Sunday Night Football and moved back to a noon start. Yes, for the second time this season (the first against the Giants) the Packers have been flexed out of the best game of the week.
But that’s OK. We all saw what the Packers did on national TV last Thursday. Maybe staying out of the mainstream is best for this team.
And if the Packers need a game where they have a chance to win this must-have game, they have the perfect opponent – the Atlanta Falcons. At 3-9, at least on paper, this is the team that the Packers need at this point. Though it could be considered a trap game, it’s also another winnable game – though we all know how the Packers did against those other winnable games – Philadelphia, New York Giants, Minnesota Vikings, and Detroit Lions.
This season has been going south for a long while and it’s time to turn it. Whether Aaron Rodgers plays this week or not, it matters not. If it’s Matt Flynn, he needs time to throw. If it’s Scott Tolzien, he needs to take care of the ball. Either way, it’s time to turn it.
It’s also time for the defense to finally get back to playing defense like they were during the first half of the year.
Will all that occur?
Well, with the start of the new month, with the possibility that Aaron Rodgers may play, and with the Atlanta Falcons coming into town – It. Is. Time.