Green Bay Packers fans knew the team was in trouble the minute Aaron Rodgers grabbed his right shoulder and winced in pain.
How will the remainder of the season go?
Profootballfocus.com has the answer, along with how the rest of the league’s teams will fare in a recent post on its website.
Frankly it doesn’t look so great for the Green and Gold.
Sitting at 4-3 coming out of the bye and with a huge NFC North Division game against the Detroit Lions next Monday night, this will be one of those important games that will determine how the Packers’ season turns out.
With the loss of Aaron Rodgers to a potentially season-ending shoulder injury has put this team into a tailspin over the course of the past two weeks.
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Led by backup quarterback Brett Hundley against the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints, the Packers have been less-than-impressive.
Hundley has been inconsistent, as was to be expected, but the team’s defense has also been unable to get off the field on third down, have been gashed against the run and haven’t been able to hold offenses under 20 points.
Coupled with injuries that have hampered this year’s edition of the Green Bay Packers has left this team struggling to find an identity and wins.
This team can be described as an enigma at best, and a disaster at worst.
PFF recognizes this in their most recent study that projects the total number of wins each team will garner by season’s end.
For Green Bay, they are projected to win 8.9 games, which certainly won’t be good enough to win the NFC North. To do that, Green Bay needs to get to at least 10 wins.
PFF projects the Minnesota Vikings will win the NFC North with 9.9 wins; the Chicago Bears are projected to win seven games; and the Detroit Lions (the Packers’ next opponent) are projected to win 6.2.
With a schedule that was originally viewed as favorable to the Packers over the last half of the season, all of that gets blown up now that Rodgers is watching from the sidelines.
Let’s start with this coming Monday night.
Hundley gets a shot at redemption against a beatable Lions team that has been highly inconsistent – even with mega-millionaire Matthew Stafford at the helm. It will come down to whether the Packers defense can rise to the occasion and make some stops against the Lions.
Follow that with a road game at Chicago, a dangerous team whose defense has kept them in games and given them momentum into the second half of the season. Green Bay should complete the sweep against the Bears, but this one on the road won’t be easy.
On Sunday, Nov. 19, the Packers host the Baltimore Ravens in another game that should be a win, especially at home.
Things get a whole lot more difficult when Green Bay travels to Pittsburgh Nov. 26 to face a team that still has Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell. Can the Packers slow the run and stop Roethlisberger from going downtown? This would be a tough win in Steel Town, but a huge one if Hundley can do it.
Tampa Bay comes to town for one of two December home games – again, one that on paper is winnable – if Green Bay can slow the Bucs’ offense.
Then there is Cleveland on the road Dec. 10. If there’s a trap game on the rest of the schedule, this is it. If there’s a team on Cleveland’s schedule who they could beat, it would be Green Bay sans Aaron Rodgers.
Two of the final three games (Carolina and Detroit) are on the road, while the Packers host the Minnesota Vikings Dec. 23.
If the Packers can win two of three during the home stretch (possible, considering Aaron Rodgers could be back by then), the Packers have a shot at the playoffs.
The following is the rundown of the season’s final half with my projections on whether the Packers win or lose:
Mon., Nov. 6, DETROIT LIONS (Gold Pkg.) , 7:30 p.m., ESPN (Win)
Sun., Nov. 12, at Chicago Bears, *12 p.m., FOX (Win)
Sun., Nov. 19, BALTIMORE RAVENS, *12 p.m., CBS (Win)
Sun., Nov. 26, at Pittsburgh Steelers, *7:30 p.m., NBC (Loss)
Sun., Dec. 3, TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS, *12 p.m., FOX (Win)
Sun., Dec. 10, at Cleveland Browns, *12 p.m., FOX (Win)
Sun., Dec. 17, at Carolina Panthers, *12 p.m., FOX (Loss)
Sat., Dec. 23, MINNESOTA VIKINGS, 7:30 p.m., NBC (Win)
Sun., Dec. 31, at Detroit Lions, *12 p.m. , FOX (Win)
Factoring my win-loss projections above, the Packers could finish with 11 wins … but knowing the Packers will blow at least one or two of those games, the best this team will finish will be 9-7 and probably out of playoff contention.
PFF’s projections match up pretty well with my predictions.
Green Bay Packers
Again, with so much up in the air with this Packers team, it’s very difficult to project what may transpire over the next nine weeks.
One thing is for certain, however – the Packers without Aaron Rodgers is a shell of a team that doesn’t have the depth to be a Super Bowl (or even playoff) contender.
Stay tuned …