There’s still a road to the playoffs for the Green Bay Packers. Even though their season has gone so poorly thus far, the hopes of a return to the postseason are not dead just yet.
Don’t get me wrong, this team will definitely need to turn things around if they want any hopes of playing football in January. The loss to Seattle this past week really hurt their chances of making this happen, but results from throughout the league on Sunday definitely were favorable for Green Bay.
After 11 weeks, the Packers‘ record is 4-5-1. With just six games left, it seems like it’d be a stretch to say that they could run down the 7-3 Bears to win the NFC North. However, earning a wild-card spot is definitely not out of the question.
As we stand right now, the first NFC wild-card spot is in the possession of the 6-4 Carolina Panthers. The second wild-card spot is currently in the hands of the 5-4-1 Minnesota Vikings. Behind them are two 5-5 teams, the Cowboys and the Seahawks.
Next in line behind these two? The Packers.
After 11 weeks that have made it feel like there’s no way the Packers could even finish with a winning record, they are only a game out of the second wild-card spot, and 1.5 games out of the first one.
The teams on the Packers’ schedule makes the goal of making the playoffs seem even more likely.
This week, the Packers will take on the Vikings in Minnesota. In their Sunday night game vs. Chicago, the Vikings looked like a very beatable team. They were gifted three turnovers and only ended up with 20 points on the night.
On top of that, Kirk Cousins looked like an extremely average quarterback. He threw two horrible interceptions, and finished the night with a 76.5 rating and a total QBR of 52.5. Their running game was nowhere to be seen, with Dalvin Cook totaling 12 yards on nine carries.
I understand that the Bears have a good defense, but as we saw again on Thursday night, the Packers defense isn’t too bad now either.
If the offensive issues, like not scoring touchdowns in the red zone or not being able to convert third downs can be somewhat solved, the Packers should be able to win against the Vikings on Sunday.
If the Packers are able to get a victory on Sunday, their playoff hopes should be alive and well. Following up the Minnesota game, they play the Cardinals and Falcons at Lambeau Field.
If the Packers win both of those home games against teams with losing records, suddenly they’re 7-5-1 and back near the top of the NFC leaderboard.
To wrap up the season the Packers play at Chicago, at the NY Jets and at home against Detroit. They should be able to win the last two, and who knows what could happen against the Bears if the Packers come into that one having won three straight, and still essentially holding the title of the big brother in the rivalry.
It all comes down to this week though. Win against the Vikings, and you’ve got four very winnable games with five to play. Lose, and the season is likely done.
The Packers control their own destiny.