Packers: Breaking down potential divisional round opponents

Green Bay Packers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Breaking down potential opponents for the Packers.

The Green Bay Packers will have to wait another week before they play their first playoff game in the divisional round.

With that being said, let’s take a look at the potential matchups that Green Bay could face come playoff time.

Matchup #1: Chicago Bears (7-seed)

Having played the Packers just two weeks prior and not faring too well against them (at least in the second half), doesn’t bode well if they meet up a third time in the postseason.

Despite the differences in yards and time of possession, Green Bay dominated Chicago in all phases in the second half. Aaron Rodgers was nearly perfect, going 19/24 for 240 yards, four touchdowns, and posted a 147.2 passer rating in a 35-16 blowout at Soldier Field in Week 17.

Despite Chicago’s aggressive efforts in this game if it does happen, I just don’t see them coming out on top unless their defense slows down both Rodgers and Davante Adams — which is definitely easier said than done.

Matchup #2: Los Angeles Rams (6-seed)

This game could definitely pose a challenge to Green Bay offensively. Los Angeles’ defense is predicated on the pass rush and secondary. If they come in the game with aggression via the pass rush (Aaron Donald, Sebastian Joseph-Day, Samson Ebukam, and Leonard Floyd), and get to Rodgers early and often, it could be a long night for Green Bay offensively.

The key to beating the Rams will be quick passes along with shortening the huddle times (or going no-huddle). If Green Bay can score early and often, I don’t see any way the Rams can come back — especially if Jared Goff is unable to play due to his thumb injury/surgery.

Matchup #3: Washington Football Team (4-seed)

This game is, at least on paper, the least likely one to happen. Now, that’s not to say that it couldn’t, but it’s going to be a tall task for Washington to try to upset Tom Brady and that vaunted Buccaneers pass rush and secondary.

That being said though, let’s say the upset happens and Washington moves on to face Green Bay. It would be the first time since 2016 that the two teams would’ve met in the postseason. That game having been won by the Packers 35-14 on the road.

It would also be the first time Alex Smith has faced Green Bay since the 2015 season. Although this game seems like it could be a trap for Green Bay, I honestly don’t think it would happen — especially with how hot Green Bay has been as a team on both sides of the ball. Lambeau Field in the likely frigid cold will not be easy for either team but I still think Green Bay would pull it out in the end in a bit of a runaway.

Matchup #4: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-seed)

This would be the most attractive matchup for a multitude of reasons. The biggest being that Green Bay would likely be looking for revenge on the Buccaneers for the 38-10 drubbing they gave Green Bay back in Week 6 of the regular season.

This time though, the game will be played in the freezing cold of Lambeau Field, not the nice warm comfort of the Tampa Bay sunshine. This is where I believe Green Bay has the advantage over the Buccaneers.

Despite having a few players who are accustomed to the colder conditions (Tom Brady, Antonio Brown, and Rob Gronkowski), the Packers as a team have been playing in this weather for decades. Therefore, in this matchup, I’d give Green Bay the edge in a pretty competitive back-and-forth affair between two great teams as well as two future Hall-of-Fame quarterbacks in Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers.

Time will tell what this postseason has in store, but I do know this: whichever unlucky team has the misfortune of facing the Packers in either rounds of the playoffs better be ready. This year’s team has proven to be dangerous with one mission in mind: Bringing Vince Lombardi back home. Let’s hope they can starting next week at Lambeau.