The Packers find themselves in a tough situation, still. With the win last week they’re caught in the position of Win today and Rodgers likely comes back for the final 3 games, however since they don’t control their own destiny, 10-6 may not be good enough to make the playoffs. While it’s crazy to think the Packers can win a super bowl without changing anything major- then again this is an odd year in the NFL, once which I believe the Packers can win with Aaron Rodgers and an average defense.
So let’s root for the Packers to make the playoffs, considering even a loss to Cleveland won’t result in Ted Thompson or Mike McCarthy losing their jobs…here we go.
Playoff Picture—the Packers enter 6-6 looking up at Detroit (6-6) and Atlanta (8-5) which Green Bay has both lost to, so they need to finish with a better record than each. The Packers have another crack at Detroit in week 17 to best them, however the Falcons need to finish 9-7 or 8-8 in order for the Packers to finish ahead of them. The more likely scenario for the Packers to reach the playoffs are to have Carolina (8-4) lose two more games, with one of them being next week v Green Bay (to hold the head-to-head tiebreaker) and Seattle (8-4) to lose two more games (with Green Bay already holding the head-to-head tiebreaker). Meaning Packer fans should be rooting for the Vikings v Panthers and the Jaguars v Seahawks today.
Green Bay O v Cleveland D
-25th offense (20th in points, 21.5 pts/game) going up against Cleveland’s 10th ranked defense (26th in points, surrendering 25.7 points/game).
Green Bay D v Cleveland O
-24th defense (17th in points, 23.4/game) v 24th offense (32nd in points, 14.7 points/game).
Yet another match-up of two bad teams. Cleveland also has talent, however their execution is atrocious. They have the 10th best defense, but surrender a bunch of points in the red zone, similar to their offense, they can move the ball and turn it over (-19, worst in the NFL in t/o differential) eventually. The Packers’ defense will be tested by the return of Wide Receiver, Josh Gordon. He’s an incredible talent that loves smoking weed. He’s a big play producer, consistently, regardless of his quarterback. If the Packers win this game, they’ll have to keep Cleveland under 20 points and that means keeping Josh Gordon in check. In his return v Casey Hayward and the Chargers, who’s rated as the best cornerback in the NFL by PFF, and Gordon had 4 catches for 85 yards (21.3 yards/reception). The other issue is the Packers will be forced to play Demetri Goodson, who was essentially out of the NFL this year and is now going to receive a ton of playing time v a bad QB (Deshone Kizer) but an awesome WR in Gordon.
Hopefully my trend of being wrong continues….
30-18—I was wrong last week!