Then Inexperienced Bay orchestrated a 26-20 extra time victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, and the win couldn’t have come at a greater time. Not solely did the Packers enhance their document to six-6, they put themselves in place to turn into a playoff staff simply in time for Rodgers’ reported return in Week 15 towards the Carolina Panthers. Or so it appeared.
Any and all playoff hopes for Inexperienced Bay require profitable out the remainder of the best way and ending the season with a ten-6 document. Since 2002, the yr the league expanded to 32 groups, 162 golf equipment have gained 10 or extra video games; 152 (ninety four %) of these made the playoffs. Nevertheless it will not be that straightforward. Sure, the Packers get to play the zero-12 Cleveland Browns on the street in Week thirteen, however then they need to face, so as: Carolina Panthers on the street, Minnesota Vikings at house and Detroit Lions on the street. Brilliant aspect: these are additionally three groups that stand of their approach of a playoff spot.
Utilizing the identical win chances that gasoline our weekly energy rankings, the more than likely win, aside from the matchup towards the Browns, is the sport towards the towards the Detroit Lions within the common season finale (forty % win chance). Perhaps the Packers job turns into simpler if Lion quarterback Matt Stafford misses time after struggling a bone bruise in his proper hand throughout Sunday’s forty four-20 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, however at greatest that brings it to a 50/50 coin flip.
The toughest recreation remaining for Inexperienced Bay is towards the Week sixteen matchup towards the Vikings (26 % win chance), the No. 1 staff in our energy rankings. In line with Soccer Outsiders, Minnesota is the fifth-greatest staff within the NFL this yr, with an offense that ranks No. four and a protection that ranks No. 6.
Maybe you bump up the Packers possibilities within the video games Rodgers could possibly be anticipated to play after he returns from damage, however the increase will not be as huge as you may assume. The Packers’ offense scored 9.four factors greater than anticipated with Rodgers beneath middle relatively than Hundley, however that was together with a disastrous recreation in Week eleven towards the Baltimore Ravens, which featured 5 turnovers, three of which have been interceptions thrown by Hundley. Within the 5 different video games began by Hundley this season, Inexperienced Bay’s offense scored 6.5 factors per recreation greater than anticipated. In different phrases, anticipate the Packers to be underdogs in every recreation following the one towards the Browns regardless of who strains up beneath middle.
However the Packers need assistance, too. A ten-6 document probably will not win the NFC North – the…