It hasn’t been pretty this season for the Packers, but as Aaron Rodgers said after the win last night, “Winning is always beautiful.” After being plagued by injuries over the past couple seasons the narrative became that the Packers could no longer rely on Aaron Rodgers to “run the table” and they had to start giving him some help. The Packers front office has succeeded in doing so and this roster has been completely transformed from what it used to be.
The real scary thing is that the Packers are capable of winning without Rodgers playing at an MVP level. Once the postseason rolls around the question comes to mind, whether Rodgers can deliver if called upon in a shootout against a team like New Orleans or San Francisco. The Packers certainly have the firepower to do so, as defenses haven’t had a definitive answer to Davante Adams or Aaron Jones. With that said, the Packers have emerged as a team that has been recently led by a stout defense and ground game. They rank 14th in scoring, and have only scored 30+ pts once in the last 8 weeks. As a result of their lack of scoring, they have found themselves in 8 one possession games this season, but the key takeaway is that they have won 7 of those 8.
Looking at last night’s game against Minnesota, the Packers started off extremely poorly with three turnovers in the first half. Two of these were fumbles, and the third was an uncharacteristic mistake by Rodgers who failed to see Anthony Harris coming down to take away Davante Adams. Despite these colossal mistakes the Green Bay defense stepped up, particularly Za’Darius Smith who had a monster showing with 3.5 sacks making Kirk Cousins’ night miserable.
Looking at the playoff picture the Packers currently hold the #2 seed in the NFC, and a win next week at Detroit would secure a 1st round bye for Green Bay. The big game next Sunday night is the NFC West Showdown between Seattle and San Francisco. This game has major implications all throughout the NFC playoff picture, and for the Packers to clinch the #1 seed they need assistance from Seattle to knock San Francisco out of their current #1 position in the conference. This game could go either way, but with Seattle at home with the division at stake there’s a pretty good chance that the Seahawks find a way to beat the 49ers, which would give Green Bay home field advantage throughout the playoffs, assuming they take care of business against the Lions.
Regardless, there’s a narrative that the Packers have been winning games against so called “cupcakes” riding an easy schedule to 12-3. Given this, it also needs to be said that we haven’t seen the best of Aaron Rodgers yet so far this season and it just feels like the Packers are going to take things to a whole new level in January. If things go their way the NFC road to Super Bowl LIV could be going through Green Bay. If that’s the case, the Packers are going to be set up in the perfect position to make their case as Super Bowl contenders.