The truth of the matter is that it was one game. One ugly, embarrassing game, yes, but just one. The Packers are 7-4, second in their division, with four of the final five games on the schedule being very winnable division games.
This was not a must-win for Green Bay. It was a would-have-been-good-to-win for the Pack. Now, obviously, a mess of a game like the one that occurred on Sunday night can’t happen again for Green Bay if they want to be in the conversation at the end of the year, but call it an off-night and go back to the practice field.
The reality is that Green Bay is really talented on both sides of the ball. Aaron Rodgers, when he has time, is the best quarterback in the league. The offensive line can regroup and settle down after a bad performance. Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and James Jones highlight an amazing receiving group. The defense is young, but playing well beyond their years, with rookies like Casey Hayward and Jerron McMillian stepping up to the plate.
And while no team ever wants to use injuries as an excuse, there has to be some comfort in the fact that the cavalry’s coming. Adorable wide receiver Greg Jennings looks like he’ll be ready to play next Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. I think the Packers will hold Clay Matthews out for another week, but he’ll be back soon. Charles Woodson and Sam Shields will provide some stability to the young defense when they return a bit farther down the line. Running back Cedric Benson is eligible to return in Week 14, though his return is not guaranteed.
Keep in mind that the Packers are not a team prone to panic. They had a rough start to the season and a lot of distractions with the Seattle Seahawks game and all the outside criticism, but they buckled down and played well to get on the right track. They’re still on that track.
The Green Bay coaching staff works hard to keep the team from getting too high or too low. The Packers are angry and embarrassed about the loss to the New York Giants, as they should be, but they’re not going to panic.
The Packers can easily grab the top spot in the NFC North with all the division games coming up, and with key players returning from injury, there’s lots to be optimistic about for the Green and Gold.