The Green Bay Packers are 5-5 and in third place in the NFC North division. A three-game skid and an unknown return date for superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers has everyone outside of the organization very nervous. With that being said, what is one big reason Packers’ fans shouldn’t panic quite yet?
Even though several players were filled with disappointment after the loss to the New York Giants Sunday afternoon, there still appeared to be an optimistic tone with a hint of confidence in the post-game interviews. The reality is Green Bay is only one game back of the Detroit Lions for first place in the division. It’s hard to believe that is even a possibility considering the massive amount of injuries the team has gone through in 10 games.
The Packers will have a great opportunity to apply pressure on the Lions with their Week 12 showdown against the Minnesota Vikings. Although it is technically not a must-win game, Green Bay must treat it as one because the road to the playoffs will only get bumpier from here on out. At the rate the Packers and the rest of the NFC is going the only way to punch a ticket to the postseason might be with a division title.
A victory over the Vikings will not come easy, especially if quarterback Scott Tolzien cannot take care of the football and the defense is unable to slow down Adrian Peterson. However, I have to believe the players understand the importance of a momentum-changing win against a division rival the week prior to the contest against the team that leads the division.
Detroit will have their hands full with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 12. A loss could make the game between the Packers and Lions on Thanksgiving very interesting, especially if the Chicago Bears lose to the St. Louis Rams this upcoming Sunday. Not to mention, I personally believe a win over Minnesota means there is a good chance Rodgers suits up for Thanksgiving.
Of course, this is all speculation. Nonetheless, it’s not crazy to think the cards could fall Green Bay’s way the next two weeks, which would allow the Packers to take their rightful seat at the top of the NFC North division.