The Green Bay Packers advancing to the postseason was not a question, but rather a given heading into the 2013 NFL season. They are just three years removed from winning the Super Bowl and have most of their nucleus intact from that season. They are just two years removed from a 15-1 regular season and an MVP campaign from their quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
However, they have suffered injuries to Randall Cobb, Jermichael Finley and Clay Matthews, just to name a few. No injury has had a bigger impact though than the one to Rodgers. He was hurt early on in their road game against the Chicago Bears on November 4. After Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone, the Packers have gone winless in their last five games after leading their division the first half of the season.
The Packers have had to turn to Seneca Wallace, Scott Tolzien and former backup QB Matt Flynn to try and fill the void. None have had success, and the worst performance of all was turned in by Flynn on Thursday against the division rival Detroit Lions.
He finished the game with 10-of-20 passing for 139 yards and one interception. He also lost two fumbles and was sacked seven times. The only touchdown Green Bay scored was on a fumble recovery by Morgan Burnett.
Green Bay was out-gained by Detroit 561-126 for the game and lost 40-10. With no threat of a passing game, the running game could only gain 24 yards on 15 carries, with the longest run of the day being four yards. The inability of the offense to stay on the field led to Detroit running 79 plays compared to only 42 for Green Bay, and allowed the lions to hold on to the ball for over 40 minutes.
Even if Rodgers were to come back next week, Green Bay is in a position where they need to win out and hope Detroit falters. Not only do they trail by two wins, Detroit will finish with a better division record and has a favorable record. The only team they play with a record above .500 is the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 17.
This is beginning to look like a lost season for the Packers. With a lot of their offensive players missing and their defense playing well below average, Green Bay should consider sitting Rodgers the rest of the way and not risking a more serious injury. They are still set up to be successful in the future if they are at full strength, and could benefit from a couple of early draft picks to reload in the secondary.