The Green Bay Packers (5-6-1) were the victim of a thorough beating at the hands of the Detroit Lions (7-5) on Thanksgiving. As embarrassing as it was and as bad as it stings, the good news is Green Bay’s playoff hopes are long from over. In fact, Packers’ fans must rejoice, as there is still plenty of reason to believe Green Bay will win the NFC North division.
How is this possible you may ask? It’s quite simple actually.
For starters, the Packers must win all four of their remaining games on the schedule. I understand this much is obvious but it should still be stated. Green Bay will also need some help from other teams to defeat the Lions and Chicago Bears (6-5). The reason for this is because a wild card is basically out of the question, which means the only way to clinch a postseason berth will be to win the division.
The biggest reason why the Packers will win the NFC North is because quarterback Aaron Rodgers will return to the gridiron. Nothing has been confirmed as of yet, but Rodgers stated that he intends to play against the Atlanta Falcons on Dec. 8. With his skills and leadership, Green Bay will put together a momentous run that will end with a division win.
As far as getting help from other teams, check out the list of the remaining opponents for the Lions, Packers and Bears:
Chicago’s five remaining opponents: at Vikings, vs. Cowboys, at Cleveland Browns, at Eagles, vs. Packers
As you can see, the Packers will face difficult opponents, but certainly beatable opponents with Rodgers under center. The Lions have an incredibly difficult schedule with teams fighting for a postseason spot, while the Vikings always play division opponents hard. The Bears will also play teams that are fighting for a chance to either appear in the playoffs or ruin someone’s postseason dreams.
The point is if Green Bay wins out and Detroit loses two of their next four games, the Packers will move on because they will have one less in the loss column. The same thing goes for the Bears. Basically, Green Bay has to hope that opponents can keep both Chicago and Detroit to nine wins or less. Of course, one loss for the Packers from here on out and the season is essentially over.
There is still plenty of reason to believe as long as the Packers can pull it together and force a magical run.