Many people were predicting the Packers to have a record around 12-4 or 11-5. After the first seven games, the Packers are sitting at an underwhelming 3-3-1. What does this mean moving forward? Can they make the playoffs with their upcoming schedule? With the halfway point of the season approaching this Sunday, let’s take a look at the remaining schedule.
- @ New England
- @ Seattle
- @ Minnesota
- @ Chicago
- @ New York Jets
There are a few things we are going to assume: the defense we saw Sunday is the defense moving forward, Rodgers stays healthy, and the Packers beat the Patriots this week. After losing multiple games they should have won including this past week against the Rams, the Packers need this one against the Patriots. Plus with the whole our 12 vs their 12, and the Michael Jordan commercial I am too fired up not to say we win this week.
A win in New England would have the Packers sitting at 4-3-1. The non-divisional games really do not scare me. Playing at Seattle is always tough so let’s call that a swing game. Atlanta is also a swing game since we have not stopped them since the playoff game in 2010, but having Atlanta at home in December is huge. The rest of those are must-wins: Miami, Arizona, and the New York Jets.
Divisional games are always tough. Considering two of the three divisional games are away, that concerns me. They have to go to Minnesota and to Chicago so let’s call those swing games. Green Bay really owes Detroit a beating, and it is the last game of the year in Lambeau which is a must win.
Now, let’s assume they win all of the games that I did not list as swing games. It’s feasible to think they split the swing games which puts them at 10-5-1 with a winning percentage of 0.656. I believe they can win both non-divisional swing games, and let’s say the split the away divisional games just because which puts them at 11-4-1 with a winning percentage of 0.719. IF they were to lose to New England it is simple, all of the non-divisional games become must-wins. That puts them back at 10-5-1.
With two realistic outcomes, is that good enough to put them in the playoffs? Let’s take a look:
Minnesota Chicago Detroit
Detroit (W) @ Buffalo (W) @ Minnesota (Swing)
@ Chicago (Swing) Detroit (W) @ Chicago (Swing)
Green Bay (Swing) Minnesota (W) Carolina (L)
@ New England (L) @ Detroit (Swing) Chicago (W)
@ Seattle (W) @ New York Giants (W) L.A. Rams (L)
Miami (W) L.A. Rams (L) @ Arizona (W)
@ Detriot (Swing) Green Bay (Swing) @ Buffalo (W)
Chicago (W) @ San Francisco (W) Minnesota (W)
@ Minnesota (Swing) @ Green Bay (Swing)
Two Best Options for each team:
10-5-1, 0.656% 11-5, 0.688% 9-7, 0.563%
9-6-1, 0.594% 10-6, 0.625% 8-8, 0.500%
First and foremost, I believe the Packers still control their destiny in the division. Now look at the divisional games for everyone else. Everyone but the Packers have five divisional games left and it is very possible they all beat each other up and contribute to the Packers gaining a lead. I think each team has at minimum of one guaranteed lose and three swing games. So what you see is best case scenarios which do not worry me.
The Packers are a lot better than what they have shown, but they need to start playing like it. I believe the offense could have played better against the Rams. If that performance plus beating the Patriots gives them a jump-start, be prepared for another “Run The Table” type second half of the season. We could also see the same up and down team the first half of the year, but I think that is unlikely. This new Packers organization is showing they are different. Things are going to be different, as you see with Gute getting rid of problems in the locker room. The Packers need to play four quarters of good football from all three phases, and once that clicks you could see the team we all thought we would in the beginning of the season.