Aaron Rodgers, Packers have 'lots nonetheless to play for' — together with playoffs?

Published:Mar 9, 202418:03
Aaron Rodgers, Packers have 'lots nonetheless to play for' — together with playoffs?

Heading into Monday night time, FiveThirtyEight had the Inexperienced Bay Packers' playoff possibilities at 6%. The Packers' odds would have plummeted to 0.6% had they misplaced to the lowly Los Angeles Rams at frigid Lambeau Subject. After profitable 24-12, the likelihood shot as much as … 8%.

So, we're telling you there’s an opportunity.

"So much nonetheless to play for," Aaron Rodgers stated after the win. "We’re a recreation and a half out of the playoffs. There shall be loads of pleasure within the locker room. Lots of good vitality this week, quick week, however robust opponent in Miami who has lots to play for, as effectively."

The 39-year-old quarterback has stated he desires to proceed enjoying out this season, via damage if vital, so long as Inexperienced Bay is mathematically alive for the playoffs. He reiterated that time even on the tail finish of a skid wherein the Packers misplaced seven of eight video games halfway via the season. They’ve now received back-to-back video games for the primary time for the reason that opening week of October.

"It’s enjoyable to win video games you’re presupposed to win in December," Rodgers stated.

With the Rams out of the way in which, it doesn’t get simpler for Inexperienced Bay. All three of its remaining opponents (Miami, Minnesota and Detroit) are at the moment .500 or higher. And even when the Packers win all three video games, they don’t management their very own future. Their possibilities would solely be at 64%, per The New York Occasions' playoff simulator. They'd nonetheless want loads of assist.

The assistance the Packers want is not unrealistic, nonetheless. There are myriad eventualities, even extremely inconceivable ones that contain Inexperienced Bay dropping once more. Essentially the most practical one (with the Packers profitable out, in fact) is that this: 

  • The Commanders lose any two of their three remaining video games (at San Francisco, vs. Cleveland and Dallas). This alone raises the Packers' possibilities to about 90%.
  • The Lions lose certainly one of their subsequent two video games (at Carolina, vs. Chicago).
  • The Panthers lose certainly one of their closing three video games (at Kansas Metropolis, vs. Jets, Rams).

This could clinch a playoff berth for the Packers.

"Earlier than the Bears week, we knew we had a bye afterwards and people of us who typically peek forward knew that we needed to win 5 after which have loads of issues go our manner," Rodgers stated. "We’ve received two, and nearly all the things we would have liked to have occur has gone our manner. Nearly, proper?

"So … issues are trying up."

Whereas encouraging, that’s nonetheless very a lot not a assure à la Rodgers’ "R-E-L-A-X" second, particularly with how the Packers are enjoying. Their protection appeared to take a step ahead Monday night time, registering 5 sacks on Rams quarterback Baker Mayfield, whereas making his life tough total within the bone-chilling 17-degree climate. Mayfield completed 12-of-21 for simply 111 yards and a landing and interception. His passer ranking was 67.8, and Los Angeles transformed simply 4 of 11 third downs.

Inexperienced Bay held the Rams to 72 yards on the bottom and its main receiver — working again Cam Akers — to 3 receptions for 35 yards.

The issue is, that kind of excellence goes to need to be the norm for the Packers shifting ahead — they usually don’t get to face the Rams’ offensive line once more. It was an encouraging efficiency, however like Rodgers stated afterward, they have been presupposed to win this one. It was anticipated.

Offensively, the Packers remained inconsistent however appeared to get right into a groove by the top of the night time. Rookie Romeo Doubs, who returned from a four-game absence due to damage, caught all 5 of his targets but amassed simply 55 yards. That led the Packers. Fellow rookie Christian Watson hauled in 4 of six targets for 46 yards and had just one goal within the first half. He'd caught seven touchdowns within the earlier 4 video games. 

The Rams assigned Jalen Ramsey to Watson for a lot of the night time, however the Packers certainly needed to get him the soccer extra. Rodgers divulged after the sport that Watson did a number of issues he wasn’t presupposed to, leading to a few these incompletions and maybe lack of targets.

What Inexperienced Bay should work out is how you can make all of its offensive items work in tangent, quite than the piecemeal operation we’ve seen to date. The Packers nonetheless don’t have an id on offense. With the way in which Watson has come on and Doubs has contributed alongside veterans Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb, the Packers have sufficient expertise. But when they've any actual hope of reaching the postseason, a lot much less making a deep run, they’re going to want consistency out of these guys.

"Sure, I feel so," Rodgers stated, when requested if these 4 receivers are sufficient to maintain this offense buzzing in January. "I actually do. As a result of they only have such totally different talent units. Christian clearly has unbelievable pace. Romeo is an actual quick-twitch man. Cobby has the savvy to work within the slot and Allen [Lazard] does all the things effectively. He’s a very good route runner, catching the ball in his arms, he’s an incredible blocker. So yeah, I feel that’s a very good set of men."

Even Packers superfan Lil Wayne chimed in Monday and is behind this yr's staff once more, regardless of not being fully offered on the roster.

"I’m all the time believing. I'm going to all the time consider, you ain’t gotta fear about that," Wayne stated on the Manningcast. "I undoubtedly consider and I feel we’re going to get some assist, too. I feel we’re going to get some assist down the road."

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Carmen Vitali covers the NFC North for FOX Sports activities. Carmen had earlier stops with The Draft Community and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. She spent six seasons with the Bucs, together with 2020, which added the title of Tremendous Bowl Champion (and boat-parade participant) to her résumé. You possibly can observe Carmen on Twitter at @CarmieV.

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Publish date: 2022-12-20 13:00:41
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