Packers Face Must-Win Situation in Chicago

For the first time in nine years, the Chicago Bears are favored to beat the Green Bay Packers when the two teams meet at Solider Field Sunday.

That’s how bad things have gotten for the Packers. A month ago, they were 4-1 and had the look of a Super Bowl contender. Now, they are 4-4 and their season is on the brink. Losses to the Saints and Lions have made Chicago a must-win game, because if Green Bay falls to 4-5, it might be too much to overcome.

Yes, the team rallied from 4-6 to make the playoffs last season. But Aaron Rodgers isn't walking through that door anytime soon. Not for at least 6-8 weeks. So some late-season winning streak isn't something Green Bay can rely on. 

Looking at the schedule ahead, it’s easy to see that this is a pivotal game. With the Cowboys and Seahawks both 5-3, the Packers are a game out of the wildcard, but with a total of seven teams within a game for the last playoff spot in the NFC, Green Bay has little room for error.

After playing at Chicago this week, the Packers return home to host a 4-5 Baltimore team. The Ravens aren’t great, but they do have a solid defense and won’t be an easy victory by any means. Then, it’s onto Pittsburgh.

We all know how the Packers have fared against elite quarterbacks, so it’s hard to see them beating Ben Roethlisberger. So if Green Bay beats the Bears and Ravens, a loss to the Steelers would drop them to 6-5. But if the Packers lost to Chicago, they would need to beat Baltimore just to get to 5-6.

If Green Bay fell to 5-6, it would probably need to win out to make the playoffs. The final five games are home against Tampa Bay, at Cleveland, at Carolina, home against the Vikings and at Detroit.

Tampa Bay and Cleveland are both winnable games. In fact, Green Bay has four winnable games in the next five weeks: Chicago, Baltimore, Tampa Bay and Cleveland. Thanks to consecutive losses, the Packers will probably need to win all those to have a chance at making the postseason, starting Sunday with the Bears. 

That would put Green Bay at 8-5. At that point, it would need to win two of three games most likely to make the playoffs. With Rodgers or not, the Packers would at least have a chance.

But things need to turn around quickly. The defense needs to take advantage of a rookie quarterback playing for Chicago and Brett Hundley needs to live up to his potential.

Obviously, there is a learning curve when you become a starting quarterback in the NFL, but with Hundley, the time to learn has evaporated. It’s time to produce and if he can't, Green Bay's season will continue to go up in flames.

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Chris is a sports journalist from Montana and has been blogging about the Packers since 2011. Chris has been a staff writer for CheeseheadTV since 2017 and looks forward to the day when Aaron Rodgers wins his second Super Bowl. Follow him @thepackersguru

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Comments (48)

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Three and Out's picture

November 09, 2017 at 01:16 pm

McCarthy is gonna stick with the 3 yard passes and Capers is gonna stick with that same BS that he calls a defensive scheme and the Packers are gonna lose, plain and simple.

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mrj007's picture

November 09, 2017 at 01:50 pm

100% true!

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Gianich's picture

November 09, 2017 at 04:56 pm

Packers cover the +5. Pack 20-bears 23. Mashed Potato Mike and Dynamic Domfounded Capers bring the same game plan and bang their heads against the proverbial wall.

Duke Divine score prediction last week: "27-17 Lions"

Feel free to take the free prediction and bank some coin friends!

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mrj007's picture

November 09, 2017 at 07:50 pm

But McCarthy clearly definitely and obviously will get it fixed because he knows what's wrong. Duh! So does anybody who watches the Packers play. They suck without Rodgers covering up all their mistaked

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dobber's picture

November 09, 2017 at 01:42 pm

I would argue that Detroit was the must-win game. They can't lose division and conference games to teams that--if the Packers wake up--could be competing for seeding or playoff bids. Even though the schedule isn't obnoxious, I think the must-win ship has sailed.

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mrj007's picture

November 09, 2017 at 01:51 pm

100% agree

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Bearmeat's picture

November 09, 2017 at 01:52 pm

Yep. I'm not giving up on the season. I'll be rooting for them to win. But if they lose, and especially if they get stomped, I won't be upset. It'll be one more nail in the coffin in the current regime. It's clear that things have to change in the personnel and defensive coaching department for Green Bay to improve in January. Aaron Rodgers can only do so much.

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mrj007's picture

November 09, 2017 at 02:00 pm

How many nails will it take?

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Bearmeat's picture

November 09, 2017 at 02:27 pm

Before I root for them to lose? It'll never happen. I'm a Packers fan - I want them to win. I'm just saying that I won't be as upset as I normally would if they look ugly on Sunday, because those nails will go in TT/MM and DCs coffin.

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The TKstinator's picture

November 09, 2017 at 03:59 pm

What about Queequeg’s coffin?
“Have ye seen the white whale?”

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

November 09, 2017 at 09:16 pm

To me there is a difference in rooting for them to loose and consigning one's self to the sad fact that loosing out means a high draft pick and a no more McYawny.

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NickPerry's picture

November 10, 2017 at 06:07 am

2 thumbs up.

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Mojo's picture

November 09, 2017 at 05:11 pm

There's still people who believe the Packers can make the playoffs?

I'd like those people to click on my new website www.Floridaswamplandforsale

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cuervo's picture

November 09, 2017 at 06:59 pm

Exactly what I was thinking while reading the article. At this point my question is whether they'll win a game again this year.

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mrj007's picture

November 09, 2017 at 01:53 pm

Cheesehead TV, the season is overfor Green Bay. Maybe next year. Shut the site down until after Super Bowl

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JerseyAl's picture

November 10, 2017 at 10:10 am

You're welcome to go away, but we'll be sticking it out here - like we always do.

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mrj007's picture

November 09, 2017 at 01:58 pm

It is time to rebuild. Capers, Fackrel, Matthews,Daniels, and anyone expecting to make over $2M must go! Pur all salary into Rodgers - he is teams only shot. Defense players dorks all earn minimum 'cuz that is how they play. Bulaga, Montgomery, Janis can all go too. Let's get these young guys some experience so they actually have a shot at development. Then thay second year jump McCarthy keeps wishing for might actually happen.

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HankScorpio's picture

November 09, 2017 at 02:08 pm

<insert Jim Mora "Playoffs" video>

How about the Packers win a game before we map out playoff ramifications? I have no doubt that there is more talent than has been translated on to the field in the last two weeks. But right now, the only thing I am worried about is when they will get over the post-Rodgers funk.

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Since&#039;61's picture

November 09, 2017 at 03:58 pm

We don't want the Packers to play against the Bears or any other team like it is a "must-win" game. If they do the defense will collapse worse than usual. The Lions game was a must win game and we all saw how well the defense played against the Lions.

Since 2011 the Packers defense has given up 29.6 points per game in the playoffs. In the playoff games they have lost they have given up 33.8 points per game. Not exactly the recipe for a championship defense. As a result the Packers are 4-6 in the playoffs since their 2010 SB victory.

Therefore we do not want the Packers to play the Bears game or any other game like it is a must - win game. Otherwise we can expect the Packers defense to give up at least 30 points. Without Aaron Rodgers we don't have a chance of scoring 30 points per game.

Let's just see if we can force a punt in this game before we determine that we're in a "must-win" situation.

Thanks, Since '61

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EdsLaces's picture

November 09, 2017 at 06:54 pm

Forcing a punt FTW!!!

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Fire_Gute's picture

November 10, 2017 at 06:14 am

This whole punting situation isn't discussed enough. These games have been such ass kickings teams have been trying to run out the clock and give the ball back and McMuffins team can't stop them

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Handsback's picture

November 09, 2017 at 03:53 pm

This team has looked awful. I don't know why, but they are playing like no.2 if you know what I mean.
So can they play better...only the players can make that happen.
I just know I have weekends free to do work around the house.

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Handsback's picture

November 09, 2017 at 03:53 pm

This team has looked awful. I don't know why, but they are playing like no.2 if you know what I mean.
So can they play better...only the players can make that happen.
I just know I have weekends free to do work around the house.

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The TKstinator's picture

November 09, 2017 at 04:01 pm

Second verse, same as the first?

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gmeyers1's picture

November 09, 2017 at 04:41 pm

Hundly has been on the roster for 3 years. He still isn't nfl ready. It's on the general manager that there is no back up who can function as a game manager. Somebody who can read defenses and and have enough accuracy to give the team a chance.

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packerbackerjim's picture

November 09, 2017 at 05:58 pm

It’s a little bit different facing live bullets. He may come around by season’s end. May cop a draft pick yet!

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Mojo's picture

November 09, 2017 at 04:45 pm

If the Pack are going to win only one more game the rest of the season, this next one is the one I want.

It took around 85 years to overtake them and I don't want to give it back anytime soon.

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Johnblood27's picture

November 09, 2017 at 06:11 pm

Mojo has the absolute correct perspective.

Party On!

Oh yeah... This just in...

THE BARES STILL SUCK!

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

November 09, 2017 at 09:08 pm

Good point.

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Tundraboy's picture

November 09, 2017 at 10:39 pm

That and or the Vikings game are my choices. If MM can not get the team and coaches ready for those two, he can not be head coach of the Green Bay Packers.

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Samson's picture

November 09, 2017 at 09:56 pm

No doubt the Pack are reeling w/out AR.
No doubt the a$$es of TT, MM, and especially DC are much warmer than at any time during their time in GB. (hot-seat)
No doubt Hundley needs all of the final 8 games to get better.

However, this is still the NFL.--- Until GB loses it's 7th game of the season, they're still in the chase.

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Tundraboy's picture

November 09, 2017 at 10:43 pm

Until now, I have never, ever wanted to or have given up on a season, but this year is different. Even if by some miracle the Packerd win 5 or 6 games from here on out, they are not going anywhere this year. To then risk ARod getting hurt is not worth the risk. Not with MM and DC coaching this team. Take advantage by using this opportunity to get high picks and rebuild for the rest of his career. Of course I hope that they do that without DC and TT and MM as well. We are fortunate to have lucked out once, drafting Favres eventual replacement. The odds of it happening again in our lifetimes are remote.

I will never root for them to lose but if they do not find a pulse, and if MM continues to coach the way he has, I will take solace in the fact that his days are numbered. If he refuses to adjust and play all the players that need the experience, and could provide a spark and hope for the future, he should no longer be a part of it. The embarrassing performances must stop.

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Since&#039;61's picture

November 10, 2017 at 08:51 am

Tundra - MM will be here as long as Rodgers is here. As for TT he could be gone soon. DC as we know should be gone 5 seasons ago. But if MM stays he might keep DC around. I'm OK if MM stays but for me TT and DC need to go. Thanks, Since '61

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Tundraboy's picture

November 10, 2017 at 06:42 pm

Not sure Aaron feels that way. I sure hope MM is gone long before ARod retires. The thought of MM never leaving is terrifying. Nothing scared me more than that.

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Since&#039;61's picture

November 10, 2017 at 04:18 pm

Tundra ARod may sign with another team when the time comes. He has a lot to think about now that he's not playing. Thanks, Since '61

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Tundraboy's picture

November 10, 2017 at 07:18 pm

That is also depressing. After all the rough years, having Farve and Rodgers, squandering lots of opportunities along the way, losing Rodgers is unthinkable to me. To lose him because of inept mgmnt and coaching would be the height of stupidity. I was fortunate to enjoy the 60s, and watched and endured since, all the many mediocre QBs and a few near greats, so I appreciate Rodgers and how fortunate we are. Never lost faith in a 30 year drought, but if we do not start immediately putting a real D and some playmakers around him as well on O, and make a serious run at winning it all each and every year Rodgers has left physically, they are idiots. Simply unforgivable. Problem is they will be making fools of us all. That can not be allowed to happen. Shareholders, fans unite.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 10, 2017 at 01:01 pm

I confess, I have given up on a season, many times in fact. TBH, back in the '70s and 80s, there were seasons I gave up on before the first game.

There were seasons I never gave up on only because it hadn't occurred to me that we might win more than 4 or 5 games. But I watched every game.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

November 10, 2017 at 04:08 pm

The season was over when we resigned dom caper at the beginning of the year. Now mcarthy is paying big time for his incompetence. .. Enjoy your 4_12 season!! Time for you to relive the 70s and 80s...

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MITM's picture

November 09, 2017 at 10:38 pm

Oh so its Chicago, Baltimore and Pittsburgh coming up? Loss, loss and a loss. Mccarthy and Hundley are gonna make the Bears look like the 85 Bears, the Ravens of 2000, and of course the Steel Curtain. The more I think about it, the more I realize how irresponsible it was/is to not have a veteran backup QB, literally anybody who has a Win under their belt in a regular season game. With Aaron Rodgers on the roster, why even bother drafting Hundley to "invest 3 years in"? Why would that be any type of priority of a coach and GM in their right minds even in the 5th round? Mccarthy and Thompson run this team or more specifically the way they build the roster like a position coach and a college recruiter respectively. Mccarthy knows he cant tell Rodgers a damn thing so he needed a pet like Hundley to groom to feel like an actual coach. Rodgers is 1000000 times more important to the Packers than Mike and it was killing him. That being said Hundley sucks which means Mccarthy sucks. And its to the point where i almost dont even want Capers to get fired just for the novelty of his tenure based off of his results. Its asinine he wasnt gone at least 4 years ago now, so might as well keep it going and see how bad we can be every year. Damarious Randall said it felt like Stafford knew everything they were doing defensively on every play as if he had already seen it 100x before. Thats because he has! Simple as that.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

November 10, 2017 at 04:05 pm

PACKERS PLAYS ON BOTH OFFENSE DEFENSE SUCKS...

BEARS 24 PACKERS 13

FINAL SCORE AND IM BEING KIND TO THE PACKERS. HUGE GAME FOR JORDAN HOWARD

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Cwilly's picture

November 09, 2017 at 10:52 pm

This has nothing to with game but can we trade for Stanton he reads progressions great and would be an upgrade at qb. Impressed after Seattle game tonight. He’s actually pretty good and had a lot of drops to make his stats not look the greatest. It wasn’t garbage time like Hundley.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

November 10, 2017 at 04:01 pm

Season is over and done....it might have been saved if mcarthy would have fired capers...but this what you get mcarthy this is your right decision that shouldn't be based on past history...that's what you said...
Now you are paying for those very words.
Mcarthy is a loser!!

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Fire_Gute's picture

November 10, 2017 at 06:12 am

Much of the same here. This game isn't a must win for playoffs reasons at all. You can call it a must win for pride, saving face, rivalry or however else you want to spin it, but stop it with playoffs. You call this a must win, I call the browns game the only "can win" game and that's going to be a nail biter. Because the browns probably still kinda care a little bit, this team is lost

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

November 10, 2017 at 03:57 pm

Finally somebody with a brain

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NMPF's picture

November 10, 2017 at 10:01 am

This one will probably be close. VS bears 1 gm is a blowout & 1 gm is almost always a tight 1. Pack 19-17.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

November 10, 2017 at 03:56 pm

4_12 season is done

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Go_Pack1265's picture

November 10, 2017 at 12:00 pm

The Packers are stuck in a rut, they need to make changes from the top on down. Mark Murphy as the Packers President in effect is the "owner", he's the guy who is supposed to make the tough decisions. Back in 1989 Robert Parins was the President who just couldn't make the difficult decisions, so he was replaced with Bob Harlan. Harlan evaluated the situation and put a new GM in place who made the moves that out Green Bay back in the upper echelon of the league. As evidenced by the Titletown Development, Mark Murphy is a terrific at developing a fan experience. Although, I would argue that the best fan experience is watching the Packers win.

Thompson works for Murphy, McCarthy works for Thompson, Capers works for McCarthy.

Nothing is going to happen in Green Bay until Mark Murphy does his job.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

November 10, 2017 at 02:54 pm

Season ended last Monday night !!!!

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