Packers' Next Four Games Potentially Pivotal

The second quarter of Green Bay's season is an all-NFC affair that features a pair of division contests and tough road tilts. 

Injuries have thus far presented the greatest form of adversity for the 2017 Green Bay Packers, drawing comparisons to where the team left off in Atlanta last January. If the trend continues, it will be hard to find healthy bodies to plug in. And yet, for all that’s beset the team so far, the Packers are 3-1 and have 10 days to get ready for a road trip to Dallas. 
 
Whatever the excuses for last year’s squad, they struggled out the gate, sputtering to a 4-6 record before nearly running the table the rest of the way out. This time around, the table is fairly well set a quarter into the season—and results of the next four games could be crucial at season’s end. Three of the four opponents are potential NFC contenders, while two are inside the division with Detroit and Minnesota. 
 
Each opponent offers unique challenges. 
 
The Cowboys’ vaunted offensive line hasn’t quite met the eye test this season when compared to their dominant run in 2016, but it’s still chalk-full of Pro Bowl-caliber players and still has Ezekiel Elliott running behind it. But the Packer front that takes them on next Sunday afternoon has a lot more ammo than the one that played the Cowboys last January. Assuming Mike Daniels returns, the Packers’ defense will be fairly close to full strength. Given Green Bay’s offensive injuries and tendency to disappear at times, a strong defensive performance not only helps but would set the tone for the unit going forward. 
 
The Oct. 15 contest against Minnesota could mark the return of Sam Bradford from a bone bruise on his knee, though it’s possible he returns before that. This Vikings team is the most balanced in recent years, led still by a bonafide top 10, borderline top-five defense with quality players at every level. Offensively, the Vikings look the part with weapons in the passing game (Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, and Kyle Rudolph), an improved offensive line (which had nowhere to go but up) and an exciting do-all rookie in Dalvin Cook. High-level quarterback play is what has the potential to separate Minnesota from good to great. 
 
Green Bay returns home the following Sunday to host the Saints. We’ll know a lot more about New Orleans after their games against Miami and Detroit the next two weeks. For now, they’re still led by future Hall of Famer Drew Brees and have a deep complement of running backs. Sean Payton’s Saints always seem to do well against the Packers, though as memory the fast track at the Superdome was most often the venue. 
 
Quarter two of the NFL season wraps up with a home tilt against Detroit, a team that defies odds on a yearly basis. In years where the Lions are perceived to be weak, they usually shine. When they’re expected to take the next step, they usually falter. This year’s team has shown some surprisingly good defensive performances to go with the usual fare from Matt Stafford, a middle income’s Brett Favre who does some of his best work when trailing in the fourth quarter. 
 
It’s imperative that Green Bay wins one of the two division games, as well as one of the two games against NFC rivals Dallas and New Orleans. Should the Pack manage to take three of four, they’ll likely be well situated in their division and conference. If over this same stretch they’re able to heal up, well, watch out NFC. 
 
NFL Categories: 
0 points

Comments (36)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Turophile's picture

October 01, 2017 at 05:10 am

One beacon in the stygian darkness of injuries is that many of the good players injured, are not end-of-season type injuries, but temporary ones.

Even a couple of those on IR could be back, two of Spriggs, Murphy, Barclay are candidates. None of those three guys looked to have an injury so severe, it wouldn't heal up by the end of their week 8 bye week.

Later in the season, Perry should also be able to discard his club for something far less restricting (like two fingers splinted together).

As long as the current injuries don't affect these players in the longer term, and hoping not too many new injuries appear, the Packers could be relatively healthy later in the year. That's my hope anyway.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
The TKstinator's picture

October 01, 2017 at 03:39 pm

I prefer stygian darkness to...that other kind? ;)

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
The TKstinator's picture

October 01, 2017 at 12:12 pm

Packers potentially pivotal players predicated on prognosticators' platitudes re: performances, pluck, and perseverance.

(Phew!)

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

October 01, 2017 at 01:45 pm

poppycock.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
The TKstinator's picture

October 01, 2017 at 02:49 pm

Pooh poohed?

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

October 01, 2017 at 03:07 pm

Preach.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Turophile's picture

October 01, 2017 at 02:41 pm

TK
Absolutely avoid any and all alliteration.......

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
The TKstinator's picture

October 01, 2017 at 02:48 pm

Perfectly presented.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Somedumbname's picture

October 01, 2017 at 03:14 pm

Probably properly predetermined possible payoffs per prediction of Packer prevailings

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Duneslick's picture

October 01, 2017 at 04:36 pm

Why is Elloitt still playing. He was suspended before the season started.
Does the commissioner have any say in anything anymore except no enforcing the rules of the nfl for the national anthiem

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

October 01, 2017 at 07:59 pm

It's a tribute to what a good lawyer and NFL administrative overreach can do for you.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Gman1976's picture

September 30, 2017 at 10:38 am

After being 3-1, I'd love to be 12-4! The Atlanta game would have been completely different if we were a healthy team, but as with life, we need to make lemonade out of our lemons.
The coaches have done an amazing job on both sides of the ball with all the casualties and with figuring out who are our best players to put on the field. Sometimes, I think the injuries have even forced them to use some of our better younger players sooner than they wanted (CB King, S Jones, RB Jones); but in any case, we are seeing our team win and improve. Can't wait to see who is healthy and who is playing in Dallas.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
cheesehead1's picture

September 30, 2017 at 10:48 am

Winning 3 of 4 would be great. Will be tough to accomplish, but certainly doable. Hope to get Daniels back and our O tackles as well. If Montgomery isn’t close to 100% I think we should rest him. It’ll be interesting to see how we stack up against some better teams, DAL,MIN,DET. Hopefully we don’t get run over like we did in ATL..... Big 4 game stretch, Go Pack.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Somedumbname's picture

September 30, 2017 at 12:37 pm

Bring it on! They are all tough games, especially the divisional ones, but they are also all winnable.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

September 30, 2017 at 04:41 pm

I think Dallas is regressing from last season. They don't look as good, yet.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Somedumbname's picture

September 30, 2017 at 07:33 pm

The Dallas game may be an easier win than New Orleans. Sounds crazy to say that, but it is how I feel.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Duke Divine's picture

October 01, 2017 at 06:54 pm

Agreed. Prescott is not nearly the threat brees is vs Doms defense. I expect Brees to go for about 400 and 3 tds cause top 15 QBs look great vs Doms D so for top 5 QBs the sky is the limit. Need a few TOs and key stops...

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
HankScorpio's picture

October 01, 2017 at 04:31 pm

You see that so often in the NFL. A team has a surprisingly strong season and everyone thinks they will build on it the next year. Sometimes they do, sometimes they regress back to their norm.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

October 01, 2017 at 08:02 pm

They took it on the chin today, at home, against the Rams of all teams. Dallas's OL hasn't been quite as good, and their defense is still a problem (sound familiar?).

They'll be an angry team when the Packers come to town next week...

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Denise Chanterelle's picture

September 30, 2017 at 01:22 pm

We're going 4 - 0 in these next stretch of games. Our team is that good this year. Go Pack!

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
GBPDAN1's picture

October 01, 2017 at 03:38 am

It would be a huge boost to get Bulaga, Bak, Daniels and House back for Dallas ( and Ty soon after). We will need all our horses for this 4 game stretch. Let's not over look NO. Drew B. Is a Pro Bowl QB and the way our pass D looks at times, I'm glad this game will be in GB.

With Rendall and Rollins not taking the next step, we need House back and he needs to start playing better.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

September 30, 2017 at 04:38 pm

Drew Brees isn't the same guy away from the dome--he really runs hot and cold outside--but I give them credit for beating Carolina (2015 is really looking like a fluke, now) on the road.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
jeremyjjbrown's picture

September 30, 2017 at 04:18 pm

Trevathan is suspended for 2 games. Thanks NFL for disallowing that awful behavior.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

September 30, 2017 at 04:32 pm

I would've liked (and I expected) them to make a stronger statement than that. But a suspension was warranted and they need to be careful what precedents they set, or they'll be handcuffing themselves in the future. After all, he wasn't ejected. If they give him, say, 4 games on a play on which he wasn't ejected, does that make a minimum of 4 for any ejected player in the future?

I'm satisfied.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
jeremyjjbrown's picture

September 30, 2017 at 04:41 pm

I'm just glad it was multiple games. Not sure if any players have ever been suspended at all for illegal hits before this.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Turophile's picture

October 01, 2017 at 08:04 am

I don't think Travathan has a bad history. He is not in the Burfict, Merriweather, Suh class. That was likely why his suspension was two weeks, and not longer.

Adams was neither paralysed, nor had a fractured neck (he's going through concussion protocol now). AFAIK the league rules don't take into account the severity of the injury incurred, when looking at the hit post-game, but I bet it still would have made a difference to the suspension penalty, if Adams had ended up paralysed.

Perhaps there is a case for a rule that says if a player makes what is deemed to be a deliberate attempt to injure, and does, he is not only fined games, he also cannot play again before the injured player comes back, or is at least capable of coming back from the injury caused. That could mean (worst case) a permanent ban on the player who deliberately caused a career-ender.

If rules like that further discourage unethical behaviour, like coaches putting bounties on another teams players if you knock them out of the game, then it is a good thing for the game. I'm not saying the Bears do that, just that we know it does happen.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

September 30, 2017 at 04:35 pm

Four conference games that include two divisional foes and at least 3 "playoff contenders" (I don't think NO will be there at the end)? Yep, check the boxes for a pivotal stretch...especially with a conference loss to a team likely to be contending for a bye (Atl). Winning at least one of Dallas/Min is pretty important. Must protect home field and get two wins from NO and Detroit.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
mrtundra's picture

October 01, 2017 at 06:27 am

This mini bye came at a great time for the Packers. Hopefully everyone heals up and is well rested and prepared for Dallas. GO PACK, GO!

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Poppa San's picture

October 01, 2017 at 06:44 am

Packers were 3-1 last year including two wins over eventual playoff teams before losing 5/6 starting with a loss in Dallas. So they really didn't struggle out of the gate as stated.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

October 01, 2017 at 11:10 am

...maybe last season had a much bigger gate?

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Since'61's picture

October 01, 2017 at 09:27 am

If we get our players back I think the Packers can go at 3-1 over this upcoming 4 game stretch. I am hoping that we can split with the Viqueens and Cowgirls. We should be able to take both NO and Det at home. We're coming off a mini-bye before we face Dallas which should allow our players to heal up and with the game preparation.
We have a full bye between the Saints and the Lions and MMs teams have been very good coming off bye weeks. Hopefully we can start off with a win versus Dallas and go on from there. If Bak, Bulaga and Daniels are ready for Dallas we should be OK. One game at a time. Thanks, Since '61

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
EdsLaces's picture

October 01, 2017 at 10:44 am

I think we win 2 of these games maaaaaybe 3. But Dallas ...isn't one of em. We are gonna get the ball ran down our throat. We all wanna be optimistic about our defense, but zeke and that OL are just the best we will face...period. I hope I'm wrong, but I just don't think I will be.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

October 01, 2017 at 11:13 am

Dallas hasn't done that to anyone, yet, but they've played better defenses than GB for the most part, so far.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Poppa San's picture

October 01, 2017 at 12:00 pm

Last season, Dallas showed the Packers decently ranked run defense was just a mirage acquired by smoke and mirrors aka bad running teams. Hopefully this year is different. That said, I'm still starting Elliot in FF next week.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

October 01, 2017 at 01:47 pm

Elliott's mostly matchup proof.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
GBPDAN1's picture

October 03, 2017 at 04:58 am

We will need our offense working at an optimal performance level to win during this stretch. We need that scoring machine back and it all starts with getting healthy. Bak, Bulaga, Adams and Ty getting back to action is imperative!

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0

Log in to comment and more!

Not a member yet? Join free.

If you have already commented on Cheesehead TV in the past, we've created an account for you. Just verify your email, set a password and you're golden.