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Packers on Life Support – Will Soldier Field Be Their Graveyard?

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Packers on Life Support – Will Soldier Field Be Their Graveyard?

Aaron Rodgers may not have been the hitman but he masterminded the hit on former head coach Mike McCarthy. Alas, the dirty deed is done and the Packers looked invigorated for the first time in a long time when they soundly trounced the Falcons 34-20 last week. Atlanta was never in this one and got a pair of meaningless touchdowns in the fourth quarter to pull within two touchdowns when the final gun sounded. One of the most trusted and respected online sportsbooks, Heritage Sports, offered the Packers as 4 ½ point favorites over the woeful Dirty Birds but that line obviously didn’t take into account the “witch is dead” mentality of the team after McCarthy got sacked.

When Terry Bradshaw implied Rodgers pulled the strings on the Big Mac Attack, the star QB had this to say to ESPN, "I don't have a reaction to that. I don't need to respond to every pundit out there. I don't know many times I've got to stand here and tell you, I don't feel like I need to convince anybody about Mike and I's relationship."

It looks like this could be a lost season for the Packers as they head into Week 15 with a disappointing 5-7-1 straight up record and vying, along with five other teams, for two available wild-card spots, all of which have better records. One and done pretty much says it all and their due date could be this Sunday when they take on the division-leading Chicago Bears on their home soil. You may recall these ancient rivals met in Week 1 where Green Bay rallied off the golden arm of Aaron Rodgers to bridge a 20-point deficit and ultimately secured a 24-23 victory. That seems like a very long time ago.

Mike McCarthy may be gone but let’s not forget that Green Bay has won nine of the last 10 meetings against Chicago under his watch. Joe Philbin is now the man at the helm and if last week is any indicator, Aaron Rodgers will be scanning the field less and releasing the ball sooner. But Philbin’s tenure as the main man in Green Bay is uncertain and time will tell whether Rodgers takes enough of a shine to him that he will transition from interim to permanent head coach. What we do know is that whoever ultimately sits in the big chair will have to get Rodgers’ blessing. We all know what that looks like because LeBron James did pretty much the same thing when he handpicked Tyronn Lue to be a well-dressed mannequin seated on the sidelines when the King returned to his Cleveland court.

The intriguing aspect of this Week 15 matchup with the Bears is that if the Packers can pull off the upset – and yes, according to Heritage Sports hanging the Packers as six-point road underdogs it would qualify as an upset – then their remaining two games are eminently winnable. Week 16 features a trip to New Jersey where they would take on a lackluster Jets team and then the Pack would wrap the season at home with a meeting against a team they lost to earlier in the season, the Detroit Lions. If the moon and stars align with Mercury in retrograde in conjunction with a solar eclipse that renders the Eagles, Redskins, Vikings, Panthers, and Seahawks incapable of winning then we could see our Packers playing in January. Not likely but what we do know is that the patient known as GBP will flatline if the visit to Chicago is anything less than a success.



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Oppy's picture

1250 am "the fan" in Milwaukee just went over all these scenarios about an hour ago. They way they see it, assuming the Packers win out, only (2) upsets need to occur across the 15 or so games that need to fall just right for the Packers to make the play offs.

It doesn't sound so horrible when you think of it in those terms. Problem is, upsets do happen, and it's likely one of the games where the Packers need the favorite to win, will lose.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Packers upsetting the Bears would be a pretty huge third upset at this point.

HankScorpio's picture

Heck, the Packers have yet to win on the road so I don't see that Jets game as being in the bag either.

ILPackerBacker's picture

Nothing sounds so horrible when you look back and acknowledge all we needed to do was get plays called on time. Not waste time outs. Not make punt returns calls on 2nd down or 4th down calls before 4th down.

Or put Jones on the field.

All of this is actually really easy. The biggest problem has been removed. We shall see how the formula moves forward.

Oppy's picture

Biggest problem still remains.

The playcaller doesn't matter much when the QB has complete autonomy to change the plays at the LOS.

4thand1's picture

In 2010 they got help to get in. The Giants blew a 21 point 4th quarter lead and the lolions won a road game in tampa without megatron. Their 1st road win in forever. Both the last week of the season. The biggest if is for the Pack to beat dabears, and queens to lose 2. IMO the loss against the cards was the nail in the coffin. The Packers proved they can hang with anyone this season, just like 2010/11. Just get in, anything can happen. Here's to picking 32 in the next draft!

Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

Two days ago, had us projected to be drafting in the 10 spot. After the weekend, we are still at 12. A 10th to 32nd jump would probably be one of the greatest 4 game jumps in forever. We have 5 more days to live this dream. Let's hope Philbin dials up a few exciting new plays and the Pack plays inspired ball to sweep the barelies.

CAG123's picture

“Hanging with anyone” aka losing but not losing badly aka moral victories which means absolutely nothing in the NFL.

Lare's picture

The only chance the Packers have of making it to the playoffs is if they fire Zook tomorrow.

The TKstinator's picture


ricky's picture

At the very least, I want the Packers in contention for a playoff spot going into the final week. And if the team does make it to the playoffs, let them be the "team no one else wants to play" because Rodgers has gone on another tear like he did in 2010. Never give up!

JimR_in_SoCal's picture


Lare's picture

I hear ya.

Bure9620's picture

It is possible, the Vikings o line looks awful right now, Cousins is awful under duress. Could see them losing 2. If they lose to the Dolphins it is on!

flackcatcher's picture

Oh lord, and maybe I'll draw the winning ticket in Powerball too..............:)

Bearmeat's picture

I can actually see the Vikings losing 2 of their last 3. They were BAD the past two weeks. And I definitely think the other 3 teams involved will lose at least 1 each. And I defintely see GB winning their last two games.

It all comes down to Sunday though. I don't see GB beating Chicago. I'd love to be surprised, but don't see it happening.

Since '61's picture

Anything can happen. Think of where we would be if not for the stupid roughing the passer call against CM3 in the first Vikings game and if Monty doesn't return and fumble against the Rams.

We would be 7-6 and in charge of our own destiny. And of course MM would still be the HC. Thanks, Since '61

GVPacker's picture

And if Mason Crosby had made all those kicks (FG's and Xtra Points) he missed against the Lions in Detroit!

HankScorpio's picture

Crosby is my choice for "MVP" this year. If he makes that kick vs Arizona and they win in OT, maybe MM is still around.

CAG123's picture

My goodness we were all for letting this season go 2 weeks ago and all it took was a win over the hapless Falcons fielding one of the leagues WORST defenses and now we’re suddenly in playoff shape? Have we forgotten that 3 out of the Packers 5 wins have come against the leagues worst teams (49ers, Bills, Falcons) and that this team still hasn’t won a game on the road? This team still has 2 road games to play and if we’re talking playoffs it’s 4 straight. Did those road woes suddenly get fixed because MM is gone and they beat the Falcons? I’m just not a fan of making the playoffs just for the sake of making the playoffs which would be the case if the Packers made it.

LeotisHarris's picture

I've thought about the questions you posed. I'd answer no to all of them.

Plus, if we somehow trip on our collective crank and *still* find teams to beat not only do we mess up a better draft position, the Packers will delay deep Pro Shop discounts. I'm holding out for the aforementioned discounts with Xmas only 2 weeks away.

Swisch's picture

In any case, if the Pack can finish the regular season with four wins in a row, that would be something worth celebrating.
There are never any certainties in the playoffs -- as we've seen winning the Super Bowl in 2010 as a wild card, then the next year losing our first playoff game as the #1 seed.
There are never any certainties in the draft, either.
So let's just focus on winning any games we can. These games aren't so important that we can't try young guys; yet it's always important to play to win.
Just beating the Bears this Sunday would be huge! Let's treat this game as our Super Bowl. If we win, then we can truly celebrate in a big way, and even start hoping just a tiny bit about repeating the remarkable run of 2010.

Donster's picture

"Just beating the Bears this Sunday would be huge! Let's treat this game as our Super Bowl. If we win, then we can truly celebrate in a big way, and even start hoping just a tiny bit about repeating the remarkable run of 2010."

Agree Swisch. The Bears game is our Super Bowl. And it will not go well. With a depleted offensive line, piss poor backups, lack of a good TE, and a weakened defensive line and rookies and off-cast players in the secondary, beating the Bears in Chicago, when they can clinch the NFC North by beating us, is a very, very difficult mountain to climb. It would be great if we can, but the odds are not in our favor.

Swisch's picture

That's the fun of football, thinking things will probably happen one way, but that just maybe they could happen another. It's especially true of rivalry games.
Let's hope the motivation for the Packers is through the roof. Let's hope that our guys are better than their obscurity would suggest; that maybe the Bears have some vulnerabilities that haven't been exposed so much; and that our interim coach will find a way to highlight our strengths against their weaknesses.
While being an underdog isn't an excuse for playing recklessly, it does provide a certain freedom to play exuberantly. Breeland says he's having fun playing football again after being sidelined by injuries. Let's hope the rest of our guys see this game in a similar way as an opportunity to have some fun and kick some Bear bottoms.

Patrick Helms's picture

anyone can win on ....any given Sunday

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