I'm pretty certain, that nobody expected us to be at 6-6-1 after 13 games. Even if that had happened, I doubt that they would think that we would have a good chance at the division, because the Bears and Lions were both expected to bounce back. So here are a few thoughts on the season so far and then looking forward to the end of the season.
Considering what a carousel we have had at QB for the past 6 weeks, I'm counting the whole Bears game as a game without Rodgers, since he was hurt in the first quarter, we could be doing a lot worse. When I look at teams who have played multiple QB's this year, like Browns and the Vikings, we have a much better record. As far as yards per game is concerned, the Packers are still 5th in the NFL with 394.5 YPG. We are in a 3 way tie for scoring per game, 24.3 PPG, tied with the Chargers and 49ers. Lacy has been doing great, but with a lot of injuries, especially on offense, McCarthy is still doing a great job there.
Defensively, we are around the middle of the pack for yards per game overall, rushing, and passing defense yards. Our defense has 39 Sacks, which is only 5 behind the NFL leader which is Buffalo. But our defense is at it's best when it is forcing turnovers, an issue that our defense has always had in the 3-4 under Dom Capers. When we won the Super Bowl in 2010, Tramon Williams had a pick to guarantee the victory against the Eagles at the end of the game. Everyone remembers the pick 6 right before the half by Williams against Atlanta. BJ Raji had a pick 6 against the Bears. Collins had another pick 6 against the Steelers, and Clay was able to force a fumble in the 4th quarter also. But only 7 INT this year, is horrible. The Tampa Bay Bucs have 21 INT on defense this year.
Crosby and Masthay have been at the top of their game all year. Probably been a difference maker in some of the closer games we have had this year. But I don't think we can blame much on our current special teams players from this year (Jeremy Ross, that is completely different).
So here are some rooting interests for the rest of the year.
As much as it pains me to say it. I will be rooting for the Cowboys tonight, but only because then we would be second in the division. We need the Bears to lose, and technically if we both win out until week 17, and then we beat them in week 17, we would finish ahead of them. But you can't blame me for wanting to make this a two horse race instead of 3.
--Ravens over Lions (MNF)
--Browns over Bears
--Packers over Cowboys
Of course, right after I have us cheering for the Cowboys, I want us to turn around and beat them. I have hope that we can win the game against the Cowboys with or without Rodgers, because their defense is miserable. It is the worst defense in the NFL, and I think that we should be able to run and pass against them. Browns over Bears is probably pretty wishful, but it is in Cleveland, and they almost beat the Patriots this past week, and their defense is strong, and the Bears defense is pretty rough. Ravens over Lions is a very strong one for me. It is probably the Lions toughest opponent left on their schedule. If the Lions don't lose that one, and they have to lose at least one for us to pass them, then I don't know for sure where they will lose.
--Eagles over Bears
--Giants over Lions
--Packers over Steelers
Eagles over Bears would be a likely result in my opinion. Giants have been very inconsistent, but they might be able to beat the Lions if they can avoid turnovers. Steelers are still a tough team and have been improving later in the year since they have Le'Veon Bell.
--Packers over Bears
--Vikings over Lions
Let's be honest, the Packers beating the Bears is the only likely result listed above here. I just don't trust the Vikings to do anything right, and the Bears are going to do everything they can to knock us out of the playoffs and put themselves in. Right now I think that the Packers probably have about a 20% chance of winning the division. Both the Panthers and 49ers would have to lose out and have some other things happen for us to win a wild card, that's why I didn't bring up that possibility. I don't claim to know what will happen by the end of the year. But I'm hanging onto my seat, wearing my green and yellow with pride, and hoping and cheering for the best.