PACKERS FOOTBALL FRIDAY: Trying to Find a Way

Clay Matthews

I would imagine that a lot of you reacted to Aaron Rodgers wincing in pain and jogging off of the Lambeau Field turf the same way that I did.  I was silent.  I was more concerned for a person whom I have never met than I probably should have been.  I was constantly refreshing my twitter feed for anyone, anyone to tell me that my quarterback was going to come back in to the game and beat the hated Bears.  It didn’t happen.  We lost.  Chicago won.  At our place.  Seneca Wallace looked less than adequate and the defense played uninspired football.  It was terrible.

But the team has to move on.  The fans have to move on.  No one knows how long Aaron Rodgers is going to be unable to compete.  The number 3 weeks was thrown around on Tuesday morning, but that now seems to be optimistic.  If I were to throw a guess out there, I’d suggest that Rodgers will miss the next four weeks, including the Thanksgiving showdown with the Lions, and use the 10 days between that game and the home contest against the Falcons to get the team ready to compete.  Chances are that the Packers are going to have to duplicate the first half of the season’s 5-3 record to get to 10-6 and in to the playoffs.  Keep in mind that this team has won a Super Bowl as a 6 seed with that very same record.  Now, more than ever, Coach McCarthy needs everyone, players and fans alike to keep calm and carry on.

Why the Packers Will Win: This is going to sound weird, but health.  I think that the best shot that the Packers have to win this game is the fact that the defense is getting healthy.  There appears to be a 50-50 shot that Nick Perry will go.  Clay Matthews appears to be a go.  Casey Hayward and Brad Jones are back (although both played questionably against the Bears).  The Packers defense appears to have it’s full complement of weapons in order to deal with Nick Foles and the Eagles defense.  The other thing going for Green Bay is, as bad as it looked on Monday, the Packers will be formulating a game plan for Seneca Wallace, and he will spend the week executing that game plan.  The Eagles are not good at defending the run, so the hope here is that Eddie Lacy can dominate the clock, throw off Kelly’s offense, and the Packers can play enough defense to get a win.

Why the Eagles Will Win: Aaron Charles Rodgers is not playing.

Fantasy Packer to Start: Jordy Nelson- don’t give up on Jordy, I think he’s going to maintain at least relevant fantasy value.  I also noticed that Andrew Quarless is Seneca’s security blanket so if you have Rob Gronkowski on bye or are otherwsie desperate at tight end I do see Q as a long shot play.

Fantasy Packers to Sit: James Jones and Jarret Boykin- I’m out on anyone on this passing offense that isn’t Nelson in a standard 10 team league until I see that Seneca can throw the ball or that Aaron Rodgers is back.

Packers Stat of the Week: For just the 3rd time in 372 games the Packers starting QB isn’t Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers.  That. Is. Staggering.

Bottom Line: I want to pick the Packers, I do.  I want to believe that Coach Mac and Coach Capers are going to get this team ready to play without their leader, but I just can’t.  James Jones isn’t 100%.  Randall Cobb isn’t playing.  Jermichael Finley isn’t playing.  Clay Matthews is wearing a club.  The line between winning and losing is very close in the NFL and the Packers are stepping all over it.  Aaron Rodgers was the great eraser of problems, injuries, and coverages and while I’m not panicking, I don’t think that this team is quite ready to get a win without him.  Packers 20 Eagles 24

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Ross Uglem is a writer at PackersTalk.com. You can follow Ross on twitter at RossUglem

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