While grazing on Thanksgiving dinner, it may be hard for Green Bay Packers fans to swallow the stuffing the team took in California last Sunday.
Losing that badly in front of a national audience surely left a bad taste, but, thankfully, every Sunday offers a new dish. The Packers’ remaining schedule offers tantalizing matchups and should be a delightful palate cleanser to push the team into the playoffs.
No win is guaranteed, any given Sunday and whatnot, but four of the Packers’ remaining five games are extremely favorable matchups, featuring a cornucopia of rookie quarterbacks, poorly run organizations, losing records, and Mitch Trubisky. With the way the defense and special teams units have been trending downward, these games offer a chance to get back on track and get hot before the playoffs.
This Sunday, the Packers take on the New York Giants, a 2-9 shell of their former self. Rookie QB Daniel Jones has shown some promise for the future, but not enough to worry about this season. Outside of Saquon Barkley, who hasn’t been the same since returning from a high-ankle sprain, the Giants don’t have many offensive playmakers. The defense is nothing to write home about either.
Next, the Packers host a Washington team currently sitting at the bottom of the NFC. Believe it or not, an interim head coach, major questions at quarterback, the worst owner in professional sports, and the worst offense in the league are not a recipe for success.
The Packers then end the regular season with three divisional games, starting with the Chicago Bears in Week 15. The mood going into this game will be much different than the season opener, as the Bears have struggled mightily. At 5-6, the once Super Bowl hopeful team is trying desperately to avoid a 4th place finish in the NFCN. Mitch Trubisky regressed heavily this season, and he wasn’t exactly good in the first place. Anything can happen in a divisional game, but this team is much less fearsome than the first time around.
Week 16 features the Green Bay Packers is the lone game against a winning team, and it’ll be a doozy. The Minnesota Vikings are hot on the Packers’ tail, and this game will have major playoff seeding implications. The Packers have yet to win in U.S. Bank Stadium; ideally, some momentum from the previous games allows that to change.
Finally, the team travels to Detroit for a season-ender against the Lions. The biggest question mark is whether or not Matthew Stafford will play again this season. Should Stafford play, the Packers will need to be careful, no matter the Lions record going into this game. Stafford has a habit of dicing up the Packers defense and can’t be underestimated. If Stafford goes on IR, then yeah, I’m not too worried.
The Packers sit at 8-3, and, barring a meltdown or being forced to play in California for some reason, have a real shot at ending the regular season 13-3 or 12-4. Considering how other rookie head coaches around the league are doing, the direction this team is trending is absolutely something to be thankful for.Matt Hendershott is a Packers fan and Miller High Life enthusiast from Northwest Ohio. He has a Master of Arts in Media and Communication from Bowling Green State University. You can follow him on Twitter @MattHendershott.