The Green Bay Packers currently sit atop of the NFC North with a 6-2 record as they are officially half-way through the 2020 Regular Season. Thankfully, they’ve avoided major injury blows (knocking on my wooden kitchen table as I write this) and although they’ve gone through multiple stretches without key playmakers on the field, they appear to be in good health as they move forward in their season.
After the Packers 34-17 win against the depleted 49ers on Thursday in a game where it was much more of a blowout than the score reflects, the team has 10 days to rest until their home game on November 15th against the Jacksonville Jaguars. As the Packers go into the 2nd half of the season, they look to build on their first half success and position themselves for a strong playoff push.
Packers 2nd Half Schedule: (Opponent Records in Parenthesis)
November 15th: Jaguars (1-6) at Packers
November 22nd: Packers at Colts (5-2)
November 29th: Bears (5-3) at Packers (SNF)
December 6th: Eagles (3-4-1) at Packers
December 13th: Packers at Lions (3-4)
December 20th: Panthers (3-5) at Packers
December 27th: Titans (5-2) at Packers (SNF)
January 3rd: Packers at Bears
The first gut observation I have in a quick glance of their 2nd half schedule is that it’s not overly difficult. Of course, nothing can be taken for granted in the NFL and things can change quickly. However, at first look, all 8 of these games fall in the category of “very winnable”.
The second observation I have is that the Packers play the Bears twice in this stretch. I think the Packers are better than the Bears and they presently have a better record (6-2 vs 5-3) but there’s no getting around the fact that the two Bears games could be massively critical in deciding the division, especially the Sunday Night Game at Lambeau after Thanksgiving.
One of the common themes that stands out to me about the teams they play in the 2nd half of the season is that most of their opponents aren’t great running the football. It’s no secret the Packers struggle to stop the run, so this is good news for them.
In 4 of their remaining 8 games, they will go against the 29th, 30th and 31st worst rushing attacks in the NFL (Lions, Jaguars, Bears – stats based on Team Rushing Yards Per Game).
The Titans are the 4th best rushing team in the NFL and that should be a very entertaining Sunday Night game. Outside of that, the Packers don’t have much to be overly concerned about. The Colts (25th best rushing team), Eagles (15th) and Panthers (18th) aren’t scary.
On the other side of the coin is the Packers offense against these opposing defenses. It’ll be very helpful for an already potent offense to get David Bakhtiari and Allen Lazard back in the lineup and they’ll need them down the stretch.
The Colts game at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 22nd should be interesting. Indianapolis has a good defense, led by linebacker Darius Leonard and Ex-49er DT Deforest Buckner. This will no doubt be the best defense the Packers play up to this point in their schedule outside of Tampa. The Bears have played well on defense this season too and when you factor in the familiarly of the teams, it will be a challenging test for the Packers offense.
With 8 down and 8 to go, the Packers have put themselves in a good spot to win back-to-back NFC North Titles and make another push for the Lombardi Trophy. Their schedule appears favorable but nothing is guaranteed in the NFL. 5 of their remaining 8 games are at Lambeau Field and maybe we’ll even see a few fans in the bleachers at some point. Now, it’s about getting some rest and preparing for the Jaguars next Sunday.——————
Alex grew up in a family of Chicago Bears fans in the suburbs of Chicago but was always a Packers guy. Alex\'s AIM name when he was in elementary/middle school was PackerAlex. He now lives in Nashville, Tennessee and you can follow him on twitter at @Alex_Mayer93.