Thursday, December 15, 2016

Packers pluck Seahawks, get ready for Bears

Sunday's 38-10 victory by the Green Bay Packers over the Seattle Seahawks was a thing of beauty. It was a complete, dominating game by the Pack in all three phases of the game: offense, defense and special teams. Oh, and did we mention it was against the Seahawks? Seattle. Seahawks. That makes it extra sweet, doesn't it? Aside from beating NFC North division rivals, and the Cowboys, nothing is really as satisfying these days as plucking the sea birds. No, change that, embarrassing them. This was a loss of epic and historic proportions for this Pete Carroll-led team. In our best Jerry Seinfeld voice: That's a shame.
QB Aaron Rodgers -- and the rest of the Packers -- had Seattle's number Sunday.
Photo by Mark Hoffman, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Many players rose to the occasion. QB Aaron Rodgers played through the hamstring injury nagging him, as well as a new calf injury he sustained on the third play of the game. His final quarterback rating was just over 150. The offensive line, the receivers, the McGyver'd rushing attack, punter Jacob Schum, coverage was as good a performance as Packer fans have seen in a long time. Oh, and did we mention the interceptions of Seattle QB Russell Wilson? They were plentiful. Wilson hadn't ever thrown that many interceptions in a regular season game.

So while we are still riding high from this big win, we need to balance that with the reality that the Packers, at 7-6, are sitting in third place in the NFC North and have about five teams ahead of them right now in the NFC Wild Card race. They've won three in a row. But it was that four game losing streak that has put them behind the eight ball. The Packers need to win each of their three remaining games beginning with Da Bearz this Sunday in Chicago, then the ViQueens home at Lambeau Field, then finish the regular season at Detroit. If they do that, and the Lions lose at least one of their two upcoming games on the road against either the Giants or the Cowboys, the Packers and Detroit will be playing that January 1 game in Detroit for the NFC North Division Championship. That is likely the only way the Packers can be assured of making the playoffs. Lose one of these three games and, at 9-6, it's very likely the Pack will be packing up (no pun intended) for a long offseason.

Coming up: Da Bearz in very cold Chicago
The Packers have to face a wounded and woeful Bears team in Chicago on what weather forecasters are predicting will be one of the coldest games in recent memory. Temperature forecasts are for around zero degrees, plus winds gusting to 25 or 30 mph creating wind chills far below zero. The wind may very well cause havoc with the Pack's passing game, so the running attack -- spearheaded by receiver-turned-running-back, Ty Montgomery -- will have to certainly carrying its own weight this weekend. If the defense can generate turnovers even half as much as it did against Seattle the Packers should come away with the win. This is no "gimmee" game by any stretch, especially given the expected conditions. And while Bears QB Matt Barkley is serviceable given time in the pocket, he's also no Aaron Rodgers. Keys for the Pack will be getting pressure on Barkley, protecting Rodgers, creating turnovers while having none of their own. Simple, really, isn't it? Easier said than done. But do the Packers must.

We'll be back with our fuller preview and prediction closer to game time. Check back! Or follow us on Twitter @packfansunited for updates. We appreciate it.