Monday, December 07, 2015

Down The Stretch: The Packers Last Four Games of the 2015 Season

Despite their mid-season swoon on offense (if their injuries at receiver weren't enough, the injuries on the offensive line are a bigger problem at the moment) and their defense's struggles to create a pass rush without blitzing a defensive back, the Green Bay Packers are at 8-4 and a top the NFC North. The main concern is going to be the Minnesota Vikings and winning the NFC North title, though a wild card birth is a strong possibility even if they struggle down the stretch.

With one game remaining against each other, and both the Packers and Vikings are traveling to Arizona for one game, their schedules are very similar. Each team plays another team with a long-shot chance at the playoffs (Packers at Raiders, Vikings host Giants) and another one against a team that's just finishing out the season (Packers host Cowboys, Vikings host Bears).

Confidence is important for a team, not the most important thing but it's a factor, and for what it's worth, the Packers have a lot of confidence after winning a game on a Hail Mary pass while the Vikings completely fell apart at home against the Seahawks. It's never a good thing when a team's star player starts calling out his coaches in public.
I'd love to say I know how the next four games are going to go for the Packers but they've been so inconsistent while losing four of their last six games that it's hard to predict. However, the Broncos game being the exception, after every time they've fallen behind recently, they've managed to stage a late game rally or comeback win. So no matter how bad they look (i.e. the first quarter against the Lions) they'll still have a chance to rally. The Cowboys game should be a win but nothing is a given right now. Traveling across the country to play the Raiders feels like a trap game before they visit the Cardinals (which is their toughest remaining game). Then it'll be a rematch against the Vikings which might be the game to decide who'll make the playoffs.

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