With a win over the Atlanta Falcons at home, the Packers have kept their hopes alive for being Big Game Bound but now they will have to go on the road to division rivals the Chicago Bears.
Interim Head Coach Joe Philbin’s debut as head coach went about as good as could be expected despite losing two challenges on the opening drive and falling behind 7-0.
But that didn’t stop them. The Packer rattled off 34 unanswered points against the Falcons and held on for a 34 – 20 putting them at 5-7-1 overall, and still in the NFC playoff race.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw for less yards than he has all season, but he’s fine with the results,
“I wouldn’t say the concepts were basic, but I thought the flow was really good, Joe did a great job.
The communication was great on the sideline and the flow was good and kind of got into a rhythm.”
They’ll need that same kind of performance against the Bears who have performing off the charts with the best defensive football in the league. Not only did they shut down the high flying Rams last Sunday but they picked off Jared Goff four times.
They are 3rd in total defense, 4th in sacks and number one in the NFL with 34 takeaways and an NFL best plus 13 turnover margin.
According to Philbin, it’s how they put you in bad spots that makes the biggest difference;
“If you look at the game the other night, I think they had the Rams in 2nd and 10 plus maybe 11 times, 10 times?
Now you’re susceptible to all these linemen going like this. And these guys are fast and they move well and they might want to blitz here and there.
It makes your job tougher. Takeaways certainly in the game the other night were a big factor, and I think they have been throughout the course of the year.”
The season started for both these teams in week one at Lambeau Field and it was another memorable chapter in the longest running rivalry where Rodgers naturally led the greatest late game comeback in Packers history after being down 20 – 0.
This time around, there are plenty of factors to consider. The Packers have won 8 straight in Chicago but Green Bay hasn’t won a single road game this season. Not to mention, Rodgers has owned the Bears in his career with a 17-4 overall record.
The Playoff Picture comes down to this:
- They will need to win out
- Carolina, Philadelphia, and Washington each lose at least one game
- Vikings lose two out of their last three.
A loss in Chicago and the Packers are almost guaranteed to be done in Green Bay for 2018.