With Aaron Rodgers Out Of The Game, Are Packers Out Of The Hunt?

QB Aaron Rodgers

When Aaron Rodgers went down during the Green Bay Packers 27-20 loss to the Chicago Bears, the Packers didn’t just lose an important divisional game, they also lost Rodgers for the near future. Aaron Rodgers suffered a fractured collarbone and Green Bay may have suffered a death blow to their 2013 playoff hopes.

Now, KC Joyner thinks that the Packers can win without Aaron Rodgers, having sufficient faith in the running game to keep the team climbing the standings. That didn’t work out this weekend against the Philadelphia Eagles, as the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers dropped a home game 27-13 with just 99 combined yards on the ground.

Green Bay also saw their quarterback situation go from bad to worse: Seneca Wallace, veteran backup for Aaron Rodgers, left the game after just five passes with a groin injury. With Rodgers inactive, third-stringer Scott Tolzien saw his first NFL game action. He made a valiant effort and threw his first NFL touchdown pass. After throwing his first two NFL interceptions, that is.

So, can the Green Bay Packers win without Aaron Rodgers? Recent evidence suggests no, but that game was against a Philly team on the upswing behind Nick Foles. Green Bay’s next outing comes on the road against the New York Giants, currently enjoying a three-game win streak, and with Rodgers expected to be out at least another three weeks, Green Bay is reportedly checking out Matt Flynn today. Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Tolzien will get the start Sunday, however. Whomever is taking snaps in Aaron Rodgers’ absence will be doing so against the Giants‘ 10th-ranked run defense and 11th-ranked pass defense.

Aaron Rodgers’ original 4-6 week prognosis also puts him out for Week 12’s game against lowly division rivals, the Minnesota Vikings. Following the prognosis, Rodgers’ first potential game back would be Week 14’s Atlanta Falcons game, as the Packers take on the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving. Detroit is likely going in the loss column and Minnesota likely a win; the Giants are up in the air. After the Falcons game, assuming Rodgers has returned, the Packers still face challenges in Dallas and Chicago.

Can the Packers win without Aaron Rodgers? Who should Green Bay play in Aaron Rodgers’ absence? Did you see this video of Aaron Rodgers?