The Green Bay Packers are fresh off of a disappointing 30-17 loss to the Detroit Lions on Monday night. It has been a rough three games since Aaron Rodgers went down with a broken collarbone, and the Packers have gone from 4-1 to 4-4. Now, they are fighting to remain in playoff contention.
Brett Hundley has struggled mightily throughout the first two starts of his career, as well as the rest of the game against the Vikings that Rodgers was unable to finish. He has thrown four interceptions compared to just one touchdown. Green Bay’s offense has floundered with Hundley leading the way.
One issue for the Packers has been the “babysitting” that head coach Mike McCarthy has shown in playcalling for Hundley. He has yet to open up the playbook and allow Hundley to actually play the quarterback position. That has to change immediately if the Packers want to have a chance at making the playoffs.
Green Bay still has a lot of talent on their roster and could stay in contention. There is a chance that Rodgers could return to the field late in the season. If that does end up happening and the Packers are close to the playoff race, Green Bay could once again squeak into the playoffs.
All of that being said, can the Packers still make the playoffs with Rodgers out until at least late December? What reasons can be given to support the statement that they can still make the playoffs?
Improved Running Game
One area that the Packers have to be happy with this season is the production of their ground game. Rookie running back Aaron Jones has taken over the starting job and looks like a future star, while Ty Montgomery is still a capable running back himself. Green Bay’s passing game has taken a big step back, and they will need their running attack to continue producing big numbers.
Brett Hundley Will Continue Developing
There is no denying the fact that Hundley has a lot of potential. He has a strong arm and a lot of athleticism and still has plenty of room to grow with more playing time. Even though he has struggled in his first two starts, there are reasons to believe that he can turn things around and win a few games.
Green Bay’s Defense Can Make Plays
Another area that the Packers have shown improvement in this season is defensive playmaking. Unfortunately, they also still give up big plays in bunches. Green Bay will need their defense to cut down on the big plays and come through with more plays being made and turnovers forced.
Still One of the Best Receiving Units
Even without Rodgers, the Packers still have one of the best receiving units in the league. Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and Davante Adams are all NFL stars, but they need Hundley to get the football to them. If Hundley can get more freedom in the offense, Green Bay still has the personnel to stay in playoff contention.
Wide Open Competition in the NFC
Finally, no team has taken the NFC by storm outside of the Philadelphia Eagles. Even at 4-4, the Packers are very close to being in the playoff picture. If Green Bay can find a way to string a few wins together, they will stick around and give themselves a chance to make the playoffs in the last couple weeks of the season.
Do you think the Green Bay Packers can still make the playoffs this season? Let us know your thoughts!
[Featured Image by Mike Roemer/AP Images]