The Green Bay Packers came into Week 14 looking to come through in a must-win situation against the Cleveland Browns. Brett Hundley knew that getting a win would keep the Packers alive and give Aaron Rodgers a chance to come back from his broken collarbone to lead the team to the playoffs. He was able to do his part and led the Packers to a 27-21 overtime win over the Browns.
Now, Rodgers will have a chance to return in Week 15 against the Carolina Panthers with a 7-6 record and a shot at making the playoffs. Beating the Panthers will be a huge step in that direction if they are able to make it happen.
Rodgers was playing at an MVP level early this season before going down with the injury. He had completed 66.3 percent of his passes for 1,385 yards, 13 touchdowns, and just three interceptions, according to ESPN statistics. Green Bay also got off to a 4-1 start before Rodgers went down with his injury.
Finding a way into the postseason won’t be easy, but the Packers have done crazier things. They may be on the outside looking in with a lot of work to do right now, but Rodgers’ return gives them a confidence and swagger for the rest of their schedule.
All of that being said, why will Rodgers be able to lead Green Bay to the NFL playoffs when everything is said and done?
Green Bay Is Playing Confident Football
Even without Rodgers over the past two weeks, the Packers have found ways to carve out wins. Green Bay has won two straight overtime games and is playing a confident brand of football. Adding Rodgers to that mix will make things even easier for the Packers.
Remaining Schedule For Other Contenders
Green Bay is currently competing with the Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks, Carolina Panthers, and Detroit Lions for playoff positioning. All four teams have tough remaining schedules, which could allow the Packers to sneak into the final Wild Card spot.
Atlanta (8-5): at Tampa Bay, at New Orleans, vs. Carolina.
Carolina (9-4): vs. Green Bay, vs. Tampa Bay, at Atlanta.
Detroit (7-6): vs. Chicago, at Cincinnati, vs. Green Bay.
Seattle (8-5): vs. Los Angeles Rams, at Dallas, vs. Arizona.
All four teams have some tough games on their schedule. If the Packers can win out and have a combination of Atlanta losing two out of their last three games with Seattle dropping a game, they could sneak into the playoffs.
Packers Running Game Is Legit
Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones, and the Packers’ ground game has become one of their strengths this season. Green Bay has seen their rookie running backs literally keep them in games and come through when needed to win. That will continue and will help take pressure off of Rodgers.
Aaron Rodgers Will Work His Magic
There are very few quarterbacks capable of working the kind of magic that Rodgers has proven himself capable of doing. Green Bay has a tough schedule ahead as well, but Rodgers can get them those wins. It won’t be easy, but neither was running the table last season to squeak into the playoffs.
Expect to see Green Bay put up a tough fight down the stretch. They may not end up making the playoffs, but they will leave everything they have on the field. Rodgers and company are certainly not in great position, but to count them out of the playoffs at this point in the season would be a big mistake.