Aaron Rodgers is back, and his return couldn’t have come at a better time for the Green Bay Packers. Heading into Week 15 with a tough matchup against the Carolina Panthers on the schedule, the Packers are in a must-win situation to keep their playoff hopes alive. Even if they run the table, they are not guaranteed a spot in the playoffs.
Coming into this week’s game with a 7-6 record, the Packers can finally breathe a sigh of relief. Brett Hundley did a serviceable job taking over the starting quarterback role for Green Bay but certainly did not impress most of the fans. He was extremely inconsistent and frustrated fans with his inability to show development.
Despite the frustration that Green Bay fans had with Hundley, he kept the Packers alive. He gave Rodgers a chance to come back and save the Packers’ season.
Cam Newton and the Panthers are one of the teams ahead of Green Bay in the standings. They are also one of the teams that the Packers could conceivably overtake in the standings to earn a Wild Card spot. Carolina has been playing good football this season, and playing at home will make this game extremely difficult for the Packers to win.
All of that being said, what reasons can be given to support the statement that the Packers will head to Carolina and keep their season alive with a huge win over the Panthers?
Aaron Rodgers Is Known for Working Late-Season Magic
It has happened before for the Packers. Rodgers broke his collarbone once before, missed the majority of the season, then came back and led Green Bay to the playoffs. Working that magic will be much more difficult this time around, but Rodgers is certainly capable of making it happen.
Green Bay’s Pass Rush Will Force Newton Turnovers
Newton has had a solid all-around season but has only thrown 17 touchdowns compared to 12 interceptions. Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, Mike Daniels, and company will look to pressure him all game long this week. Green Bay has a dangerous pass rush and will force Newton to make mistakes.
Jamaal Williams Will Continue His Strong Play
Over the past two weeks, in particular, Jamaal Williams has become one of the most dangerous running backs in the NFC. He rushed for 113 yards and a touchdown against Tampa Bay, then rushed for 49 yards and a touchdown to go along with 69 receiving yards and a touchdown against the Browns, according to ESPN statistics. Williams will take a lot of pressure off of Rodgers’ shoulder and will have yet another big game.
Jordy Nelson Will Be Back On Track
Since Rodgers’ injury, Jordy Nelson has been a non-factor for the Packers. He simply did not seem to have chemistry with Hundley. That will change this week, and Nelson will be a nightmare for the Panthers’ defense with Rodgers back under center.
Extra Motivation And Energy
There is no question that the Packers will come into this week’s game knowing that their season is on the line. They will also be playing with a huge amount of energy with Rodgers back on the field. Those two things will play a factor this week.
Expect to see this game end up being one of the best of the week when everything is said and done. Green Bay will be fighting to stay alive, while the Panthers are hoping to help their chances of winning the NFC South. If you enjoy your football with a bit of an edge from the teams, this will be the game for you.