The Packers have hit the fourth quarter of the season at 8-4 and in good shape in the NFC. While I would like to have been 9-3 the fact is the Bears beat the Packers and we can’t do anything about that until January 2. Four more wins would mean a division title but they have to go to Detroit first and take care of business like they did Sunday.
The one thing that continues to be a little bit of a concern is the Packers’ offense and its slow starts. It seems like the Packers don’t wake up until the second quarter. Same thing yesterday. They looked awful for the first 15 then put up 14 points a piece in the second and third quarters to essentially put the 49ers away. Against the good teams on their remaining schedule they might not get away with that so easily. Case in point New England leads the Jets right now 17-0 after one quarter. Patriots aren’t losing this game no way no how.
The Packers are not worried about their current position in the playoff race and we shouldn’t be either. There is too much football left to be played. For instance the Eagles and Ginats are tied with the Packers and they still have to play each other. Also, the Eagles have to play the Cowboys twice yet, and the Cowboys might be playing the best football in the league right now. The Bears have the easiest schedule of everybody with their tough games both being at home – the Patriots and Jets.
The Packers’ defense took a big hit when it lost defensive end Cullen Jenkins to injury late in the game. Jenkins has been on fire since having the club removed from his broken hand and had two sacks against the 49ers. The Packers can probably get by this week without him but it sure would be nice if he could be back in time for New England, you need all hands on deck going against that offense.
I don’t think the Packers will take the Lions lightly after the struggle they had with them in early October. The Packers held on by the skin of their teeth in that game as Shaun Hill picked apart the Packers’ secondary. I don’t know who will be starting at quarterback this week but I bet the Packers’ defense feels like it has a score to settle. Combine that with the success Aaron Rodgers usually enjoys in Ford Field and the Packers should be able to get the job done fairly easily.
Going on record right now predicting a Bears win over New England next week, which will make the Patriots an angry team the following week when the Packers come calling. That makes the Lions’ game that much more important. You can’t look ahead in this league or it will bite you every time. We just need to stay the course. Play them one at a time. It’s the most important game on the schedule because it’s the next one. Did I miss any?