Green Bay's 24-15 victory over Jacksonville was far from beautiful and did not leave much encouragement for injury replacements on offense.
Aaron Rodgers appeared uncomfortable all afternoon, rarely getting outside the pocket to stretch the defense and had no complimentary running game as the Jaguars out gained the Packers 341 to 238. Regardless of an uninspiring box score, the Packers once again won a game that needed to be won, and finished the first half of the season at 5-3 and in excellent playoff position.
Entering Week 9 on a three-game winning streak with the reeling Cardinals visiting Lambeau on Sunday and their much-needed bye week in Week 10, the Packers look to regroup and determine a better way to exploit opposing secondaries.
It appears Greg Jennings will be out once again and an additional two weeks of rest may greatly benefit Jordy Nelson, as opposed to further aggravating his hamstring, but as the Packers look to get healthy for a playoff run, eight important games lie ahead.
Week 9: Arizona Cardinals
Week 10: BYE
Week 11: at Detroit Lions
Week 12: at New York Giants
Week 13: Minnesota Vikings
Week 14: Detroit Lions
Week 15: at Chicago Bears
Week 16: Tennessee Titans
Week 17: at Minnesota Vikings
The second half is loaded with NFC North foes, as they will only have played one divisional game when they visit Detroit on November 18, therefore, while they sit 1.5 games behind Chicago, they will have plenty of opportunities to defend their division title.
Two primetime matchups remain, Week 12 at New York and Week 14 vs. Detroit, both Sunday Night Football. The only game that appears likely to receive consideration for primetime is Week 15 at Chicago, but San Francisco at New England currently occupies that slot.
Charles Woodson could return for the Week 14 Detroit game, but Greg Jennings's timetable remains unknown as he prepares to undergo surgery this week.
As for next week vs. Arizona, the Cardinals face the 49ers on Monday Night Football this week and therefore will be playing a road game on a short week. A fourth straight win is attainable, leaving the Packers at 6-3 and comfortably four wins away from a playoff berth.