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How Do the Packers Fit into the NFL Playoff Picture After Week 10?

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How Do the Packers Fit into the NFL Playoff Picture After Week 10?
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

The Sunday Night Football game between the Houston Texans and Chicago Bears had two 7-1 teams battling each other. Some even said it was a precursor to Super Bowl XLVII.

There was another common theme about the game, a contest that was won by the Texans in rainy weather at Soldier Field, 13-6. Both teams had suffered their one and only defeat by the Green Bay Packers prior to the game.

Da Bears had lost to the Packers, 23-10 on September 13th at Lambeau Field, while the Texans were throttled by Green Bay, 42-24 on October 14th at Reliant Stadium in Houston.

In that game in Houston, quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw six touchdown passes.

What does that all mean? It means the Packers are prime contenders to not only make the playoffs, but to also win Super Bowl XLVII.

Right now, Green Bay would be the fifth seed in the NFC playoffs with a 6-3 record. 

However, the Packers are now only one game behind the Bears in the NFC North division with seven games to play, and currently hold the tiebreaker due to their earlier win versus Chicago.

Five of the seven games that Green Bay will play to close out the 2012 season will be against NFC North foes.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

That should bode well for the Packers. The main reason? Aaron Rodgers.

Rodgers plays very well against anyone from within his own division.

The Packers' next opponent is the Lions, who they will take on at Ford Field in Detroit next Sunday. Green Bay has not only won five out of their last six games played in Detroit, but Rodgers usually lights up the Lions for big yardage and points. 

Rodgers is 6-1 lifetime against Detroit, and has thrown for 1,876 yards, 16 touchdown passes and just four interceptions for a 115.7 quarterback rating.

Against the Minnesota Vikings, Rodgers has thrown for 2,189 yards, 19 touchdown passes and just three picks for a 116.5 quarterback rating. Rodgers is 5-3 lifetime against the Vikes and has won the last four meetings between the two teams.  

Rodgers has found equal success against the Bears, going 7-2 against Chicago in the regular season and winning the 2010 NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field.

In terms of regular-season stats against the Bears, Rodgers has thrown 16 touchdowns compared to just six interceptions for 2,195 yards.

On the other hand, quarterback Jay Cutler is just 1-5 (regular season) against the Packers and has thrown seven touchdown passes compared to a whopping 15 picks for 1,303 yards.

 

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Bottom line, I see the Packers catching the Bears in the NFC North and winning the division. History certainly suggests that they will, plus they might even be able to grab a first-round bye if all goes well in their favor. 

But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. The march to the playoffs begins next Sunday in Detroit against the 4-5 Lions.

Going into that game, Rodgers has been magnificent in the last month.

In his last four games, Rodgers has thrown 15 touchdown passes, compared to just one pick. The Packers have won every one of those games too.

Overall, Rodgers has thrown 25 touchdown passes, compared to five interceptions, for 2,383 yards. Rodgers also has a 107.4 quarterback rating

As recent history and Aaron Rodgers have proven, I like the Packers' chances of getting out of Motown with a win.

I also l like their chances of sweeping the NFC North in 2012.

Again, recent history and Rodgers have provided that blueprint for the future.

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