Packers Weekly Progress Report: Staring Down a Long, Hard Road for Last 7 Games

Andrew Garda@andrew_gardaFeatured ColumnistNovember 15, 2012

ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 21: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers calls an audible during the game against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on October 21, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by David Welker/Getty Images)
David Welker/Getty Images

From the moment the 2012 NFL schedule hit the Internet, the Green bay Packers were pointed to as having one of the easiest in the league.

It turned out that's not true. In fact, the Packers' upcoming slate of games isn't even in the top five easiest schedules as ranked by

Looking back on the first nine games, there have certainly been some cupcakes. Arizona, Jacksonville and St. Louis were no real threats, even if the Jaguars gave the Packers a bit of a run for their money.

However, the Saints and Colts both turned out to be better than their records (in the case of the Colts, much better than expected), the Bears are at the top of the NFC North (no mean feat) and the losses were to a surprisingly good Colts team, a tremendous 49ers squad and—well, perhaps the less said about the better—Grand Theft Seattle.

Outcome aside though, the Seahawks are a tough team.

This second half is filled with tough games as well. The Lions may be down, but you can expect them to come hard at the Packers both times they play. That those games take place within a four-week span makes beating them twice tough.

More importantly, the Minnesota Vikings have played much better football than people thought they would and could be a real threat to Green Bay's playoff hopes, especially since the Packers can be run on and nobody is doing that better than Adrian Peterson right now.

The Vikings are one of a number of games which looked "easy," but have ultimately ended up carrying more weight now that the team has a new identity this year. 

Add to that the Tennessee Titans who, while they have struggled, seem to be turning on the jets in the second half of the season.

And of course, the New York Giants are always a difficult out whether they are struggling or not.

It's the NFC North games which will weigh most heavily on the outcome of the season. 

I didn't mention them just now, but the Bears team they face in Week 15 will be far different—and more effective—from the one they decimated in Week 2. That game is likely to have the NFC North title on the line as well, so you can expect the whole affair to be amped up.

Plus, it's at Soldier Field, never an easy venue to visit.

The two games against the Lions are also critical. Detroit is on the ropes, but that doesn't make them less dangerous, especially this week when the Packers' front seven is without some important members like Clay Matthews and the offensive line is shifting around to make up for Bryan Bulaga's absence.

Add to it the aforementioned two games against the Vikings and not only is this stretch of the schedule not easy, it looks pretty damned hard.

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