5 Reasons the Green Bay Packers Might Miss the Playoffs
The Green Bay Packers had a five-game winning streak snapped in ugly fashion on national television.
This season was starting to bear a strong resemblance to their 2010 run to the Super Bowl, but their Week 12 loss to the Giants may just be a sign of things to come.
A Green Bay playoff berth was once a sure thing. Now, however, things aren't so certain.
Looking at their remaining schedule and other factors, the NFC playoff picture might be missing the Green and Gold.
1. The Vikings Can Run the Football
The Packers still have two games remaining against the NFC North Minnesota Vikings, which spells trouble for A-Rodg and the boys.
The Minnesota Vikings are the third-best team in the league running the football, averaging 147.2 yards per game. Adrian Peterson is very much to blame.
Peterson is finally looking healthy and is once again dominating defenses left and right all the way to more than 1,200 yards on the ground.
Adrian Peterson and the Vikings rushing attack could be a big issue if the Packers defense can't get healthy.
The Green Bay defense was porous against the Giants, giving up 147 yards on the ground.
If the Packers can't pick it up and stop the run, two games against a very strong Vikings ground game could very well add to the Green Bay loss column.
2. The Lions Always Make It Close
Aside from two games with the Vikings, the Packers still have to face the Lions at Lambeau Field. That meeting will take place in prime time on Sunday, Dec. 9.
The Packers barely got out of Ford Field with a win a few weeks back as the Lions put up a very strong fight.
The Lions seem to always give the Packers a good game when there's a lot on the line. A battle for the NFC North and a wild-card berth make the stakes pretty high. Last season alone, the Packers beat the Lions by just eight and four points in their two games. Even when Green Bay had one of its best regular seasons ever, it still struggled with Detroit.
Because of their history together and the Green Bay pass defense being one of the worst in the league, matching up with the Lions' No. 1 passing attack could be very dangerous for the Packers in Week 14.
3. Chicago's Defense Is One of the Best
Week 15 will be another high-stakes game for the Green Bay Packers. The Pack will head to Soldier Field to take on the leaders of the NFC North, the Chicago Bears.
The Packers have already taken one from Chicago, but it was early in the season, and it was at Lambeau.
Going to Chicago in December is a totally different story. The Bears defense has been tearing teams up, causing the most fumbles in the league and racking up seven defensive touchdowns.
The Chicago defense will be a tall task for the Packers' much maligned offensive line. The Packers line has given up 37 sacks this season, which is second-worst in the league.
If the Green Bay offensive line can't pick things up, Week 15 will be another very difficult game for the cheeseheads.
4. Green Bay Injuries Are Starting to Show
As if Green Bay's remaining schedule wasn't tough enough, the Packers' injuries are starting to pile up.
Desmond Bishop has been missing all season, Clay Matthews has missed the last two games with an injured hammy, Greg Jennings has been dealing with all kinds of issues, Charles Woodson hasn't played for a majority of the season, and Sam Shields has been missing time in the Green Bay secondary.
Green Bay injuries have been tough on the Packers, but they have fought them well, as they did in 2010. Against New York, however, it seems that Green Bay couldn't keep up with the fight.
The numerous defensive injuries for Green Bay started to show as they allowed almost 400 yards of offense to the Giants.
Green Bay's defense looked awful and its offense showed holes without Cedric Benson in the backfield and Greg Jennings split wide.
If the Packers can't start getting some of their big playmakers back in the coming week, they might not have enough left in the tank to make a late season run at the Super Bowl.
As for updates on their injuries, check here.
5. The Green Bay Defense and Offensive Line
To build off of the last slide, the defense for the Packers and the entire offensive line are rough. The defense has given up big plays all season, especially without playmakers like Clay Matthews, Charles Woodson and Desmond Bishop on the field.
The offensive line isn't giving Aaron Rodgers any time to work, which is affecting the entire offense. Drives are stalling out because the Packers can't get anything going consistently, which has been magnified without the sure hands of Greg Jennings on the field.
In the coming weeks, the offensive line will be facing some great defenses. They'll try to stop Suh and the Lions high-powered defensive line, Jared Allen and the Vikings and Brian Urlacher and the turnover-forcing Chicago Bears.
Defensively, they'll be trying to stop the best passing game in the league in the Detroit Lions, a balanced offense with the Chicago Bears and the run-heavy Minnesota Vikings.
If the defense and the o-line can't pick up their play or get healthy, Green Bay might not be looking at too many more wins this season.
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