Green Bay Packers: What You Need to Know Heading into Week 7

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Green Bay Packers: What You Need to Know Heading into Week 7
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Injuries abound for the Green Bay Packers heading into Week 7.

The Green Bay Packers are coming off an extremely good win on the road over the Baltimore Ravens in Week 6. Next on the schedule is the surprising Cleveland Browns at Lambeau Field.

The biggest news heading into Week 7 is that the Packers are a shell of their former team. They've suffered so many major injuries through their first five games that it's hard to figure out how Green Bay is still so competitive.

We'll break down all the key injuries and more as we look at what you need to know heading into Week 7. 

 

Division Standings

NFC North Division Standings
Team Record Next Game
Detroit Lions 4-2 vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Chicago Bears 4-2 @ Washington Redskins
Green Bay Packers 3-2 vs. Cleveland Browns
Minnesota Vikings 1-4 @ New York Giants

Via NFL.com

With only the Minnesota Vikings losing this week, the NFC North remains a wide-open division. That isn't likely to change, especially with the fact that the Packers, Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears all look like legitimate playoff teams right now.

Of the four teams, the Lions easily have the hardest game ahead due to their matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals. However, the Browns, Washington Redskins and New York Giants certainly won't be easy tests for the rest of the division.

As long as Detroit can win at home against the Bengals, the division has a great chance at going undefeated this week.

 

Injury Report

Green Bay Packers Injury Report
Name Position Injury
Casey Haywad CB Hamstring
Brad Jones LB Hamstring
Clay Mathews OLB Thumb
Robert Francois LB Achilles
Randall Cobb WR Fibula
James Jones WR PCL
Nick Perry OLB Foot
James Starks RB Knee
Greg Van Roten OL Foot

Via NFL.com

The injury report looked absolutely horrid right after the Packers' win over the Ravens in Week 6.

However, it only got worse as we got into Monday afternoon. For starters, the Packers found out that wide receiver Randall Cobb would be out anywhere from six to eight weeks with a broken fibula, according to Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel:

Then it continued with news that outside linebacker Nick Perry had a broken foot, according to Chris Havel of 1400 AM in Green Bay:

The only good news that Green Bay got yesterday was the fact that wide receiver James Jones may be able to return in this game, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN:

It seems that each week more and more key players are lost for an extended period of time. If this keeps up, the Packers may not be able to field a complete team once Week 17 rolls around.

 

What Must Improve

Where the Packers are been severely lacking this year is in their ability to create turnovers in their secondary.

NFL Interceptions Through Week 6
Team Interceptions NFL Rank
New York Jets 1 32nd
San Diego Chargers 2 31st
Pittsburgh Steelers 2 31st
Houston Texans 2 31st
Green Bay Packers 2 31st

Via NFL.com

As you can see in the chart above, only one team in the NFL has less interceptions this season than the Packers. Considering that neither the San Diego Chargers, Houston Texans nor Pittsburgh Steelers have an elite defense, Green Bay isn't in good company at the bottom of the rankings.

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If you dig a little deeper, you'll continue to see how the Packers have struggled with their pass defense all year long. They currently have the fifth-worst pass defense according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required).

In years past, the Packers have excelled at creating turnovers in their secondary. In 2012, the Packers had 18 interceptions and the year before that they had a whopping 31 interceptions.

This year they are on pace for only 6.4 interceptions this season. That number simply won't fly if Green Bay wants to be competitive on that side of the ball.

Turnovers create more opportunities for an offense, and the strength of the Packers is certainly on the offensive side of the ball. The ability to get interceptions and create positive situations for their offense is where the Packers need to improve heading into Week 7.

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