Aaron Rodgers Injury: 10 Bold Predictions About the Rest of the Packers' Season
The Green Bay Packers have been ravaged by injuries this season, and that is putting it rather lightly.
The injury bug seemed to show no partiality when dealing with the Pack. Starters have gone down with season-ending injuries, backups have followed suit, and finally, as if that were not enough, the Packers are staring right in the eyes of what could be the most devastating injury of this season.
Aaron Rodgers was taken out of Sunday’s loss at Detroit with a concussion.
He was hit hard on two consecutive plays in the second quarter, and when it became apparent that he was dealing with concussion-like symptoms, he was immediately taken out and replaced by backup Matt Flynn.
Now, considering that this is the second concussion Rodgers has suffered this season, there has to be a high level of caution when approaching his eligibility to play Sunday night in New England.
If we are going to be honest, though, the hopes and dreams of Packer Nation have been placed firmly on the shoulders of No. 12, and more precisely on that cool head of his. Rodgers is known for his calmness and poise in the pocket, so there is great reason to be cautious when dealing with this situation.
This injury could not have come at a worse time though considering that the Pack must run the gauntlet of playing at New England this Sunday and then tough and critical games against the Giants and Bears at Lambeau to end the season.
When considering the Packers' playoff scenarios, every game from here on out has become a must win, or it starts getting scary. Without Rodgers, the Packers' chances of winning are seriously diminished, but they are still a team with enough talent to win any game they play.
In light of the Rodgers injury and the rocky road the Packers must face to reach the playoffs, here are 10 bold predictions about the remainder of the Green Bay Packers’ season!
10. Aaron Rodgers Will Start This Week and Play the Rest of the Season
The Packers and Rodgers need to be cautious when handling these concussions, but I just have a gut feeling that Rogers is going to fight through this.
He studied for three years under Brett Favre, who had somewhat of a starting streak going, and I think he picked up a lot of that toughness from No. 4.
No game or playoff scenario is more important than a player’s health, but I don’t think Rodgers will allow this to keep him out. He just needs to learn how to slide!
I predict that Aaron Rodgers will start this week and play the rest of the season!
9. James Starks Will Have a 100-Yard Game
The running game has obviously been a huge problem for the Packers, and they still have not found much of a remedy yet.
Rookie running back James Starks has shown some promise in his limited carries this season, and I think he might be the best bet the Packers have for a somewhat respectable running game.
If Green Bay wants to protect Rodgers, the best way they can do it is by effectively running the ball, so look for them to really force the issue.
I predict that James Starks will have a 100-yard game!
8. Greg Jennings Will Have Another Three-Touchdown Game
Throughout the course of this season I have been convinced that if the Packers are going to win, they must force the issue with Jennings and allow him to reach the superstar potential that he is capable of.
We saw how the Packers offense can run when Jennings is a major target. He had three touchdowns against the Vikings and two against San Francisco just a few weeks ago, and the Packers offense looked like a well-oiled machine in both of those games
If the Packers have any hope of winning this last stretch of games, Jennings is going to have to step up and be a superstar.
I predict Greg Jennings will have another three-touchdown game!
7. Clay Matthews Will Notch Over 15 Sacks on the Season
Matthews has 12.5 sacks in 12 games this season, and I don’t think it would be a stretch to say that he is the front runner for Defensive MVP this year.
He has been stifled by a hamstring injury for a majority of the season, and lately you can tell that offenses are game-planning specifically to keep him out of the game.
Nonetheless, Matthews still finds ways to disrupt an offense's game plan and give quarterbacks nightmares. He needs 2.5 to get to 15 sacks on the season, and I think he can easily get that and more!
I predict Clay Matthews will notch over 15 sacks on the season!
6. Charles Woodson Will Record One Interception in Each of the Last Three Games
Woodson has not had the year that many of us expected him to, but to be fair, expectations were very high after his MVP performance last year, and he has been hampered by injuries.
He has one sack, four forced fumbles and just two interceptions on the year.
The Packers defense is good enough to win games on its own, but as of late they have lost a bit of their playmaking ability. If the Packers are expecting to win, they will have to rely heavily on the defense. Woodson is going to have to step up.
I predict that Charles Woodson will record one interception in each of the last three games!
5. Mason Crosby Will Finally Win a Game with a Last-Minute Field Goal
It has not been the best of years for Crosby. He is 18-of-24 on field goals this season, which is nothing to write home about
Most of Crosby’s woes, though, have to come from watching the opposing kicker do exactly what he has not. Four of the Packers' five losses have come courtesy of the opponent’s kicker making a last-second field goal to win the game.
I predict that Mason Crosby will finally win a game with a last-minute field goal!
I specifically think it will be the Bears game.
4. Sam Shields Will Run Back a Kickoff for a Touchdown
Shields has shown that he is an explosive return man, and he definitely has the speed and elusiveness to make it happen.
Special teams are such an important part of the game, and unfortunately the Packers have seemed to come up short many times this year in that department.
If the Packers want to make the playoffs, they are really going to have to continue working on their special teams play.
I predict Sam Shields will run back a kickoff for a touchdown!
3. The Packers Will Not Beat the Patriots, but It Will Be an Instant Classic
Unfortunately, not every prediction can be positive.
As I stated earlier I believe that Rodgers will start, and if the players that I predicted to step up actually do, then I see this game going down as one of the best of the season.
The fact that the Patriots will be at home, though, really puts the Packers in a rough position. Tom Brady has shown that he can win in any situation, with anybody around him, and I think the home field advantage will really give the Patriots the edge.
That being said, I don’t think the Packers will lie down. The Pack will play arguably their best game of the season, but in the end they will fall short.
I predict that the Packers will not beat the Patriots, but it will be an instant classic!
2. The Packers Will Beat the Giants at Lambeau to Keep Playoff Hope Alive
As of today the Giants would have a wild-card spot in the playoffs. They have the Eagles coming up next week though, which I think will equate to a loss.
With my prediction of both teams losing the week before, that would put the Giants at 9-5 and the Packers at 8-6
With a Packers win, that would tie the two teams at 9-6 and give the Packers the edge in a tiebreaker scenario.
I predict the Packers will beat the Giants at Lambeau to keep playoff hope alive!
1. Green Bay Will Go 2-1 and, with Help, Clinch a Wild-Card Spot
This is where the whole system gets really confusing, so I’m going to make it as simple as I can.
In the last week of the season I feel that the Packers, Giants and Tampa Bay will all be 9-6 and fighting for the NFC’s final wild-card spot.
I believe the Bears will beat the Vikings next week but then lose to the Jets, putting them at 10-5 coming into Lambeau.
The Packers will beat the Bears, which would tie the two teams at 10-6. They split the season series, so the next tiebreaker would go to whoever has the best divisional record. The Packers' loss to the Lions would then come into play. The Bears would win the tiebreaker and the division, and the Packers would then turn their sights to the wild card.
The Giants play the Redskins, so I think they will handily win that game. That would put their final record at 10-6. The Buccaneers would be the only other team in the race, and they play the Saints. I think they will lose to the Saints, finish with a 9-7 record and miss the playoffs.
This will leave the Packers and Giants tied at 10-6. Since the Packers beat the Giants the week before, Green Bay would then win the tiebreaker!
I predict the Packers will go 2-1 and, with help, clinch a wild-card spot!