Green Bay Packers: Looking at Each Team's Chances of Stopping 16-0
While the discussion of 16-0 has of course been discussed, the Packers have a long way to go, as they face a slew of formidable opponents in the second half of the season determined to put a stop to their hopes of becoming undefeated.
In this article, I will look at the Packers' remaining opponents in the final eight games and rate each of their chances of upsetting the Super Bowl champs and ending Green Bay's quest for undefeated glory.
The Packers face the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football November 14, and while the Vikings are sitting at 2-6, they are not a team that should be taken lightly.
They have one of the best running backs in the game in Adrian Peterson, along with a rookie quarterback in Christian Ponder who has played quite well his few games thus far.
On defense, the Vikings have defensive end Jared Allen, the league-leader in sacks and a player who has consistently given Aaron Rodgers trouble in the past.
As a division rival, the Vikings always play the Packers tough due to familiarity (and played just three weeks ago).
While I do think the Packers will be able to beat the struggling Vikes, I think their 2-6 record is misleading, and I do think it will be a close game.
Still, I don't give the Vikings a great chance to hand the Packers their first loss.
Chances of Beating the Packers: Possible, But Not Likely
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may be sitting at 4-4, but they still shouldn't be taken lightly.
The Bucs have beaten the Packers in their last two meetings; the most recent one being two years ago, where the Bucs were sitting with an 0-9 record. That was Josh Freeman's first start and the Buccaneers have improved much since.
Again, the Bucs are a more formidable opponent for the Packers then people might think. Freeman has proven to be a very efficient and talented young quarterback, and they certainly have a breakout star in LaGarrette Blount at running back.
Even though Tampa Bay doesn't have a whole lot of star power, last year they proved they are a young team that responds well to coach Raheem Morris' leadership.
I imagine the Bucs will go into Green Bay with a lot of energy, and could even walk out of Lambeau Field with the upset.
Chances of Beating the Packers: Better than People Might Think
The Detroit Lions have two chances to stop the Packers' run at an undefeated run (automatically giving them the best chance by default).
However, like Tampa Bay, they are a young team on the rise and have played the Packers quite well in the past. In fact, one of the last times the Packers lost a game was at the hands of Detroit in a disastrous game where Aaron Rodgers was taken out with a concussion.
The Lions have a hot offense led by Matthew Stafford and wideout "Megatron" Calvin Johnson, one of the best receivers in the game.
On defense, they have a fearsome defensive line led by Ndamukong Suh, a player who has made headlines for his aggressive play.
Last year, the Lions proved they can take Aaron Rodgers out of the game, and should they repat the performance on Thanksgiving, it could very well be the Packers' first loss of the season.
Chances of Beating the Packers: Likely
New York Giants
The New York Giants are sitting atop the NFC East with a 6-2 record and many see them as one of the toughest competitors on the Packers schedule, heightened by the fact Green Bay will have to face them on the road.
However, despite the 6-2 record, the Giants are about to go into the toughest stretch of their schedule, where they face the 49ers, Saints, Packers and Cowboys (twice). The Giants are also a team that lost to the lowly Seahawks at home, and nearly lost to the 2-6 Arizona Cardinals.
While many people are buying into the Giants, I still have my doubts, especially considering their late-season slumps of the past two seasons.
While I certainly think the Giants will put up a good fight, I think the Packers come away with the win on this one, especially if they are coming off their first loss of the season on Thanksgiving versus Detroit.
Chances of Beating the Packers: Not as Good as People Might Think
The Oakland Raiders are sitting at midseason with a 5-4 record, having just beaten division rival San Diego on Thursday Night Football.
The Raiders recently acquired veteran quarterback Carson Palmer, who struggled in his first two games but played very well in the Week 10 matchup versus the Chargers.
The Raiders also have one of the best running backs in the league in Darren McFadden, and a defense that may not have a lot of big names, but is a very physical and formidable defense.
However, the Raiders will face the Packers in Lambeau Field in Week 14, and while I think the Raiders are an improving team, I'm not so sure I see them going into Lambeau and beating the Super Bowl champs.
This Raiders team still has a ways to go, and while they may make the playoffs this year due to their very weak division, I'm just not sure they can match up against some of the best teams in the league quite yet.
Chances of Beating the Packers: Possible, But Not Likely
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs have had a roller coaster of a season, losing their first three games and giving up 109 points in the process, but then going on a four-game winning streak to find themselves back in contention.
However, after losing to the then-0-7 Miami in a 31-3 blowout loss last week, the Chiefs seem to be struggling once again, and though they are in a weak division, I just don't seem them making much of a run this year.
In their four-game winning streak, the Chiefs played surprisingly well despite losing two of their best players in running Jamaal Charles and defensive back Eric Berry.
However, in Week 9 against the Dolphins, they looked like the mess that they were the first three weeks of the year, and if they are going to continue to be inconsistent, I just don't see them having a shot at beating the Packers in Week 15.
The only thing that they have going for them: the Packers will have to travel to Arrowhead Stadium, a place well known to be very tough on visitors.
Chances of Beating the Packers: Not Likely
Before facing the Lions again in Week 17, the Packers will face the Chicago Bears on Christmas Day, a team that many people continue to underestimate (and I will admit that I am one of them).
The Bears are a team with one of the worst offensive lines in football, a turnover-pron quarterback, and a receiving corps with little to no weapons.
Sounds like a recipe for disaster, right? Not necessarily, as Chicago sits at 5-3 and could even overtake the Lions for second place in the division with a win in their Week 10 matchup.
One of the Bears' biggest offensive weapons is tremendous running back Matt Forte, though the Packers limited him greatly in their first meeting. The Bears also have a tremendous defense led by Brian Urlacher and Julius Peppers, and a dynamic return weapon in Devin Hester.
The Bears certainly have talent and shouldn't be overlooked, and while I would pick the Packers to win in Lambeau on Christmas Day, I still feel that it will be another close game, with the Bears playing them like they always do—tough.
Chances of Beating the Packers: Good