Home | News | Sports: The NFC has suddenly fallen apart, and somehow, the Packers aren't dead yet

Sports: The NFC has suddenly fallen apart, and somehow, the Packers aren't dead yet

  • The Green Bay Packers have had a rough season, but amazingly, still have a shot at the playoffs.
  • The Packers will have to win out to finish 8-7-1 on the season and make the last Wild Card spot in the NFC.
  • They're still alive because the teams in front of them have fallen apart in recent weeks and have tough roads to get into the postseason.
  • The Packers' biggest test will be this week, when they play the 9-4 Bears in Chicago.

With three weeks remaining in the 2018 NFL season, somehow, the Green Bay Packers are still desperately clinging to playoff hopes.

After beating the Atlanta Falcons in Week 14, the Packers are now 5-7-1, in 10th place in the NFC playoff race.

There's no room for error, of course — the Packers have to win out to make it. But 8-7-1 might get the job done. Football Outsiders gives them a 6% chance of getting in.

"There's a lot of fight left in this squad," quarterback Aaron Rodgers said after Sunday's win over the Falcons. "We're not out of it yet."

Part of the reason the Packers are still alive is that the NFC opponents in front of them have fallen apart. The Minnesota Vikings are 2-4 in their last six games and just fired their offensive coordinator in the middle of the playoff hunt. The Carolina Panthers have lost five straight games. The Washington Redskins are playing third-string quarterbacks and have lost four in a row. The Philadelphia Eagles have lost three of their last five and have been inconsistent all year.

Additionally, all of the teams in front of them have tough roads to get in. The Eagles play the Los Angeles Rams (in LA) this week. If they lose, the best they could finish is 8-8.

The Redskins have an easier schedule, as they face the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, and the Eagles. But one of Philadelphia or Washington will be out of the race with the Week 17 result. Again, they're playing Josh Johnson, who learned his teammates through Madden, at quarterback.

The Panthers still have two games against the 11-2 New Orleans Saints.

The Vikings face the Miami Dolphins in Week 15 — a team also fighting for a postseason spot. They also play the Chicago Bears in Week 17.

All of this could be for naught, as the Packers play the Bears in Chicago in Week 15. The Bears defense just stifled the Rams last Sunday, and they may be looking for revenge after Rodgers led the Packers to a spectacular comeback win in Week 1.

In 2016, Rodgers famously said the 4-6 Packers would run the table to make the playoffs. They did, finishing 10-6 to win the division.

The Packers could have used such mojo weeks ago. They nearly let their season slip away completely over the last three weeks, with blown game against the Seahawks, a loss to the Vikings, then a loss to the lowly Arizona Cardinals, leading to head coach Mike McCarthy's firing.

Read more: A series of mistakes are coming back to haunt the Packers, and now they're against the ropes and in danger of missing the playoffs

Now they'll need to win three straight and have things break their way around them to get the last Wild Card spot. But, even in the midst of a poor season, is there anyone you'd trust to lead such a charge more than Rodgers?

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