Despite clinching the top seed in the NFC, the Green Bay Packers had a tough week. Last Thursday, the Packers were delivered a crushing blow when their starting left tackle, David Bakhtiari, was lost for the season due to an ACL injury. The Packers, however, did get some good news heading into that first playoff game.
It was good news, bad news for the Green Bay Packers this week
Three days before their regular-season finale against the Chicago Bears, the Green Bay Packers got some tough news. Their Pro-Bowl left tackle, David Bakhtiari, suffered a season-ending injury at Thursday’s practice. The injury happened during a non-contact drill and on Friday head coach Matt LaFleur confirmed Bakhtiari was done for the season.
The good news for the Packers was they picked up a win they desperately needed. Green Bay defeated the Bears to clinch home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. The win allowed the Packers to secure the lone first-round bye in the conference.
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers continued to roll on offense. While the Bears dominated the time of possession, keeping the ball away from Rodgers, the Packers capitalized when they did get the ball. Green Bay was limited to 44 plays for the entire game and still managed to put up 35 points.
Playing at Lambeau Field could cause problems for opponents
The Green Bay Packers are red hot. They have won their last six games and eight of their last nine. They finished the season 13-3 and claimed the No. 1 seed in the NFC. While they are sizzling, the Packers are hoping the friendly confines of Lambeau Field are frigid.
The Packers are used to the sub-freezing temperatures in Green Bay. The bitter cold should present a problem for teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the New Orleans Saints if/when they make their way into Wisconsin. Combine the cold temperatures with the recent play of quarterback Aaron Rodgers and things could prove deadly for the opponent.
Rodgers is a leading candidate to win his third MVP. He led the league in touchdown passes with 48. Rodgers was also tops in the NFL with a 70.7% completion rate. He also threw for 4,299 yards.
The Packers are allowing more fans to attend home games
Lambeau Field, like many NFL stadiums this year, has been mostly empty. The team has allowed a limited amount of front-line workers to attend their games. the number of fans was roughly 500 per game. The Packers got word that 6,000 fans will be allowed to attend their next playoff game, according to ESPN.
The increased number of fans will bring not only a boost to the Packers, but it will also help the Green Bay economy. Without fans this year, the city of Green Bay has taken a huge financial hit. “Typically a home game for the community is about $15 million economic impact,” President and CEO of the Greater Green Bay Visitors Bureau Brad Toll said, according to Fox 11 News.
“There’s no way you can replace 80,000 people coming to your community and spending money in every corner of the community,” Toll said. “They’re buying beer from our craft breweries, they’re buying meat from the farmers in the area, the economic impact really spread through the entire communities, even gas stations.” It’s not 80,000, but those 6,000 fans will make the Packers feel even more at home.