The Green Bay Packers’ Last Hope Is a Repeat of 2016, Which Also Started With a Night Game in Philadelphia
Officially, the Green Bay Packers are still alive, but time is ticking quickly. After a shocking come-from-behind win over the Dallas Cowboys two weeks ago, the Packers wasted an opportunity to put themselves in the thick of the NFC playoff race with last week’s home loss to the Tennessee Titans.
Green Bay’s biggest hope to see the postseason is a repeat of 2016. Six years ago, the Packers were 4-6 heading into a prime-time game against the Philadelphia Eagles and turned their season around. This year, the Pack is 4-7 with a Sunday night trip to Philly.
The Green Bay Packers face a tough road test in Philadelphia
Many have already written off the Packers this year — and rightfully so. They’ve looked bad on both sides of the ball. Four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers has had the worst season of his career while throwing to a patchwork group of receivers. Injuries have taken their toll. It’s been a complete mess in Green Bay.
Things won’t get any easier for them this week as they head into Philadelphia to face the Eagles, who boast the best record in the NFL. For Green Bay, there is no room for error. A loss Sunday likely kills any playoff aspirations if they’re not already gone.
Sure, 9-8 could possibly earn a playoff berth in the weak NFC, but what would make anyone believe the Packers would run the table after starting out 4-8 and playing poor two-way football?
The Eagles rattled off eight straight wins to start the season but have slipped up the last two weeks against less-than-average opponents. Philly’s lone loss came during a Monday Night Football game at home against the Washington Commanders when they fell 32-21. Last week, the Eagles needed a late score to rally past the 4-6-1 Colts.
The Packers need a repeat of 2016 for any playoff hope
In 2016, the Packers hit a tough early stretch, dropping four straight after starting 4-2. They faced a similar situation as they do now, heading into Philadelphia for a prime-time game against the Eagles.
Before that game, Rodgers said he felt like the Packers could run the table and finish 10-6.
“I feel like we can run the table, I really do,” Rodgers said then, per ESPN. “The offense is starting to click a little bit more; we’ve just got to put together a game where we’re more consistent from the first snap to the last. We’ve been, I think, getting closer to that. We’ve really been clicking, at times, in the last few games.”
Run the table they did.
Green Bay finished the season 10-6 and advanced to the NFC title game. There, they fell to the Atlanta Falcons, 44-21.
If the Packers want to play mid-January football, they need to run the table again, beginning with a late-night victory in Philadelphia. In order for that to happen, Rodgers needs to return to the Rodgers of old, and the defense can’t continue to give up big plays on third down. It’s a lot to ask, but it’s the only hope the Packers have.