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Green Bay Has Legitimate Hopes to Make Playoffs

On Tuesday night, Aaron Rodgers announced that he is medically cleared to play for Green Bay. Paving the way for his return this weekend from a broken collarbone.

With that announcement, Green Bay becomes a legitimate playoff contender. Yes, the Packers will likely have to win out from this point. Although it seems less farfetched with Rodgers under center than with Brett Hundley.

Hundley was 3-4 in the seven starts he made while Rodgers was sidelined. He defeated Chicago, Tampa Bay and Cleveland. Those teams are a combined 8-31. Green Bay’s last three games of the season are against Carolina, Minnesota and Detroit. Those three teams have a combined record of 26-13 and each is over .500.

No one should take anything from Hundley, however. He did what he was hired to do, keep Green Bay alive in the postseason race. However, asking him to win the final three games of this season to push the Packers to 10-6 would have been asking nearly the impossible.

Rodgers started the season playing great football with 13 touchdowns and 3 interceptions after five weeks but in Week 6 he broke his clavicle after a hit by Anthony Barr.

In 2013, Rodgers returned after missing seven games due to a broken left clavicle, for the team’s finale against the Bears. He led the Packers to victory and to an NFC North title with an 8-7-1 record.

Odds makers are not that confident on Green Bay winning out. The latest Super Bowl odds have Green Bay 18 to 1 which is behind eight other teams. One NFL analytical site gives the Packers a 6.5% chance of reaching the playoffs.

But before even considering the Super Bowl, Rodgers and his Packers teammates must think about each individual game they have in front of this starting with Carolina this weekend.

The Panthers are coming off a hard fought 31-24 victory over Minnesota and will be a far better opponent than Green Bay faced last Sunday in its win over Cleveland regardless of the fact Rodgers will be back under center.

The odds have been stacked against Green Bay and Rodgers in past seasons and the talented quarterback has found a way to lead his team into the playoffs. This season the same could be in store, which would make the cheeseheads very happy people.

 

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