Looking Ahead: The Packers' Remaining Schedule Is A Gauntlet

The Packers' schedule is about to ramp up significantly. 

Let’s focus on the positives. The sun came up today, and the Green Bay Packers’ ownership structure will never allow the team to be moved though some of you may not find the latter as a positive because the Packers are not a good football team right now. Plain and simple. The positives to be taken away from the first seven games are few and far in between, and right when most of us thought that the Packers would rebound in a triumphant way against the Washington Commanders, they squandered yet another early lead and looked lost offensively in their third straight loss, the most consecutive losses they have had since the 2018 season. After the team that year improved to 4-4-1 after a 31-12 victory at home against the Dolphins, they dropped games against Seattle, Minnesota, and Arizona, eliminating themselves from playoff contention in the process.

The problem, or at least one of the problems, for this year’s squad is that the schedule, up until this point, was supposed to be the most manageable of the entire season. Only two of the first seven opponents made the playoffs last year. Going forward, however, the schedule ramps up significantly

Up first are the Buffalo Bills, one of the best teams in the NFL — if not the best team in the NFL. The Bills (5-1), who are first in the AFC East, are first in Total DVOA and Defense DVOA and also sit atop the rankings in total offense (440.8 yards per game), total defense (281.5 yards per game), rush yards allowed (76.2 yards per game), and points allowed (13.5 points per game). They are also second in the NFL in points per game (29.3 points per game).

Week 9 should ~probably~ be smooth sailing against the lowly Lions (1-5), but Week 10 is Mike McCarthy’s Green Bay homecoming and the Cowboys (5-2) have been no slouch so far this season, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. They are 2nd in Defense DVOA, 2nd in points allowed (14.9 points per game), 4th in passing yards allowed per game (185.1 yards per game), and 6th in total yards allowed (305.3 yards per game). The team overall is currently 3rd in Total DVOA.

Then on a short week, the Packers host the AFC South-leading Titans (4-2) on Thursday Night Football, who boast the fourth-best rush defense (96.8 rush yards allowed per game). The following week, they travel to Philadelphia to face off against the undefeated NFC East-leading Eagles (6-0). The Eagles are currently 4th in Offense and Defense DVOA as well as 2nd in Total DVOA. The Packers are on the road again in Week 13 against the Bears (3-4) and while Green Bay smoked ‘em earlier this season, Chicago pulled off a dominant wire-to-wire victory against the Patriots on Monday Night Football earlier this week. In Week 15, the defending Super Bowl Champs (3-3) come to town. And in Week 16 and 17, the Packers will face off against the Dolphins (4-3) on the road— home to two of the top five wide receivers in terms of receiving yards — and Vikings (5-1) at home, respectively, before closing the season out against the Lions at Lambeau Field.

As of October 18, Green Bay has the sixth toughest remaining schedule, per ESPN’s Mike Clay. The cumulative record heading into Week 8 of the nine remaining opponents? 36-21 (.632 winning percentage).

In total, if you use the Eagles’ 9-8 record last season as a benchmark to make the playoffs, the Packers, currently owners of a 3-4 record, need to go 6-4 the rest of the way to get to 9-8 and 7-3 to get to double-digit wins. Can it be done? Sure, it can be done. For goodness sake, we put a man on the moon so anything is practically possible. A better question might be: will it be done? I believe it will be an uphill battle, but momentum can start to build in a positive direction IF MATT LAFLEUR STARTS TO UTILIZE AARON JONES MORE. (Sorry for yelling.) Obviously there are other issues surrounding this team, but putting Jones in more spots to be successful seems like an easy fix. 

Among the 33 running backs with at least 65 carries, Jones is fourth in rushing yards over expected, trailing only Cowboys’ Tony Pollard (68 carries), 49ers' Jeff Wilson Jr. (91), and Jaguars' Travis Etienne (70). The fact that Jones has 78 carries on the season is coaching malpractice. Let’s hope that changes going forward. Or else the Packers might be staring at a top-10 pick dead in the eye.

__________________________

Rex is a lifelong Packers fan but was sick of the cold, so he moved to the heart of Cowboys country. Follow him on Twitter (@Sheild92) and Instagram (@rex.sheild). 

NFL Categories: 
2 points

Comments (46)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Fubared's picture

October 28, 2022 at 11:36 am

I would not, and not pouring wood on the fire here, be totally shocked if the Lions were to win one and the Bears too. For sure as the article says, no easy path ahead for the pack.
I mean if the Pack are really playing up to their capabilities then so be it. It is what it is. the receivers are dropping a lot of passes, the running backs arent breaking free and Rodgers passes arent always on target. Whats to like so far to create optimism.

2 points
3
1
Coldworld's picture

October 29, 2022 at 08:59 am

This roster made perfect sense with Love or a draft pick. It wasn’t winning it all this year, but it would have allowed youth to grow while the cap hangover worked out. We would have been cap solvent next year, and more so the year after.

Bringing Rodgers back to play veteran ball made and makes no sense and was never going anywhere with Cobb, Watkins and Lazard. They were not winning it for us. Yet that’s what the summer was about and this stripped down O we rolled out is based upon. The results were infinitely probable. We have sowed with crass stupidity and are starting to see the harvest.

It’s time for Packerland to realize that Murphy has been a disaster. That LaFleur is and that Rodgers and this organization needed to part. Indeed all 3 need to leave. Rodgers will always be a great QB, he may have a swan song with a packed roster in him left, but that’s not here. Time will judge Murphy much more harshly and LaFleur is Ray Rhodes.

Unfortunately it’s not a zero sum year. The decisions made in February have yet to really bite in terms of comparative cap. We will be weighed down by them long after this year. It’s a shame when we fans can’t let go of fantasy, it’s unforgivable when the team President can’t and mortgages the future to keep it alive just a little longer.

If the Board really has any validity on its existence this is a Harlen moment. This is your fiduciary responsibility come calling. It’s that bad and that inexcusable. Put down your cocktails and start a search or accept culpability for what is to come. Be ashamed of your custodianship of the football side. Without that your entertainment district will depreciate. Without a clear and capable football structure and leadership Green Bay will suffer and with it the physical assets that exist due only to the Packers.

2 points
2
0
TarynsEyes's picture

October 28, 2022 at 11:59 am

Buf, Det, Dal, Phi, and Tenn. The order may be wrong, but the Packers need to go 3-2, (6-6) and that makes the playoffs seem possible with 5 games remaining. However, a 1-4 or 2-3 puts the Dave Dameshek, “Bag of Shame” on their heads with no one to blame but themselves, though finger pointing will be abundant.

I see guaranteed losses to Buf and Phil, with Dal at the moment a 50/50 with a lean for wins against Det and Tenn. The gauntlet isn't the entire schedule, it's these first five of the last ten.

These five games are the decision that prevents GB from going directly to GO, or directly home to the couch or a safe space, where the crying for, who knows how many years to come will proceed.

-1 points
1
2
PackyCheese500's picture

October 28, 2022 at 12:13 pm

Dallas' defense is going to EAT US ALIVE...they are literally the best defense in the league, having 29(!) sacks through 7 games (averaging 4+ sacks per game). MLF stands no chance. I see a 6-11 finish to the season, with wins against the Bears, Rams, and Lions at Lambeau

0 points
2
2
SinceLombardi's picture

October 28, 2022 at 04:38 pm

If you can’t show up against Washington ( both a backup QB) it’s ludicrous to try and see them beating anyone, anywhere.

4 points
4
0
Leatherhead's picture

October 28, 2022 at 12:04 pm

You know, I think at this point, it's probably better to just follow the old adage of one game at a time. It's a tough schedule, and it's tougher when you aren't playing well. If we beat Buffalo, then all of a sudden all the rest of our games look easier. If we lose to Buffalo and again in Detroit, we're on life support and have to be pretty damn close to perfect the rest of the way, and that'd be unlikely, and we'd have to start looking at the rest of the year. IF we lose to Buffalo but beat Detroit, we're 4-5 and still in it.

3 points
5
2
jannes bjornson's picture

October 28, 2022 at 01:14 pm

Just need guys Healthy.

0 points
2
2
dobber's picture

October 28, 2022 at 01:40 pm

Agreed. You can only play the team on the field that week, and you never know who's going to be healthy in a couple weeks and who isn't--for either team. Lazard isn't going to play this week, which doesn't help at all, but Watson has had two limited sessions--so maybe he plays. I think we had a lot of people contending that the Packers' schedule last season turned out to be not nearly so tough due to injured players on the other sideline. Whatever the case, you hit the nail on the head in saying this team needs to start stringing together weeks of solid play before we can be looking more than a week or so down the line.

3 points
3
0
Coldworld's picture

October 28, 2022 at 12:08 pm

This team should be better. There are others doing more with less. However, this coaching staff has thus far proved incapable of getting anything out of what it does have. This is the weekend when LaFkeur steps up and goes for it innovatively and aggressively or he does not.

If we trot out variations in a theme it will require a massive implosion by the opponent. If he goes for it and loses valiently, then with the current playoff structure there may still be hood for a ride from the ashes. If not, the cause us list for want if a Coach and the hubris of bringing back Rodgers will play out in further decline and animosity.

So which is it LaFleur? Coach and offensive mind or a timid imposter. By Sunday midnight there will be no more doubt.

“Our hearts must grow resolute, our courage more valiant, our spirits must be greater, though our strength grows less.”

Battle of Maldon, poem c. 995.

6 points
7
1
PackyCheese500's picture

October 28, 2022 at 12:11 pm

The only reason LaFlop got 13 wins in each of his first 3 seasons was that he was riding on the coattails of Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams. With Adams gone, he's being asked to do more, exposing his ineptitude. I have the Packers going 6-11 this season, only winning against the Bears, Lions at Lambeau, and Rams. Next offseason, MLF and Barry are both gone. Hopefully, our new HC will be better. I'd like to see Dan Quinn.

-2 points
4
6
Dragon5's picture

October 28, 2022 at 02:04 pm

Quinn has proven to be a phenomenal DC, average HC. He would be in the same unfortunate position as ATL with an aging QB soon to be put out to pasture.

5 points
5
0
fangirl's picture

October 28, 2022 at 03:55 pm

I agree w/you, Packy-

I wonder, though, if the housecleaning should extend to Gutey and Murphy?
I hope Aaron has the self-respect to leave this team.

1 points
2
1
Coldworld's picture

October 28, 2022 at 04:42 pm

It really needs to start with Murphy for the long term. Murphy put this in motion. However, he’s not going to fire himself and the Board won’t do anything.

No GM will make a difference now, not much next year with all the cap already set in stone by Ball. LaFleur is the best thing we can do, though each week that passes the chances if it mattering this season Decrease.

Eventually, if the incompetence doesn’t abate, LaFleur will likely be sacrificed after considerable internal damage, in order to deflect from Murphy and or Rodgers and far too late to matter this year.

That’s when Love starts and we play for the future. By then the wake will be well underway and bridges burnt. If we come out on Sunday and play in a similarly timorous fashion to what we’ve seen so far then the coaches are essentially admitting that they are out of ideas or heart and the implosion will really start internally.

1 points
1
0
mnbadger's picture

October 28, 2022 at 12:55 pm

I like the fact that we're already talking about finding a replacement for the newspaper delivery boy currently at the helm.
Anybody new, with at least pea size stones in his lower pockets, will improve the level of toughness of this team.
Add on a new DC with an aggressive approach and potentially better athletes being drafted higher in each round and we can start the rebuild sooner rather than later.
GPG!

5 points
6
1
PackyCheese500's picture

October 28, 2022 at 01:18 pm

I would like to see Dan Quinn as our next HC

-3 points
1
4
LLCHESTY's picture

October 28, 2022 at 02:30 pm

What happened to Mike Zimmer?

3 points
3
0
PackyCheese500's picture

October 28, 2022 at 02:47 pm

I was hoping Barry would be fired and he would be hired as our Defensive Coordinator for the rest of this season, but it is now evident that the whole upper management of this team is more stubborn than a pack of mules. I think he’d be good to revitalize a defense of a contender mid-season, not for guiding us through a multi-year rebuild. There are others that are better. Dan Quinn or Ejiro Evero (Broncos DC) are two I would like to see interviewed. Ben Johnson (Lions OC) and Shane Steichen (Eagles OC) are other interesting candidates, if the Packers want an offensive minded HC. We could also re-hire Nate Hackett as our OC, as it doesn’t look like he’ll be in Denver after this season.

-1 points
2
3
LeotisHarris's picture

October 28, 2022 at 09:02 pm

Packy, you must get on the horn ASAP and offer your recruitment skills to the Executive Committee of the BOD. Do not hide your light under a bushel! These are trying times that call for bold action, and you have a keen eye for personnel. Pro tip: do not sleep on Swisch for the OC position.

0 points
0
0
splitpea1's picture

October 28, 2022 at 03:30 pm

We have the athletes at many positions-- just have turn them into better, smarter, and more disciplined football players who are put in a position to succeed. But we obviously need more help in a couple of offensive areas.

1 points
2
1
LLCHESTY's picture

October 28, 2022 at 05:58 pm

High RAS scores are cool and all but those tests should be more to weed out those who aren't likely athletic enough to play in the NFL. The positions where high RAS actually points to success right now is Edge and TE.

There's just not enough practice time anymore to get guys up to speed that have something glaring that needs to be fixed. Can they block, tackle or catch should be the 1st thing a GM confirms. Then try and find out as much as you can about their work ethic. There are tons of offseason training facilities where guys can improve if they're willing to. Obviously different tests are important to different positions. A good example is Savage, if his college film showed a real issue with tackling that's a problem that is likely going to stay a problem and not one you want in a safety. He went from a 3rd round prospect to where he was drafted in the time between the combine and the draft because of his testing. Sure is looking like he shouldn't have.

1 points
1
0
SinceLombardi's picture

October 28, 2022 at 04:36 pm

See the NYG with Wink Martindale

2 points
2
0
Rossonero's picture

October 28, 2022 at 01:11 pm

Is it Halloween season? Yes, but it's also football season. This schedule is scary, but the way the Packers have been playing has been a house of horrors:

Minimal touches for Jones and Dillon
A mediocre O-line where Rodgers gets hit hard, and often
Aaron Rodgers slinging it on 3rd & 1 and 4th & 1 with a bad thumb
Any type of 3rd down conversion situation
Amari Rodgers muffing punts
The FG or punt unit coming out onto the field - will it get blocked?
Rookie WRs dropping passes or running the wrong route
Joe Barry having the DBs play 15 yards away from Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis
No halftime adjustments
The defense playing an absurd amount of snaps, and getting tired because the offense can't do a damn thing

Now THAT's scary.

Post-game presser: "We didn't execute. It's all on everybody. I need to go look at the film." - MLF

Bills 38, Packers 13

I hope this team runs the damn ball and doesn't get destroyed too much on SNF, but then again, maybe that's what the coaching staff might need to wake up and come up with a game plan that actually might work, or maybe, just maybe, make some in-game adjustments.

7 points
7
0
beautiful_mystery's picture

October 28, 2022 at 03:50 pm

I just wish once, ONCE Coach LaF would talk about paid level...

0 points
1
1
vin0770's picture

October 28, 2022 at 04:10 pm

All very true…so how does any of that change? It starts with MLF….I’m not optimistic 😢

2 points
2
0
Rossonero's picture

October 28, 2022 at 08:10 pm

which is a weird thing to say right? He's been a wonderful coach for the past three seasons, but all of a sudden this year, he seems lost. Like he's on the Starship Enterprise or something ,but the rest of us are down here on Earth.

0 points
0
0
Packerlifer's picture

October 30, 2022 at 04:03 pm

I think we may be seeing the LaFleur of January playoff games showing up in regular season this year.

0 points
0
0
Dragon5's picture

October 28, 2022 at 02:09 pm

They say don't try to catch a falling knife...seems the beer goggles have yet to come off completely in curdnation.

We know there will be something "better" to do Sunday night, but misery loves company. Advance hugs to all.

Bills 51 Packers 16

2 points
2
0
PackyCheese500's picture

October 28, 2022 at 02:50 pm

Bills 1000 Packers -50. That’s not my real prediction, but be prepared to watch the Packers get their doors blown off and fed into a woodchipper

0 points
2
2
Rarescope's picture

October 28, 2022 at 03:10 pm

What I want to know Dragon is who is in their enemy year? Something ain't right at 1265 Lombardi Ave...

3 points
3
0
Dragon5's picture

October 28, 2022 at 07:45 pm

The franchise itself is in a personal 7 year = injury prone theme....so is TB, CLE, SEA, SF
We haven't had the anticipated big ones hit yet: J.Reed, P.Smith, R.Douglas, D.Savage...though Smith & Reed P7s don't begin till Nov 17 / Dec 16 respectively--they both are, however, in their enemy year.

Murphy & MLF = goats
Gute = ox

goat is enemy sign of ox & vice versa...recipe for disaster as opposing energy means it's natural for them not to be on the same page / work well together...have mentioned this several times over the past couple years

1 points
2
1
beautiful_mystery's picture

October 28, 2022 at 02:14 pm

I ain't so concerned about the schedule as I am the thoughts between the ears of the players.

2 points
3
1
beautiful_mystery's picture

October 28, 2022 at 02:17 pm

And anything is possible, and I do mean anything. For example, I, Pantz Burp have reached the 1,000 Thumps Up plateau (and that is after subtracting my own 250+ thumbs up votes). How do you like me now!!!

4 points
6
2
Rarescope's picture

October 28, 2022 at 03:05 pm

"Or else the Packers might be staring at a top-10 pick dead in the eye."

Any good QBs expected in the draft next year?

2 points
2
0
Coldworld's picture

October 28, 2022 at 04:55 pm

Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud are the only consensus first rounders. It’s not looking like a great year to me. That can change though.

1 points
1
0
LLCHESTY's picture

October 28, 2022 at 06:02 pm

I think the Levis kid from Kentucky is considered a 1st rounder unless he's hurt or something.

*Edit*
TDN has Stroud 6th, Levis 9th and Young 12th in their latest top 100. The Richardson kid is 51st(Packers would never take him) and they have two more in the top 100.

0 points
0
0
Coldworld's picture

October 29, 2022 at 01:20 pm

Levis is high on some and not in the first on others. There are maybe 5 or 6 I’ve seen in the first at some point, of which he’s typically about the third on average. I don’t really follow it that closely though. Retrospect is available and better, I think.

0 points
0
0
Ikrispy's picture

October 28, 2022 at 03:20 pm

“440.8 points per game” LOL! I’d love to eat my words at the end of the season but, what’s funnier than the 440 pts per game mistake is the idea that the pack could beat the lions this season, let alone any other team.

2 points
2
0
SinceLombardi's picture

October 28, 2022 at 03:22 pm

It’s going to be ugly. I expect this team to pull one upset, split with Detroit, lose to Chicago and perhaps win the final game of the season.
Personally I would have a hard time appearing on the Pat McAffee show unless I was playing at a very high level. I know we don’t have top quality wide receivers… but even the dump off passes to the running backs have been at the ankles.

5 points
5
0
beautiful_mystery's picture

October 28, 2022 at 03:47 pm

We should be fine with #12 and his thumb moving forward. The swelling should be down by now. He has been taking matters in his own hands by sucking his thumb on a regular basis.

2 points
3
1
badaxed's picture

October 29, 2022 at 07:35 am

Maybee the thumb (swelling going down) but not his head.

0 points
1
1
vin0770's picture

October 28, 2022 at 04:13 pm

Do you see Buffalo having to punt? I don’t…the over under is one and I’ll take the under 😢

1 points
1
0
Rebecca's picture

October 28, 2022 at 05:35 pm

The Pack should win. Block tackle run catch kick and HANG ONTO THE FOOTBALL. No drops / no tips / eyes on the ball / soft hands.

2 points
2
0
brenner's picture

October 28, 2022 at 11:31 pm

Win or lose immediately after the game trade Love and a 3rd to Denver for jeudy, and a 3rd and 4th to Houston for cooks.

-3 points
1
4
EnemyTerritory's picture

October 29, 2022 at 09:16 am

6-11 or 5-12 this year at best. QB1 looks old, disinterested and inaccurate. MLF or QB1 refuses to use Jones, has predictable plays, and starts a third or fourth and 1 in shotgun. We have zero downfield threats. The O Line is a sieve. Was it the Jets HC who’s halftime speech was to the effect that GBP would crumple with a good gut punch?

Losing begets chaos, discord and more losing. Home games will soon be a hostile environment. Blow it up now and take the harsh medicine.

2 points
2
0
Coldworld's picture

October 29, 2022 at 01:26 pm

If we had an owner, this game might well be the watershed. With Murphy at least as responsible as anyone, I expect continuing denial as long as there’s a mathematical chance or the internal dissension blows out into the public domain.

Murphy won’t fire himself and firing LaFleur, his guy, may also be fatal, particularly if he leaves it longer and things deteriorate. It’s likely to get a lot more gory yet.

-1 points
0
1
barutanseijin's picture

October 30, 2022 at 02:11 pm

An owner like Snyder? Or how about Woody Johnson? Or a pill-popping drunk like Irsay?

Owners are just as likely to fuck things up as bureaucrats like Murphy.

1 points
1
0