Packers Rolling… Against Teams With Key Injuries
When the Green Bay Packers come up in the mainstream media, invariably the talk of injuries follows closely behind. Yes, the Packers have been hit with some key injuries this season, and the frequency at which they have been hit has been alarming. As bad as it’s been though, the Packers have gotten some relief by beating several opponents sidled with injury issues even worse than their own.
Win #1: Week 2 — Washington Redskins
Although a healthier Robert Griffin III hasn’t really elevated the performance of the Redskins in 2013 thus far, it is painfully obvious that he was not even close to 100 percent versus the Packers in Week 2. The read-option quarterback keeper was nothing more than a bluff all day versus Green Bay and that certainly limited Washington’s effectiveness. Even though he looked maybe 65 percent healthy in that game, Griffin still led a comeback that made Packers fans a little nervous in the fourth quarter. If he’s 100 percent that day… who knows? RGIII continues to get stronger every week and with that the Washington playbook has opened up. Green Bay should win that game regardless, but a lame RGIII certainly helped the cause.
Win #2: Week 5 — Detroit Lions
At the beginning of the week when it was assumed Calvin Johnson would be playing, I was fairly surprised to see the Packers listed as hefty seven point favorites. I even announced on Twitter that I would take those seven points and run to the betting window. However, when it was announced on Sunday morning that Megatron would not be playing and the spread moved to the Packers by 10, I touted the Packers were now the play of the day and would win by three touchdowns. Megatron is the most important player to his team that is not a quarterback and the Packers benefited in a huge way because of it.
Win #4: Week 7 — Cleveland Browns
Brian Hoyer had become the talk of the NFL. The former backup to Tom Brady had somehow helped lead his team that had “given up on the season” to three straight wins. But after Hoyer tore his ACL versus the Bills in week five, Cleveland has since rattled off three straight losses under Brandon Weeden, a trend that is likely to continue. Does Cleveland beat Green Bay at Lambeau with Hoyer at the helm? Probably not, but the chances are a hell of a lot better than with Brandon Weeden.
Win #5: Week 8 — Minnesota Vikings
Listen. Can you hear that? Why it’s the sound of circus music symbolizing the quarterback carousel that is the Minnesota Vikings! Look closely and you might spot the juggling clown named Zygi in the luxury suite.
Josh Freeman has had some success against the Packers in the past so there might have been a slight exhale of relief inside the walls of Lambeau Field when it was announced he was out with a concussion. One might argue that Christian Ponder also had some success and a 1-1 record versus the Pack so maybe they wouldn’t want to face him either. Either way the lack of continuity, cohesiveness and consistency at the quarterback position further hindered the most inept franchise in all of sport. A boost in favor of the Packers was probably unnecessary, but they benefited none the less.
That means the Packers have won only one game versus an opponent not suffering from a key injury. That win came against the lame duck defending champion Baltimore Ravens, a team that barely resembles the one that won a Super Bowl less than a year ago.
As if things couldn’t fall into place any better for our heroes in green and gold, here comes division rival Chicago… but without Jay Cutler. Hahahahahahaha!
So here again are the Packers wins on the year.
- Redskins with a one-legged RGIII
- Lions without Megatron
- Baltimore Ravens — A team on the decline, but a quality win on the road.
- Browns with Brandon Weeden
- Vikings with Christian Ponder
Next… Cutler-less Bears
In no way does this detract from the fact the Packers have put a pretty good product on the field, nor does it ignore the numerous and serious injuries the Packers have dealt with themselves. It’s just that the Packers haven’t suffered any catastrophic injuries like the teams they’ve beaten. That will remain to be the case as long as Aaron Rodgers is under center.
I like this team a lot and see a ton of potential with them. Yet in the back of my mind I can’t shake the voice of Winston Wolf in Pulp Fiction. When Jules and Vincent seem rather proud of the way they cleaned up the bloody car, Winston eloquently states, “Let’s not start sucking each other’s dicks just yet.”
People are pretty high on a Packers team that so far loses to the good teams and beats the bad ones. With the Packers remaining strength of schedule or lack there of, they might not be seriously tested again until the playoffs. Only then will we learn if they’re real, and not before.
Andrew Chitko is a Packer fan who enjoys the mental and mathematical side of football just as much as the action and excitement on the field. "Cerebral Football" will focus on key coaching decisions, situational football, and other NFL-related topics deserving deeper analysis.
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