Raise your hand if you saw this coming. The Packers control their own destiny again, now having the ability to win their final two games and win their division. While this seemed possible four weeks ago, it was far from likely and certainly was not viewed as a probability. Since then, though, the Packers have went on a four game tear that saw them raise their record from 4-6 to 8-6. Coach Mike McCarthy has stated since the 4-6 start that 10-6 should be their goal, and Aaron Rodgers talked openly about running the table.
That talk seems like a distinct possibility now, with the final two games against stumbling NFC North foes Minnesota and Detroit looking very winnable. It is possible that the Packers wouldn’t need to win their final two games to make the playoffs, because some late season stumbling by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and a little bit of luck could get them in the playoffs at 9-7. Still, the goal should absolutely be 10-6 and a division championship.
Rodgers has worked himself back into the MVP discussion after some early season snafus, being near the league lead in nearly every passing category while playing without a running back. Don’t be mistaken, as good as Montgomery has looked, and he certainly could be a running back next season, he is nothing more than this season’s Samkon Gado or James Starks at the moment. Montgomery has shown remarkable poise and patience when running the ball, which has brought old scouts out of the woodworks pointing out that they projected him as a better running back than receiver the entire time. As silly as a running back wearing number 88 looks, it is pretty fun watching him take handoffs and hit holes as if he has been doing it his whole life.
Could this team get hot and win a Super Bowl? Anything is possible, but the defense needs to shore up first, which would involve a lot of healing from injuries and a lot more consistency. Beyond that, Montgomery will need to continue his tear, and Rodgers will need to avoid further injuring his hamstring and calf. All of that put together does not lend itself to much confidence, but crazier things have happened.
The better question is where the Packers go from here once the season ends. Eddie Lacy has not proven to be durable, or even that good when he is healthy. He has shown flashes, sure, but it would be deviating from the Ted Thompson way to pay big money for a running back, and who could disagree with him. Does Montgomery attempt a full-time move to the running back position? Do the Packers draft another running back to pay rookie money and fill in the hole in the backfield? That seems the most likely option, but only time will tell.
Minnesota stands in Green Bay’s way this week, and the Packers should be able to handle them with ease and continue their march to the playoffs.