Green Bay, winners of two straight and three of their last four, are suddenly one of the hottest teams in the NFL. They’re also creeping back into the playoff picture. Following the conclusion of the Thanksgiving Day games, the Seattle Seahawks hold the final Wild Card spot at 6-5, just one game ahead of the Packers. The Minnesota Vikings are also nearby with a 6-4 record.
The Seahawks will be the easiest for the Packers to catch, as they have a gauntlet of a schedule remaining. Coming off a loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Thanksgiving night, they play the Dallas Cowboys, 49ers again, Philadelphia Eagles, Tennessee Titans, Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals.
The Green Bay Packers had a surprise win on Thanksgiving when they beat the Detroit Lions and crept into the playoff picture.
Meanwhile, the Packers’ schedule looks like this: vs Kansas City Chiefs, vs New York Giants, vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers, at Carolina Panthers, at Minnesota Vikings, vs Chicago Bears. There are some difficult games in there, but contests against the Giants, Panthers and Bears also give them some winnable ones to continue building toward the postseason.
More important than a chance at making the playoffs, however, is that the Packers’ young core continues to show progress.
Coming off his first career 300-yard passing game, Jordan Love had another gem against Detroit, finishing 22/32 (68.75 percent) for 268 yards and three touchdowns. His arrow is pointing straight up as he continues to make a strong case that he deserves to be the Packers’ next long-term starting quarterback.
It’s not just Love who is showing signs of progress. The Packers’ young skill players are also getting into their groove. Jordan Reed continues to flash as a rookie, Tucker Kraft had a big day as a starter, and even Malik Heath got in on the action. Meanwhile, Christian Watson had his best game of the season, catching five passes for 94 yards and a touchdown.
Player development was the Packers’ number one goal heading into this season, and we’re finally seeing signs of consistent growth after a rocky start. It’s more important than any draft pick or playoff positioning this season.