The Green Bay Packers fought their way back into the NFC playoff mix despite having one of the youngest rosters in the NFL and a major question mark at the quarterback position in Jordan Love. Love, in his first year taking over for Aaron Rodgers at the position, did what Rodgers could not do.
In last year's season finale, Rodgers and the Packers dropped a divisional home game and missed the postseason entirely. This year, in the season finale, the Packers beat a hot Chicago Bears team with the playoffs on the line. And now that the Packers are in the hunt for the Lombadri trophy again, expectations will be raised across the board.
Although in this article we're discussing players who need to be "benched" for the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs, I think it should come with a caveat -- no one on the Packers is really playing poorly enough to be flat-out benched, not that the Packers can realistically replace in short order.
So who should have the shortest leash? Who should Matt LaFleur not hesitate to pull off the field if need be?
1. Anders Carlson, Kicker
It's the NFL playoffs, and the Green Bay Packers can't be losing a one-score game because of a rookie kicker. Carlson was perfect for a large portion of his first season, but has since gone on a bit of a cold streak, missing at least one kick in eight of the last 10 games.
The Packers can't afford to screw around with this and just hope for the best with the young leg. If they need to, they should channel their inner Dan Campbell and just say, "Screw it, we're going for two," or skip field goals unless it's absolutely the only option.
When you have to go on the road in the Wild Card round, you've got a chance to distinguish yourself in any certain way. You've got to take risks sometimes to win in the playoffs. If the Packers find themselves in a position to trust their rookie kicker or trust their offensive playmakers, they should choose the latter and keep Carlson on the bench.