Power Rankings: Experts buying in on potential run from Packers
After an ugly overtime victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Green Bay Packers find themselves jumping up seven spots in the latest USA Today NFL power rankings, coming in at No. 14.
The Packers’ opponents this week, the Cleveland Browns, are still searching for their first victory of 2017. To the surprise of absolutely no one, after falling to the San Diego Chargers last week, the Browns remain in the cellar of the power rankings at No. 32.
Elsewhere, Elliot Harrison has the Packers jumping up six spots to No. 17 in the latest NFL Media power rankings:
The most significant win on the Week 13 slate was unequivocally the Packers pirating a victory from the Bucs. With the Browns up next, Green Bay could be 7-6 with Aaron Rodgers coming back. (Oh, if you haven't heard, Rodgers broke his collarbone and hasn't been playing. You might have missed that story the first 754 times on sports radio.) No team wants to face Rodgers at his zenith in the postseason, at home, away or on Vulcan. On another note, I remember the first time I saw the Packers play the Bucs. My brothers and I were watching the Cowboys game, when Brent Musburger continually broke in with another Green Bay touchdown. The score was 49-7 at halftime. That's no misprint. It was my first deep dive into Tampa ineptitude, pre-DeBerg/Testaverde/Dilfer eras. Harlan Huckleby scored, I think. Any of you older Cheeseheads with Lynn Dickey posters remember that game?
At Bleacher Report, Chris Simms keeps the Packers exactly where they were last week at No. 22:
ESPN has the Packers jump six spots to No. 16:
I've said it before and I'll say it now. I don't love Mike McCarthy as a play-caller, but I love him as a head coach. His Packers are always well-prepared and ready to battle. That's what they did against the Buccaneers.
Green Bay's ability to run the ball against Tampa was impressive. Jamaal Williams was great, and I liked the designed runs for quarterback Brett Hundley. This is how the Packers need to operate their offense because Hundley isn't going to be able to run around and make plays in the passing game the way Aaron Rodgers can.
The Packers defense let up yards to the Buccaneers, but it created a few big plays, including the Winston fumble that was returned for a touchdown. This isn't a shutdown defense, but it's unconventional, can create chaos and keeps the Packers in games.
Green Bay isn't out of this yet. If the Packers can beat Cleveland next week and Rodgers can return in two weeks, they can make a serious push for the postseason.
From the Bristol crew’s website:
The Packers drafted three running backs and two have seemingly panned out. Both Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams have rushed for 100 yards in a game this season while combining for eight touchdowns (four each).
Over at Fansided, the Packers jump three spots to No. 16:
From their website:
Head coach Mike McCarthy has been waiting for a big effort from his running game this season and two of his rookies came through in the overtime win over the Buccaneers. Jamaal Williams picked up where he left off last week at Pittsburgh and totaled 113 yards and a score on 21 carries. Meanwhile, now-healthy Aaron Jones touched the ball only once and ran 20 yards for the game-winning touchdown in the extra session.
The Score also has the Packers jumping up three spots, putting them at No. 19:
From their website:
After a season dominated by injuries and off-field controversies, the NFL world deserves to watch Aaron Rodgers tear through the remainder of the Packers' schedule and secure a wild-card spot.