A quick overview of three storylines that could help determine the outcome when the Green Bay Packers host the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday at Lambeau Field. Aaron Nagler/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin
The Green Bay Packers, coming off their first victory in over a month, climbed seven spots to No. 19 in the latest USA TODAY NFL Power Rankings after their win over the Chicago Bears in Week 10.
Their opponents Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens, are coming off a bye and somehow jumped four spots themselves to land one spot above the Packers at No. 18.
Here’s what USA TODAY has to say about the Packers:
We thought Mike McCarthy could have done better than Brett Hundley. We must now admit steadily improving QB might just keep Pack on life support.
And here’s what they have to say about the Ravens:
Not a bad bye. QB Joe Flacco got more rest, and RB Danny Woodhead is nearing return from IR. Meanwhile, several AFC wild-card competitors faltered.
Elsewhere, Elliot Harrison has the Packers jumping up five spots, bringing them up to No. 21:
Congrats, Brett Hundley. Can you imagine stepping in for Aaron Rodgers for an extended period of time? Few have succeeded in replacing legends. Just ask Steve Young (replacing Joe Montana) or Jay Fiedler (replacing Dan Marino). Hundley took plenty of flak from the Cheez-It gallery last week, only to come up with multiple big throws to Davante Adams while using his legs effectively on a 17-yard scamper late in the win over the Bears. Also taking heat from the Green Bay mob: defensive coordinator Dom Capers. His unit consistently got off the field Sunday, forcing 11 outs on third and fourth down.
Over at ESPN, the Bristol brigade bumps the Packers up one spot to No. 17:
From the ESPN website:
Brett Hundley has increased his completion percentage and yards per attempt with every start this season. The Packers still have a tough road ahead, with the Ravens and Steelers over the next two weeks, but the season might not be completely lost if Hundley keeps improving.
Over at the Score, the Packers rise four spots to No. 20:
From their website:
Brett Hundley proved capable of leading a dialed-down version of the Packers' offense, but the cards will be even more stacked against him if the team's top two running backs have to miss any time.
Chris Simms brings the Packers up to No. 20, up seven spots from Week 10.
This was an impressive win by the Packers. I didn't believe they'd be able to come into Chicago and win with Brett Hundley under center, but they proved me wrong.
Green Bay ran the ball well, which was surprising against a stout Chicago front seven. The Packers have to continue transforming into a running football team—and it wouldn't hurt to utilize Hundley in the run game as well. The Packers also need to get him opportunities with the bootleg and with play-action.
The Packers cannot expect to have success with the same shotgun, drop-back offense without Aaron Rodgers.
The defense held its own against a physical Bears run game too. I still have questions about whether the Packers can consistently win with defense and with the ground game without Rodgers, but Green Bay has taken a step in the right direction.
This was something to build on.
Shutdown Corner has the Packers jumping five spots to No. 20:
From Frank Schawb:
Three of the Packers’ next four games are vs. Baltimore, vs. Tampa Bay and at Cleveland. Those three are all winnable. If they win those three, they’d be 8-5 at worst with three to go. For as bad as the Packers have looked at times with Brett Hundley, there are still signs of life.