The Green Bay Packers took it to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night, nearly pulling off what would have been one of the biggest upsets in the NFL this season. Unfortunately for the Packers, they couldn’t seal the deal.
While they did not win the game, their promising performance seems to have boosted their stock in the eyes of some NFL analysts putting together weekly power rankings, including the most recently released from USA Today, where the Packers actually rise two spots to come in at No. 21.
The Packers’ opponent this week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, actually reside right next to them, coming in at No. 22 after their loss to the Atlanta Falcons last week.
Here’s what USA Today had to say about the Packers:
Aaron Rodgers is eligible to return in Week 15. Question is, can Pack remain relevant long enough to make that move worthwhile?
And here’s what they had to say about the Buccaneers:
They've somehow split last four despite being outgained by average of 120.3 yards. Still, trending wrong way and overmatched in this division.
Elsewhere, Elliot Harrison raises the Packers one spot, despite the loss, to No. 23:
Not too many quarterbacks outplayed Brett Hundley in Week 12. Unfortunately, Hundley's three touchdown passes (and no turnovers, mind you) weren't enough to deliver the win. And the three-point defeat probably eliminated Green Bay from playoff competition. Had the Packers mounted a successful final drive (instead of the screen pass for nothing on second down and run call on third), you would've seen a whole bunch of probability models this week on how long it takes to truly return from a broken collarbone.
Chris Simms brings the Packers up two spots to No. 22 over at Bleacher Report:
This was a heartbreaking loss for the Green Bay Packers. They did a lot of things well against the Pittsburgh Steelers and nearly pulled off a major upset—one they desperately needed to get back into the playoff race.
Brett Hundley made some great throws against Pittsburgh, and I was impressed by some timely play-calling from Mike McCarthy. It was the right decision to stay patient with the run game.
Green Bay's defense was also impressive against the Steelers. It let up some big plays but also caused some huge turnovers and had the Packers in position to win at the end. This would have been a huge win, as it would have put Green Bay at 6-5 with two winnable games on the horizon.
Ultimately, Hundley is still learning on the job, and the offense is inconsistent overall. The defense is creative but doesn't have enough difference-makers. I have a hard time believing the Packers can make the playoffs now.
Over at ESPN, the Packers actually climb four spots to No. 22 after their loss to the Steelers.
From ESPN’s website:
Even without Aaron Rodgers, one thing that has remained consistent for the Packers is their red zone offense. Green Bay has scored a touchdown on 68 percent of its red zone drives this season, second only to the 10-1 Eagles (72 percent).
Over at Shutdown Corner, Frank Schwab brings the Packers up two spots to No. 22:
Brett Hundley has a 59.1 passer rating at home (zero touchdowns, four interceptions). On the road it’s 90.1 (five TDs, three INTs). I have no idea how to rationally explain that.