Packers Morning Buzz: Green Bay, New Orleans likely best bets to earn first-round byes
Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at PackersNews.com.
We'll start with an NFL.com panel of former players debating which NFC teams will earn first-round playoff byes. Four of the six panelists predict the Packers will be among the top two seeds (the Saints get five votes and the Seahawks three).
Former NFL quarterback David Carr makes a solid argument here:
Favorable remaining schedules a boon for Packers, Saints
The two NFC teams with the best chance to earn a postseason bye are the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints. They have favorable remaining schedules (only two games apiece against teams that currently have winning records). The 49ers have the best record in the NFC right now, but they face a gauntlet to close out the regular season with games vs. the Packers, Ravens, Saints, Falcons, Rams and Seahawks still ahead. Going 4-2 during that stretch seems like a best-case scenario, but I'm not going to rule out the possibility of them losing most -- or even (gulp) all -- of those games. Minnesota has an outside shot at the bye, but I'm not as confident about its chances given the upcoming schedule, and the same goes for Seattle.
You can read the entire story here:
As Carr notes, the 49ers face two more daunting tests after playing the Packers in what could be a historically difficult stretch:
Aaron Rodgers believes the Packers are going to need to win at Levi's Stadium at some point, and better to do so now than attempt to do so in January:
The 49ers will try to exploit the Packers' most vulnerable spot on defense:
Family affair: Mike LaFleur too valuable for 49ers to let go:
The 49ers' injury issues didn't get any better Wednesday:
The Packers and 49ers have played some classic games, writes JR Radcliffe:
Jimmy Garoppolo's production and the 49ers' 9-1 start have made it easy to overlook a troubling stat: his 10 interceptions, writes Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle:
Another reason for Packers fans to be thankful for Aaron Rodgers:
So many great names on this list, but basically it comes down to Bill Belichick and the guy they named the Super Bowl trophy after:
In Chicago, some Bears fans already are talking about rebuilding and possibly trading Khalil Mack:
And it looks like Mitch Trubisky's hip injury wasn't that serious:
The Lions may foolishly allow Matthew Stafford to play again this season:
Contact Stu Courtney at (920) 431-8377 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @stucourt