Packers Morning Buzz: What Green Bay will need to win in the playoffs
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 ESPN's Kevin Seifert writing the Packers haven't been regarded as serious contenders all season due to a couple of lopsided losses and some ugly wins, and reasons for skepticism remain.
It's one thing to find a way to beat the Panthers or Redskins or Giants -- or even a Vikings team playing without one of its best players. But can the Packers really beat the 49ers, Saints or Seahawks in the playoffs?
Everyone has an opinion, and here's mine: They can't do it by following Monday's formula. To wear out an opponent with the running game requires a defense that holds a high-end offense at bay. It's true that the Packers held their past four opponents to 15 or fewer points per game, but those opponents included the No. 31-ranked scoring offense (Redskins), the No. 30 (Bears), the No. 19 (Giants) and the Vikings without Cook and Mattison.
To win playoff games, the Packers will need something from Rodgers that they haven't gotten or even asked for: a performance that matches some of his singular playoff games, from the 2010 divisional playoff against the Atlanta Falcons to the 2016 divisional game against the Dallas Cowboys. That'll get us all talking about the Packers again, not for aesthetic reasons but for competitive ones, instead of noting that Rodgers now ranks 21st in the NFL in QBR (52.2).
You can read Seifert's entire analysis here:
Don't be surprised if Jamaal Williams sits out the Detroit game:
ICYMI, Tom Silverstein and Jim Owczarski break down what lies ahead for the Packers:
The Packer made a statement in beating the Vikings, writes NFL.com's Dan Hanzus in his weekly power rankings.
No. 6: PACKERS (12-3)
Previous rank: No. 7
We've been waiting all season for the Packers to deliver a Statement Win. Well, there it is. Green Bay went into Minnesota on Monday night and imposed their will on a Vikings team that wasn't up for the fight. The Packers left town with a 23-10 win and the NFC North title. A win on Sunday against the Lions and Green Bay locks down a bye -- and with a little help, the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC. Aaron Jones was the star on offense Monday night, going off for 154 yards and two touchdowns, including the 56-yard score that put the game out of reach. The defense, meanwhile, delivered a minor masterpiece: The Vikings were held to just seven first downs and 139 total yards in an embarrassing showing from the home team. Green Bay's offense isn't on par with Aaron Rodgers teams of yore, but this is a complete group well built for January.
You can read the entire rankings here:
Find out why the Packers moved up a spot in the MMQB rankings:
Breaking down a couple of Za'Darius Smith sacks:
Inquiring minds want to know:
Can Marshawn Lynch really provide enough help at running back to help the Seahawks beat the 49ers and potentially had the No. 1 seed to Green Bay?
Dan Orlovsky explains how Aaron Rodgers remains a master at reading defenses:
Here's how a relentless Aaron Jones piled up 160 total yards:
Plenty of good seats available:
Contact Stu Courtney at (920) 431-8377 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @stucourt