Eliminated and Unlucky: Packers go 0-4 in Sunday playoff scenarios

-- Entering the day, the Green Bay Packers were hoping to win in Chicago against the rival Bears and have a few other outcomes swing their way to keep their slim playoff hopes above water.

By Sunday night, they'd be deep enough underwater to rival the Titanic -- which is roughly 12,500 feet below the surface.

The Packers needed to not just beat the Bears, but win each of their final two games as well. While that proposal isn't off the table yet, the weight of those outcomes will essentially hold dead weight.

On top of winning, they needed the Miami Dolphins to win in Minnesota against the Vikings, the Jacksonville Jaguars to defend their home turf against the Washington Redskins and the Los Angeles Rams to emerge victorious over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football.

Not a single one of those things happened.

As a result, the Packers were eliminated from playoff contention with a loss at Soldier Field and the Dolphins' loss to the Vikings. Basically, the Packers' playoff hopes were dead in the water by Sunday afternoon, deeming much of those previous outcomes meaningless.

The Packers also would've needed the Carolina Panthers to lose to the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football.

Going 0-4 on Sunday with a chance to descend even further to 0-5 on Monday seems to perfectly encapsulate the Packers' 2018 campaign: Dismal, less than ideal, but things could always be worse. Very few times has the pendulum swung in the Packers' favor this year, and this past weekend continued that theme.

The Packers will travel to New York to meet with the Jets next week with hopes of earning their first road win of the season. They'll then return home to Lambeau Field for the regular-season finale against the Detroit Lions. 

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Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Comments (31)

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KenEllis's picture

December 16, 2018 at 11:47 pm

The Packers are not UNLUCKY.

They are a bad 5-8-1 NFL team that does not deserve to be in the playoffs.

Time to start focusing on 2019. Now.

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mamasboy's picture

December 17, 2018 at 12:28 am

You're right Kenny! But as far as what 2019 brings, it might not be much better. Rogers already lobbying to bring Cobb ( his best friend) back next year. He'll probably try and get Cobb as many catches as he can get against the Jets and the lions. Rogers is as manipulative as he is smart. Belechick would have cut Cobb today, just to let Rogers know who the boss is. GEEZUS, is Rogers going to demand to be at the weekly meetings with Gute, Murph and Philben ? It wouldn't surprise me. The new co-coach needs to SHUT HIM UP!

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ZacharyJacobson's picture

December 17, 2018 at 12:32 am

The title doesn't imply that they're unlucky in terms of their play. They're bad across the board. It's more so meant in terms of if they were to win on Sunday, nothing else would've gone their way, but they couldn't even do that.

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

December 17, 2018 at 06:53 am

Great, but did you ever work in a hospital?

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GBPDAN1's picture

December 17, 2018 at 11:18 am

As far as I was concerned, the playoffs were basically out of reach by losing to the lowly Cardinals at home. And without no magic from Rodgers this year, we were done. Speaking of Rodgers and his magic Mojo, he better get it back next year and earn that highest salary in the league.

I watched his press conference after the game. The reporters brought up his bad throws for the Bears game and for the year. Rodgers blamed it on the recievers not being in sync. I don't totally agree with that as we have seen receivers wide open and Rodgers missing them. It was a weird season.

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Coldworld's picture

December 17, 2018 at 05:40 am

I don’t totally agree either, but it is a factor. That is not to say that there aren’t a bunch of factors. Starting versus the Bears without Clark or Daniels would have bothered me in any year. Add in our wholly toothless OLB corps (Fackrell has 8 sacks but is largely invisible against decent fronts) and that’s a big factor as is the loss of one side of our O line, not to mention injury attrition generally: comparatively, the Bears are pretty healthy.

Most obviously, we need rookies to mature fast: years of poor drafts means we have inexperience galore on both sides of the ball.

More obviously still but linked to the above, we need an O scheme that does not require Rodgers to be Superman or his receivers to be mind readers. That, plus a reasonably functional O line may yet give him the time to settle into a groove and be the Rodgers the current scheme requires him to be.

This offseason we will need a lot of second year jumps. If we get them, the prospects are good. We also need to address OLB in the worst way, safety and another Tackle and guard (TE is in my view a luxury in terms of top picks for 2019). Good thing we have a lot of picks! Whatever Rodgers feels, Cobb needs to take a massive cut or be gone. I would keep Matthews first, albeit also only on a much lower wage.

Wilkerson and Breeland may be value targets, other than that, a busy year in FA, maybe at safety and TE particularly, also seems called for, hence the need to ruthlessness on the cap front.

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croatpackfan's picture

December 17, 2018 at 06:38 am

Offense scheming will not do any good. It is not scheming it is Aaron Rodgers who wants to throw deep on every play... He is bored with methodical 5 - 7 yards throws that moves sticks and brings rhythm in the offense. All 3 scoring drives had that methodical short and fast throws, while all others was 3 and out made by long shots or by keeping the ball too long in Aaron's hands trying to find somebody deep... Or waiting his buddy Jimmy to open himself in the red zone...

You should go back and watch this game again. I would like to point out the moment at the end of the half when Aaron Rodgers threw Hail Mary in the end zone. Look at his face expression. It was delightful by the opportunity and just slightly sad for the outcome. Only time in the whole game he changed the expression of his face - from boring to exciting one...

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HankScorpio's picture

December 17, 2018 at 12:33 am

They were never going to make the playoffs anyways. The Eagles and Redskins winning makes it harder for the Packers to get a worse pick than those two. Both went from 6 to 7 wins.

The Packers sit 11th in draft order today with 5 wins. Their tie means they will have the worst pick of the teams with the same number of wins. There are a total of 14 teams with 5-7 wins. Each time one of the other 13 win, it helps the Packers.

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dobber's picture

December 17, 2018 at 07:22 am

For an optimist like me, it's actually kinda liberating at this point.

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HankScorpio's picture

December 17, 2018 at 08:32 am

I know what you mean about that feeling. These last two Packer games are against teams holding better picks today. If the Packers win, that's great. I'm a fan so that is what I want. If they lose, they win on draft day.

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PAPackerbacker's picture

December 17, 2018 at 05:40 am

Any time you don't control your own destiny for a playoff birth is a situation a contender should never have to face. Depend on your own resources to get the job done and into the post season not for some other teams fortune or misfortune to get you there. The Packers can blame no one else but themselves for their bad season. They had many opportunities to control their own destiny and failed to get the job done.

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Lphill's picture

December 17, 2018 at 05:44 am

Amazing how many fair weather fans are turning on Rodgers for a bad season, yes he has missed on some throws but look at how the roster evolved through the season , what other team lost their entire D line? To those of you who can’t support Rodgers and the Packers in tough times please go away .

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croatpackfan's picture

December 17, 2018 at 06:43 am

What would be with Packers if they were lost 1st and 2nd QB to injury and have to play very old street agent like Washington?

There is a lot of teams lost very valuable players to injuries, and they are still fighting for play off...

Injuries must not be excuses... Game against Bears was lost mainly by offense, D made a lot of opportunities for them...

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dobber's picture

December 17, 2018 at 07:25 am

They lost their entire D-Line to injury, have minimal pass rush off the edge, dealt away and cut their safeties...and yet, defense isn't the issue.

I think most of us are still supporters, but most of us are only at about step 3 in this 12-step process.

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fastmoving's picture

December 17, 2018 at 07:26 am

"the roster" is not bad at all and he missed on more than "some throws". So you have to admit that he is the biggest reason for our record. Would he have played half the way he is capable of (or at least was), we would have at least 4-5 Ws more

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Since'61's picture

December 17, 2018 at 09:31 am

Lphill - most fans are only about what have you done for me lately. They easily forget that without Rodgers the Packers would have about 4-6 wins per season since 2014.

They don't care or realize that he has played this entire season injured with only one WR, no OL or running game and a defense that has allowed more points per game than even Capers defense. Except for Adams his WRs run around aimlessly out there. Graham was a mistake and that was proven again yesterday when he turned a TD into an interception for the Bears and ended the Packers season. I have not heard Rodgers use his injuries as an excuse for his poor performance even one time.

The bottom line is that this is a bad team with an injured HOF QB. The Packers have plenty of decisions to make this off season and they need to get them right starting with selecting the new HC. If they don't get that right and make some solid draft picks it could be a long, long, long, way back for this team regardless of how Rodgers plays.

Finally, many of the bloggers here have only been fans since the Favre and/or Rodgers days. Some of them became Packers fans because of Favre and/or Rodgers, as a result they have never needed to deal with unsuccessful seasons. With MM gone they need a fall guy and now it's Rodgers. Spoiled and disappointed fans need a scapegoat so they turn on the team's best player because it must all be his fault. Yet a blind man can see in an instant that Rodgers has played hurt all season. They think that he was great when the Packers were winning so he must be bad because they are losing.

They won't go away either because then they have no one to blame for their petty disappointments. It's neither good or bad LP, it just is. Thanks, Since '61

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Pierre's picture

December 17, 2018 at 06:41 am

How’s it being fair weather to point out the obvious, that Rodgers has been unable to throw an accurate deep ball all season and would rather throw the ball out of bounds than put it in a place where his receiver can at least go up and make a play on the ball? He has thrown the ball out of bounds or taken sacks far more than other QBs and this is just like an interception as the Packers have to punt more often. He just can’t convert third downs and sustain drives for TDs when the Packers offense needs to score? The Packers D, beat up as they were, gave Rodgers the ball on a Bears fumble at 14-14 and he could not even capitalize to get the go ahead score...instead it was three missed passes and a punt back to the Bears!! Take off the rose colored glasses because that was all on Rodgers missing wide open receivers deep that kept the Packer from going ahead of the Bears. It was there for the taking for any “elite” QB to win that game!
How can you not be tired and concerned about seeing the same poor passer ratings by Rodgers, week, after week, after week? No one player is above the Packers team and if you can’t see that Rodgers poor QB play, considering the 1-2 million he's getting paid per game, is a serious problem, then you really are drinking the Rodgers coolaid way too much and really don’t know or understand the game of football very well at all. That’s why folks that idolize Rodgers can’t be objective but will continue to use every other excuse for this team’s poor play rather than the obvious, the QB performance is far from stellar.

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croatpackfan's picture

December 17, 2018 at 06:45 am

Sorry, I was able to give you only one up vote...

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dobber's picture

December 17, 2018 at 07:26 am

Here...you can use mine. I'm not going to use it.

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croatpackfan's picture

December 17, 2018 at 08:50 am

Thank you!

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egbertsouse's picture

December 17, 2018 at 07:26 am

Aww, man! No more 15 paragraph articles on the myriad of improbable events that have to occur for the Packers to make the playoffs? I’m really going to miss those.

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Razer's picture

December 17, 2018 at 08:07 am

Too funny and amen

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Curt's picture

December 17, 2018 at 07:29 am

Rodgers gets credit when he throws the ball well and takes the blame when he misses receivers - that's how it should be when you make the big bucks....if not on the same page as the receivers get them in the same room and make them work harder....or get different receivers.

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edp1959's picture

December 17, 2018 at 07:43 am

Ohh no the future HOF QB didn't carry the team to the playoffs this year and now all of the so called fans want to turn on him this year even though he has carried this team for 10 years. The front office is responsible for this mess and anyone with any sense should know that. This is a team sport, if a team relies on one player to carry them then somethings wrong.

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Since'61's picture

December 17, 2018 at 09:40 am

Well said edp1959. The so called fans have no clue what it is like to go through the 70s and 80s with terrible QBs except for a few seasons with Lynn Dickey who like Rodgers played with little or no support around him.

Either way, if Rodgers returns to form or not and eventually a new QB comes to Green Bay they may have to live through a decade or 2 of Brett Hundleys and then they will wake up and realize that the Rodgers guy they used to watch all those years ago was actually pretty good.
Thanks, Since '61

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luvbigiron's picture

December 17, 2018 at 07:49 am

Time to build a pounding running game and quit depending on an aging Q.B. to bail us out. Still need more depth on D-line and edge rushers.

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Razer's picture

December 17, 2018 at 08:08 am

I'll add a real safety to the list as icing on your cake.

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stockholder's picture

December 17, 2018 at 08:10 am

For not having Daniels, Clark, or Wilkerson, that DL played decent yesterday. Now, do you let Wilkerson go and draft another DT? Do you sign Wilkerson and draft three LBs?

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dobber's picture

December 17, 2018 at 08:22 am

I'm actually coming around to your idea that they need to play more even fronts. It might be the cheapest and quickest path to shoring up personnel on D.

I would consider bringing back Wilkerson. He was not terribly expensive this season, and likely won't be any pricier next season. Lower risk, good potential reward.

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Since'61's picture

December 17, 2018 at 09:42 am

Dobber - I agree I would bring Wilkerson back for the right price. Pettine will probably want him back if he is still here. Thanks, Since '61

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splitpea1's picture

December 17, 2018 at 11:03 am

It really doesn't matter how other teams do if you're not good enough to win a single game on the road or even beat Arizona at home in the snow.

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