9

November

Looking at the Packers Remaining Schedule after the Bye Week (with podcast)

Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers celebrate after a 72-yard touchdown to Tom Crabtree against the Arizona Cardinals.

Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers celebrate after a Tom Crabtree TD against the Arizona Cardinals.

Coming into the season, there were a couple stretches that appeared difficult on the Packers’ schedule.

The first tough part of the Packers’ schedule began on opening weekend, while the second challenging stretch figured to be coming out of the bye week.

In week one, the San Francisco 49ers came to Lambeau Field and controlled the game from the kickoff, as the 49ers’ stout defense completely shut the Packers down. The Packers were 0-1, and the schedule didn’t get any easier.

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The Packers were, again, playing at home in week two. This time, against a hungry and much-improved Chicago Bears team. Tramon Williams caught as many passes as Brandon Marshall, and defensive coordinator Dom Capers continued his dominance against Jay Cutler, confusing the Bears quarterback into four interceptions and a 28.2 passer rating.

Now back to .500, the Packers traveled to Seattle to play the Seahawks on Monday Night Fotoball. The Seattle crowd was, as usual, extremely loud, helping the Seahawks blow past the Packers’ offensive line for a season-high eight sacks. We all know how the game ended–the Packers won the game…except they didn’t.

Fans were outraged as the Packers sat at 1-2 with the New Orleans Saints coming to town in week four. The Packers offense got back on track against the lowly Saints defense, as Rodgers threw for 319 yards and four touchdowns.

The first “tough stretch” of the season was in the books, and the Packers were 2-2.

The schedule appeared to lighten up over the course of the next several games, but the very next week, the Packers blew a 21-3 lead over the Indianapolis Colts and fell below .500 once again. After their loss at Indianapolis, the Packers have won four straight games, defeating the previously-unbeaten Houston Texans, St. Louis Rams, Jacksonville Jaguars and Arizona Cardinals.

So, here they are.

The Packers are 6-3 at the bye week, trailing the 7-1 Chicago Bears in the NFC North division. While the Bears may have the best defense in the league through the first half of the season, they’re entering a challenging two-game stretch against Houston and San Francisco. So looking ahead, the Packers could have an opportunity to pull even with Chicago in the coming weeks.