The chances of making the playoffs for the Green Bay Packers were not very good going into Sunday’s game, the likely reality became official when they lost to the Chicago Bears 24-17 and then saw it become official when the Vikings knocked off the Miami Dolphins in Minnesota.
The Bears captured the NFC North title for the first time since 2010 while the Packers missed out on the playoffs for the second straight season. It’s the first time the Packers have gone back-to-back seasons without a spot in the playoffs in 18 years.
Aaron Rodgers NFL-record streak of 402 straight pass attempts without an interception came to an end in the fourth quarter when Bears safety Eddie Jackson picked off a deflected pass in the end zone.
Last year, the Packers season went south when Brett Hundley started nine games for an injured Rodgers. But this year, Rodgers has started all fourteen games so far.
Rodgers missed several open receivers on Sunday, down field shots that could have won the game for the Packers. They’re passes that Rodgers has made with relative ease in the past, but has struggled to connect on this season.
Rodgers finished 25-of 42 (59.5%) for 274 yards, no touchdowns and one pick. His passer rating was a dismal 69.
The Packers may have lost running back Aaron Jones for the rest of the season. Jones suffered a knee injury on his fourth carry and was sidelined for the rest of the game. He’s scheduled to have tests on Monday to determine the extent of the damage. After the game, Jones said the injury was similar to the torn MCL he had last season in Chicago. He missed two games.
Jamaal Williams took over and finished with 55 yards on 12 carries with a touchdown. He had three receptions for 40 yards.
Rodgers played the second half of the game with a groin injury that he suffered on the final play (Hail Mary) of the first half. He admitted it bothered him a little in the second half.
Now the question is whether or not Rodgers will play the final two games of the season, starting with a trip to New York to face the Jets on Sunday. Despite being officially eliminated, Rodgers said he doesn’t see any reason to shut it down and allow DeShone Kizer to finish the season. “I’d like to be out there and lead us the last two weeks,” Rodgers said.
When asked whether he would have a problem if general manager Brian Gutekunst or interim coach Joe Philbin wanted to take a look at Kizer, Rodgers said: “Yeah, probably.”
The Packers loss Sunday kept them winless away from Lambeau Field this year. They’re now 0-7 in road games this season.