The Green Bay Packers(12-3) are NFC North champions after going on the road and defeating the Vikings 23-10 on Monday night, and with a victory against the Lions in Week 17, can secure the second seed in the NFC, which means they will get a bye and host a playoff game in the Divisional Round.
What has made the Packers so successful in 2019 was on full display on Monday night. They got 154 yards on the ground, and two touchdowns from RB Aaron Jones, and defensively, Green Bay sacked Kirk Cousins five times, including 3.5 sacks from LB Za’Darius Smith.
According to Packers Pro Bowl quarterback Aaron Rodgers, winning the division is the first step for this football team.
“That’s really sweet,” Rodgers said about winning the NFC North. “To celebrate in the locker room with those guys, a lot of guys weren’t here in 2016, the last time we got to put these hats on. That was a sweet run, winning six in a row to finish it up inDetroit. But there’s really nothing like checking that first box on the goal list of winning your division, obviously secures a home playoff game, and now we’re playing for even more coming up next week.”
Coming into the season, many were questioning whether Rodgers and Packers head coach Matt LaFleur could be successful together, but that has been since quieted. After the game on Monday night, Rodgers discussed when he realized the Packers could be very good this season.
“I believed, I would say midway through training camp, that we did have something that could be special,” Rodgers said. “But like I just told Matt, nobody expected us to be in this position, to be 12-3, to win the North. Other than James Jones(former Packers WR), probably, there’s not many people who thought this was possible, just with so many moving pieces and new players and a new scheme. That feels pretty good for sure. To do it with Matt and just to see the emotion — I just told him I thought he just made some really good tactical decisions tonight that were important.”
The Packers, who have won four in a row, are in a good spot right now, especially if they can secure a first-round bye, which is very likely. Green Bay is peaking at the right time, and as long as they have Rodgers, they’re going to be a tough out in the NFC.