The NFC North has been a strong division to this point in the season, and its teams’ records show just that. Of the four teams, only the Vikings are struggling to win games, and the remaining three teams sit in a three-way tie at 5-3 for the divisional title.
The power dynamic may have changed with Aaron Rodgers’ broken collar bone, however. With Rodgers sidelined for the foreseeable future, the Lions and Bears have a golden opportunity to put the Packers in their rearview mirrors, turning the NFC North into a two horse race.
Unlike some teams in the NFL, the Packers see a huge drop off in talent when they move to their second string quarterback. Whereas Aaron Rodgers has the ability to toss the ball all around the field with great success, Seneca Wallace has difficulty completing consecutive passes, much less driving the Packers up and down the field.
For much of the season, the Packers’ defense has done a great job keeping opponents in check, but without Aaron Rodgers in the lineup, even the defense will see their play impacted. With Rodgers, the Packers’ defense usually had time to rest and catch their breath. That won’t necessarily be the case with Seneca Wallace taking the snaps. With a winded defense, points are bound to pile up against the Packers.
Still, the Packers aren’t dead in the water just yet. Seneca Wallace is a capable veteran, and with a few less-than-intimidating opponents up next, the Packers may be able to keep themselves in the thick of the NFC North divisional race.
If the Packers can keep themselves in the playoff race long enough for Aaron Rodgers to return, the damage from Rodgers’ injury will be greatly limited, and the Packers may be able to fight their way into the playoffs. Even so, there’s no denying the Packers are facing an uphill battle with Seneca Wallace taking the snaps. Wallace doesn’t make for a bad backup, but the Packers were equal with the rest of their divisional rivals even with Rodgers. Without him, Green Bay may be facing a test too tough to overcome. As with all things, only time will tell.