The Packers now face a bleak prognosis for the 2013 playoff race

With their most recent loss coming at the hands of the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day, the Green Bay Packers have put themselves into a corner. While they haven’t been eliminated from the playoff race, there’s little they can do to get themselves back in the race. Even if Aaron Rodgers comes back next week, there may not be enough time for the Packers to get back in the hunt.

Since Rodgers’ injury, the Packers have unceremoniously fallen from the top of the NFC North to third place, putting together a 0-4-1 record in the time since Rodgers left the field.

The Packers had glaring roster problems going into the season, but elite quarterbacks have the ability to hide those types of flaws. Unfortunately, the Packers left themselves vulnerable, and Rodgers’ injury has forced the Packers’ offense to start from scratch. Because the offense was predicated around Rodgers’ ability to make perfect passes and perfect decisions. Without a quarterback that can make great decisions, the Packers have stalled offensively.

Since beginning life without Aaron Rodgers, the Packers have scored more than 20 points just once. In that game, the Packers fought back against the Minnesota Vikings to tie the game. Unable to finish the Vikings in overtime, the Packers were forced to settle for a tie.

The Packers and Aaron Rodgers have made the intelligent move of not hurrying Rodgers back into the lineup, despite the team’s inability to win games without him. At this point, there’s little reason to even worry about getting Rodgers in the game this season. Why? Well, quite simply, the Packers benefit from losing games via better draft selections, and at this point, making the playoffs is a long-shot at best.

Because of the Packers’ tie against the Vikings, tie-breakers are almost certainly out the window in the playoff race. The Packers need to have just as many wins as their fellow contenders to pull ahead in the standings.

With just four games left in the season for the Packers, there’s little hope of making up two full games in the playoff race, especially considering the Cardinals and 49ers, both of which are in a battle for the NFC’s final playoff position, are red hot. The Packers, on the other hand, are ice cold, and even if Rodgers comes back now, there will be some rust in his game, and winning out isn’t likely.

We can now stick a fork in the 2013 Green Bay Packers. There’s no reason for them to risk their long-term future to have an outside chance at making it into the playoffs this season. Now, it’s time to prepare for the offseason, and by ending Aaron Rodgers’ season, the Packers would help themselves in the draft this spring. It’s not a pleasant thought, but the Packers should pull up, and simply plan for the future.

About Shane Clemons

Shane Clemons came from humble beginnings creating his own Jaguars blog before moving on to SBNation as a featured writer for the Jaguars. He then moved to Bloguin where he briefly covered the AFC South before taking over Bloguin's Jaguars blog. Since the inception of This Given Sunday, Shane has served as an editor for the site, doing his best not to mess up a good thing.