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Can Packers finish season undefeated?

FootballGreen Bay PackersDetroit LionsNFLNew York GiantsLos Angeles TimesNational Football Conference

Still too soon to say

Sam Farmer

Los Angeles Times

Of course the Packers stand a chance of going undefeated in the regular season. Will they? I doubt it.

We're just five weeks into the season, and so many things can happen over the next 11 games — key injuries, a letdown, or simply a good team that's better than Green Bay on that particular day. Plus, there's the likelihood that if the Packers were to build a comfortable lead in the division — no guarantee, considering how Detroit is playing — they would take their foot off the pedal, rest some starters, and coast into the postseason.

It wasn't so long ago that the 14-0 Colts did that, and, despite all the criticism from their fans, made it to the Super Bowl.

sfarmer@tribune.com

If Rodgers stays healthy

Steve Svekis

Sun Sentinel

If Aaron Rodgers, who is clearly the best quarterback in the NFL, avoids a significant injury, the Pack could become the second team in NFL history to finish the regular season 16-0.

To that end, the loss of left tackle Chad Clifton could be an issue. Barring such an injury setback, though, the Packers have three games that stand out as challenges unless they throw in an unforeseen clunker: They are in San Diego after a Green Bay off week and a pair against the undefeated Lions.

Interestingly, the finale at Lambeau against the Lions may be the most problematic. If the Pack has home field wrapped up by then, they may take the foot off the pedal against a division foe they may play in the postseason.

ssvekis@tribune.com

They showed vulnerability

Keith Groller

Morning Call

A chance for the Packers to finish unbeaten? Yes.

Likely? No.

The Falcons showed, at least for a little more than a half, that Green Bay can be slowed and held to field goals.

Look for the Packers to stumble either at San Diego on Nov. 6 or against the Lions on what is now a very appetizing early Thanksgiving Day game, or the week after at the Giants, who are capable of beating — or losing to — anybody.

And even if the Packers are still perfect entering a Christmas Day game against the Bears, Mike McCarthy might want to give his starters, especially Mr. Rodgers, a day off — assuming that the NFC North and the No. 1 seed throughout the NFC playoffs are locked up.

kgroller@tribune.com

Packers could do it

Dan Pompei

Chicago Tribune

Going undefeated is highly improbable. Injuries hit. Bad bounces happen. Opponents rise up beyond their capabilities.

But the Packers are playing well enough to go 16-0, or 19-0, and there appears to be a considerable gap between them and the rest of the NFL. No other team appears to be as balanced or as dominant, or as capable of overcoming adversity.

They have stability, excellent coaching, a difference-making quarterback, multiple weapons on offense, playmakers on defense and remarkable depth.

Teams change over a season, so there is no guarantee that the Packers of December will look like the Packers of October. But it's difficult to imagine this team being anything but exceptional.

dpompei@tribune.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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