The Burke Blotter: Packers Could Miss Playoffs at 11-5

How often is “good” not good enough?

While that may sound like a clue The Riddler left Batman, this very well could be the conundrum the Green Bay Packers find themselves in at the end of the 2014 season.

The Packers currently sit at 6-3, one game behind the Detroit Lions for first place in the NFC North. The “if the season ended now” scenarios are often useless since the season DOESN’T end now, but the fact of the matter is as of right now Green Bay finds themselves on the outside looking in when it comes to making the postseason.

Looking at the remaining schedule, the Packers very well could finish the season 11-5. The losses penciled in are this week against the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots in two weeks. If the Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys and/or Eagles continue their pace, there is a decent chance the Packers could finish 11-5 and miss the playoffs.

The last time that happened was in 2008 when the Patriots, without Tom Brady, finished 11-5 but missed out on the postseason after losing a tiebreaker to the Miami Dolphins for the AFC East as well as the Baltimore Ravens for a wild card spot.

An 11-5 Packers season without a playoff appearance would be one of the most bizarre happenings in the team’s rich history. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is having a huge season that has him at the front of the line for MVP consideration yet he might not get a chance at a Super Bowl. The defense is much improved over last season but they might not get to show it in the playoffs.

The record would be a marked improvement over 8-7-1 from 2013 but that was without a healthy Rodgers for half the season. Yet it would likely still feel like a massive disappointment for Packers fans if the team missed the playoffs with a record that 90% of the time gets a team into postseason, and often a division title as well.

That is why the Eagles game this week is especially important. With no team truly emerging as the team to beat in the NFC, the Packers need to begin looking at locking up as many tiebreakers as possible. Green Bay hasn’t beaten a playoff team since the Vikings in 2012 in back-to-back weeks and this week’s game gives them a prime opportunity to stake their claim in the conference as well as win a head-to-head tiebreaker against a team they will be battling the rest of the year for playoff position.

There is a lot of football left and anything can happen. Some teams could get hot and some teams could fall off a cliff. The NFL is fickle in nature when it comes to these things.

The Packers have been hot lately, save for their stumble in New Orleans. Rodgers in particular is on a torrid pace. If Green Bay can keep that up and Detroit stumbles in just one game(they have the toughest remaining schedule among the teams in playoff contention), then there is no reason Green Bay can’t win the division.

The opposite is also true. The Packers can’t afford to falter much. They really haven’t had a head scratching loss yet but there are plenty of trap games remaining (Tamp Bay, Buffalo, Atlanta) that could trip them up.

Still fact remains 11-5 might not be good enough this year.

Can the Packers do it?

Stay tuned.


Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for and WTMJ in Milwaukee. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and his work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and


14 thoughts on “The Burke Blotter: Packers Could Miss Playoffs at 11-5

  1. I have no problem with the playoff structure. We benefited from it last year and our 10-6 Super Bowl year. If we end up at 10-6 or 11-5 and don’t beat winning teams along the way then we don’t deserve to be in the playoffs. You want in – then beat those in front of you including Philly, Buffalo, New England and Detroit. I know that we can beat up the Bears, let’s see if we can play with the big boys.

    1. I agree… this crap wanting to back into the playoffs and then getting spanked like a red headed step child is getting old…

  2. 11-5 makes the post season at least as a wild card but I see them going 12-4 and if the beeat the Eagles it could be 13-3 🙂

  3. Well, destroying the Chicagos like that was satisfying beyond words, but let’s not make a spot for the Lombardi Trophy quite yet. This team is good but not great, and I’m not sure all those pencilled in wins are as much of a lock as everyone thinks. I also think that we could take PHI and NE given the right circumstances. And what happens if MIN gets AP back? There is a whole lot of ball to be played, and while 11-5 is quite possible, those 11 may not be the 11 we think. Beat PHI and DET. Those are the wins that help us control the scenario. Lose those, and 11-5 is not going to matter much.

  4. The key for the Packers is winning their remaining NFC conference games. If we lose the 2 remaining AFC games and still go 11-5 we can hold some tie-breakers in the NFC, at least against the Eagles if we beat them. I don’t see us losing any of our 3 remaining road games at Minn, Tampa and Buffalo. None of those teams have a QB that can play with Rodgers. We also should win at home. This Eagles game is the biggest challenge. NE has Brady but Rodgers will cut their defense to pieces. The Detroit game is a long way off and we’ll see how they are playing when we get there. The Eagles still have 2 games against Dallas and Seattle has 2 games remaining with SF and one with Arizona, so there is no guarantee that either Philly or Seattle will make it to 11-5. Bottom line is, the Packers need to win their games and let the chips fall where they may. Beat the Eagles. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

    1. Right outlook and view imo. Have to beat Eagles and Lions and have some swagger. Beat NE as well and we would be set up perfectly and then who knows.

  5. The certainty of a Lions collapse no longer exists, while the Bears have commenced their swoon earlier than usual this season. Much remains to be played out, but I suspect that the Packers playoff fate this year is going to have to be earned by their play instead of being able to rely in equal measure on the malfeasance of division foes.

    At one point, it seemed that if the Pack could take care of business at home against the Lions, the post-season would be assured. Looking at Division and Conference games thus far, the Pack is 2 games behind Daytwah in both and obviously loses head-to-head.

    I believe that to have any real certainty of a post-season berth, they can afford but one stumble against either the Pats or the Bills.

    Should that happen and the Lions, who have an easier remaining schedule than the Pack with games against the Bears (2), the Queens, the Bucs and a winnable game this weekend at Arizona minus Palmer, could go 5-2 the rest of the way.

    If both teams show up at Lambeau at 11-4 in December, the Lions may have a better division and conference record and the Packers path to the post-season may come down to beating the Lions by 13 or more points.

  6. A loss to the Eagles this week will put an onus on the Packers to win out and even then,it may take a couple losses by Detroit to open the door for a week 17 ‘win or go home’ season ending game…so lets hope the Bears can get something right vs the Lions so we can pat their backs and say..we knew you can win another or two.

    Sure,other things ‘may’ happen to negate that kind of scenario but as was said below,getting another ‘win or go home’ or ‘backdoor’ entrance will likely have another ‘one and done’ finish because of being ‘unable’ to win against winning teams,less the mental/physical strain that comes with that.

    This game Sunday will offer a huge depiction of who the Packers are even if it will be,justifiably so,focused mainly on the defense,since the Packer offense is what can rebound more easily.

    If the Packers are to lose only one more game this season,it must come against the Patriots to at least hold open other avenues via Division/Conference scenarios. 🙂

  7. The Packers should be able to pluck the Eagles at Lambeau. No excuses will suffice. If they lose to these glorified pigeon’s at home they don’t deserve to be in the playoff conversation. They are simply a better team.Come on Packers this is a statement game!

  8. Pack won’t 11 games. 10 tops. 9 more likely. If they win 10 games, the only way they make the play-offs is if the Lions implode. So that would be 3 years of one and done (Joe Webb doesn’t count) and now we fail to even make the playoffs. For those four years of mediocrity followed by outright failure we have no further to look than TT and his lackey, MMM.

  9. I took a look at the schedule, and the standings in the NFC after reading this article. The game this week is big. And I’m starting to think that game against Detroit to close out the regular season may end up deciding who wins the division…

  10. I think the way it looks, the Packers will have to win the division to go to the playoffs.The NFC East wildcard team is probably coming out as the team. Thw West is another place where the wildcard team may take it.We play most of our remaining games at home and play Detroit the final week and if we tie the point spread has to favor the Packers since they lost bi-time in Detroit earlier in the year.Detroit is going to face some teams that could beat them that we won against.The next 3 games will pretty much tell us our fate.

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