GREEN BAY – The Packers needed a win over the injured and deflated Los Angeles Rams Monday night.
They got the win, but now need three more – all against teams likely headed for the playoffs.
Monday night, the two-headed running attack of Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon proved to be the elixir the Green Bay offense needed. Combined, the two ran for 126 yards and two touchdowns (both scored by Dillon) and caught a combined 7 passes for 71 yards and one score (caught by Jones).
When the dust – er – snow settled, Green Bay emerged with a 24-12 victory.
Electrifying the frozen Lambeau Field crowd was kick returner Keisean Nixon. Nixon averaged 37.8 yards per return, earning praise and an admission of guilt after the game was over.
"In my 18 years in this league, I've never seen an opposing kicker intentionally kick the ball away from our returner,” Rodgers said. "Big kudos to (special teams coordinator) Rich (Bisaccia) and his staff and obviously to Keisean (Nixon). He's been a big difference maker for us."
Meanwhile, head coach Matt LaFleur admitted he waited to long to replace the unsure hands of now-former Packers return man Amari Rodgers.
“(I’m) probably gonna get criticized for not playing him early (in the season), and that’s fair,” LaFleur admitted to reporters. “We should’ve had him in there.”
The Packers still have a path to the playoffs, albeit a narrow one. Their first task is to win their remaining three games (at Miami, then home against Minnesota and then Detroit).
Assuming that, then they must hope for some help in one of two scenarios.
Either the Giants have to lose all three of their remaining games (at Minnesota, at home against Indianapolis, and then at Philadelphia), or they need Washington to lose at least two of their three remaining games (at San Francisco, then at home against both Cleveland and Dallas) and Seattle to lose at least one their remaining games (at Kansas City, then at home against the Jets and Rams).
So, it’s possible. As long as the Packers keep winning.
"We've won two and just about everything we've needed to happen has gone our way,” Rodgers added. “Things are looking up."