No we are not joking. And we are also not going overboard after one victory. But the fact remains that the Green Bay Packers are still very much in the postseason discussion after last week’s 23-16 victory over the Chicago Bears at chilly and wet Soldier Field. The team snapped a three-game losing streak by completing the sweep of their longtime rivals for the second consecutive year. Although rookie running back Aaron Jones was knocked out of action (and will be sidelined for now), fellow rookie Jamaal Williams totaled 20 carries for 67 yards and backfield mate Ty Montgomery got 37 of his 54 yards on the ground on a second-quarter touchdown Run.

Add in five sacks of Bears’ rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky (3 by outside linebacker Nick Perry) and a defense that limited Chicago to 55 yards on the ground and Mike Mccarthy’s club is back above .500 with a 5-4 record.

So where do the Packers go from here? There’s seven games left on their schedule and the team gets a few cracks at some of the other playoff contenders in the conference.

What’s ahead?

As has been well-documented, McCarthy’s club will not see recovering quarterback Aaron Rodgers until Week 15 at the earliest. Before that, the Green Bay Packers alternate home and road games for four weeks. This Sunday, they host the Baltimore Ravens and then head to Pittsburgh for a Sunday night clash with the Steelers.

It is then back to Lambeau Field to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and then onto Cleveland for a clash with the Browns. So IF Rodgers does come back, he and the team would face the Panthers at Carolina, host the Minnesota Vikings on a Saturday evening, and then travel to Ford Field for a rematch with the Detroit Lions. The clash with the Bucs and those final three games are crucial to a team with a 4-4 record in the NFC, including a 2-2 mark within their own division.

The latter includes a sweep of the Bears as well as a road loss to the Vikings and a home setback to Detroit.

Being realistic

With seven games to go, the Green Bay Packers do not have a lot of room for error. That being said, their playoff fate really lies in what happens with some other teams in the conference – most notably the Vikings, Lions, Cowboys, Panthers, Seattle Seahawks and Atlanta Falcons.

The club’s fate may rely on their ability to win those final three games against Carolina, Minnesota and Detroit. You will recall that they did knock off both Dallas and Seattle earlier this season – although there was that Week 2 prime time loss to the defending NFC champions. What’s the point? The Packers have a little more life left in them than some may think. Let the fun begin.