They are not yet mathematically eliminated from the playoff picture. But I'm done with 2008. I'll watch the last three games and hope for the best. But the Packers won't be playing any football after December 28th.
The losses at Tennessee, at Minnesota, and at New Orleans were justifiable. Two close losses, on the road, against good teams. The loss vs. Carolina was justifiable too. Carolina is playing better than the Packers.
But losing at home to an inferior Houston team was the final straw. They should have won their last four games against inferior teams (Houston, Jacksonville, Chicago and Detroit). Now I'm wondering if they'll win any of those games.
Despite all the injuries they are losing close games. Except for losses at Tampa Bay and New Orleans, all of them have been within one score. There is a lot to look forward to in 2009. They are one of the youngest teams in the NFL. They should get a high draft choice in every round, and GM Ted Thompson is one of the best talent evaluators in the NFL. And they shouldn't lose anyone in free agency after this season.
I'll look at a bunch of stuff over the next few months leading up to the draft. But I'll start with Net Points. Despite a 0.385 winning percentage, the Packers have outscored their opponents this season. From an article about how the Packers' defense won't keep scoring TDs after this season, the "Pythagorean Expectation" states that a team's net points is a better indicator for next season then their win-loss record. The Packers rank 14th in the NFL by Net Points after week 14:
|z- Tennessee Titans||12||1||148|
|z- New York Giants||11||2||140|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||9||4||65|
|New York Jets||8||5||62|
|z- Arizona Cardinals||8||5||49|
|San Diego Chargers||5||8||43|
|New Orleans Saints||7||6||40|
|Green Bay Packers||5||8||36|
|New England Patriots||8||5||25|
|San Francisco 49ers||5||8||-41|
|Kansas City Chiefs||2||11||-131|
|St. Louis Rams||2||11||-225|