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Cheese Curds, 12/16: 49ers deliver as Packers prepare for chilly Monday night game

Single-digit temperatures appear to be on the way for the Packers’ game against the Rams on Monday.

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Divisional Round - Los Angeles Rams v Green Bay Packers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Scoreboard watching is a necessity this weekend, and the week 15 schedule got off to a very good start for the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night. The San Francisco 49ers clinched the NFC West with their win over the Seattle Seahawks, but the important factor for the Packers is that it brought Seattle back to .500 and within striking distance.

Green Bay’s playoff hopes rely on winning out and getting some more help from losses by the Seahawks and one of two NFC East teams. But perhaps no game in the final four weeks aside from the Packers’ own contests was more important than Thursday. The Packers’ playoff odds are now twice what they would have been if Seattle had won, and this could prove to be a huge result a few weeks from now.

Obviously, now the Packers can focus fully on their own upcoming game, which is set to be a frigid one against the even more disappointing Los Angeles Rams on Monday night. The forecast is calling for classic Packers football weather, so running the ball will be critical for both teams. Thankfully, Green Bay’s offense remains built around the run, and with Aaron Jones on the mend from a shin injury that had him in and out of the lineup against the Bears two weeks ago, the team should have its backfield at full strength (or as close to it as possible at this point of the year).

Here’s a look at what else is going on around the Packers as we head into week 15, which features three games on Saturday in addition to the usual Sunday games.

Brock Purdy and the 49ers breeze past Seahawks to clinch NFC West | ESPN
The Packers (and several other NFC teams) got what they wanted on Thursday night, with the 49ers' victory bumping Green Bay's playoff odds up a few percentage points.

‘Packer football weather’ is on its way |
Monday night's game could see temperatures in the single-digits along with some snowfall. It's the perfect time to get AJ Dillon and Aaron Jones going on the ground.

Packers tight end position in need of makeover in 2023 | Packers Wire
The only tight end under contract for next year is Josiah Deguara, who will be in the final year of his rookie deal. Marcedes Lewis may or may not return on a new deal, but the Packers surely need to bring some new blood into the room this offseason.

Signal meetings and Aaron Rodgers’ ‘little death stare’: What it’s like for Packers’ rookie receivers - The Athletic ($)
This year, Rodgers has needed to rely on rookie receivers far more than at any other point in his career, with him targeting the rookies on over 21 percent of their routes. That's far more than the 13.4% target rate that rookies received over the rest of Rodgers' career as a starter.

Zach Tom Getting Full Week of Prep To Replace David Bakhtiari - Sports Illustrated
A whole week to practice as the number one left tackle? Zach Tom must be relishing this week's chance to play after getting full preparation as the starter.

Riviera Farms spinach from Costco causes hallucinations, sickness across Victoria, NSW and ACT | TheAge.AU
If it wasn't causing people to get physically ill, I would have bet that this is the next thing that Aaron Rodgers would be trying in the offseason.