Six weeks into the NFL season, things are looking good for the Packers, other than the usual luck with injuries. For starters, Green Bay has a running game this year, which tempers the loss of receivers James Jones and Randall Cobb and makes the offense more formidable as the weather turns colder.
The Packers could have the same depth that propelled them to a championship three seasons ago. Despite playing without three injured linebackers Sunday at Baltimore (including Clay Matthews), the group was outstanding for the most part. Jamari Lattimore filled in well in his first career start, and A.J. Hawk had one of his best days as a Packer. Rookie David Bakhtiari has been more than adequate at left tackle in place of Bryan Bulaga, who was lost for the year with a knee injury during training camp.
The defense is improved after a terrible opening performance at San Francisco, and the pass rush has arrived in the past two weeks. The Pack registered five sacks against Detroit and five more Sunday against the Ravens. Against the run, Green Bay's front is among the best in the league so far. The Packers have faced several good running teams this year and plenty of good backs, including Frank Gore, Reggie Bush and Ray Rice, but none of them have done damage.
Plus, the Packers now have reached a stretch in the schedule where they can make hay. Of the next six opponents, only the Bears have a winning record, and Green Bay has taken eight of its last nine games against Chicago. The only road games before Thanksgiving are against the Vikings and Giants, two of the hottest messes in the NFC. If the Packers can take advantage and get healthier at wide receiver and linebacker, they'll put themselves in prime position to win the NFC North and earn at least one home playoff game.