This NFC, as Rodgers emphasized, looks deep and loaded. The Packers are one of four teams – along with the 49ers, Seahawks and Saints – with five wins already, while the Vikings and Panthers each have four. For the record, Green Bay’s one home game over its next five is against Carolina.
Then the defending NFC champion Rams are 3-3 and making trades to improve, while the defending NFC North champion Bears are 3-2. It already appears a high-quality team or two won’t make the playoffs in the NFC simply because there won’t be room for everybody.
The NFC North alone is going to be a season-long battle. Heading into Week 7, it’s the only division in football that doesn’t have a team with a losing record. If the Lions beat the Vikings at home on Sunday, that will hold true heading into Week 8.
Any advantage the Packers can maintain in the division right now is worthwhile, and getting to 6-1 would keep them the only one-loss team in the NFC North.
“We’ve got to put ourselves in position to be right there in the mix come December football,” Rodgers said.
Not that anyone is looking that far ahead, because the Packers were brought back down to earth once already this season. After a 3-0 start and constant hype surrounding the revamped defense and how good it might be, the Eagles came into Lambeau and rolled up 34 points.
This game can humble anyone, and any team, quickly. The Packers believe they’ve found the right mix of confidence and steadiness, a belief in what they have with an even-keeled approach to the grind.
Use that to chalk up another win before the run of road games and they’ll be in as good a spot as they could ask for.
“You expect to be here, so it’s not too much excitement,” veteran safety Adrian Amos said. “It’s not like, ‘Oh my goodness, we’re doing well.’ You expect to do well when you prepare well, so each and every week we have to come with that same mindset.
“I don’t feel like you have to tell this team to stay grounded. It’s a lot of leaders on defense, it’s a lot of leaders on the team, and everybody holds each other accountable. Our goal wasn’t to be 5-1. Our goal is a lot further than that.”