Packers XLV

I Don't Believe What I Just Saw.

Posted September 10th, 2018 @ 02:09pm

I've been fortunate to witness some amazing moments in Packers history since Brett and Reggie rescued the franchise. I celebrated in the stands for two Super Bowl wins, an NFC championship in Soldier Field and some memorable regular season victories over the years. But the roller coaster of emotions that accompanied the greatest comeback in Packers history will always sit near the top of that list.

It's hard to describe the feeling at halftime, having just seen Aaron Rodgers carted off the field and DeShone Kizer get completely owned by Khalil Mack, turning what might have been, at worst, a 10-3 deficit into a 17-0 hole. Was Rodgers done for the season? Was the season over before it started? Will Mack singlehandedly revert the Bears into the Monsters of the Midway? Where oh where was Brett Hundley when you needed him?

Spent halftime refreshing Twitter on my phone. How bad is it? What are the early medical reports? And then the roar. The deafening roar. Here comes Rodgers out of the tunnel, Jogging across the field. You could see a medical sleeve on his knee, but he was freaking jogging.

My first thought was, ok, he's going to try to gut it out, clearly bothered by the knee--the same one that got cleaned up three years ago. What if he looks good for a series or two and then crumples to the ground for good? On the other sideline, Tarik Cohen was holding a drool bucket under Mack's face, to prevent flooding (I imagine this is close to being true).

But then we were reminded how unbelievably fortunate we are to watch a master of his craft operate, assisted by a huge shot of adrenaline and an understanding that he would have to change his approach if he wanted to stay vertical.

Suddenly, the protection got better. Suddenly, Rodgers found Allison streaking down the sidelines and laid a perfect pass in his arms. Suddenly, Mack, Floyd, Hicks et al were nowhere to be found. Suddenly Davante Adams took his turn and made two big plays to bring the Pack within one score. Suddenly the defense made plays and got key stops when they absolutely had to have them. And suddenly, on third and ten, after Kyle Fuller dropped the easiest interception he will ever get, Rodgers bought just enough time to find Randall Cobb, who did what he does, YAC all over the field, scampering 75 yards to give the Pack an unbelievable lead--a lead the defense was able to hold in the final two minutes.

We always get caught up in Super Bowls, post-season success and rivalry games. Big picture, the artistry at quarterback we've been fortunate to watch over the last 25 years, week in and week out, is what will always stay with me, as someone who loves football. We know that every week we might see magic happen. Every week. I'm old enough to remember what it's like to love a team that doesn't have that. Being a Packer fan in the 70s and 80s felt how it must feel like being a fan of, say, the Dolphins over the past 20 years.

We all figured we'd never see a Packer quarterback like Brett Favre in our lifetimes. But it's undeniable that Rodgers is better, maybe the most talented to ever play the position. What he did on Sunday night, as the Pack began its 100th season against its oldest rival, will live forever in Packers lore.

As Rodgers started to bring the Packers back, a funny thing happened. The Pack's defense fed off the energy Rodgers delivered. After surrendering 160 yards in the first two series, Pettine's unit gave up just 160 the rest of the way. You knew they'd be up against it early, as any defense would be--facing a new coach's system and a whole bunch of new offensive weapons, with 15 scripted plays that had been massaged over the past month. But when it counted, they made just enough plays down the stretch to allow Rodgers to do his thing.

There were some issues: the run defense was not great, with Jordan Howard averaging more than five yards per carry. There were too many missed tackles, by just about everyone. There is still a serious issue with the pass rush. And then the roughing the passer penalties: first Wilkerson, then Perry and then Matthews, whose ridiculous penalty on fourth and long gave the Bears new life and could have cost the Pack the game.

But overall, Pettine's unit made enough adjustments and found their footing, aided by Nagy's conservative play calling in the fourth quarter. He'll toss and turn thinking about the call on third and one--a pass play that had no chance. It forced them to settle for a field goal, keeping the Pack within six. Two minutes and change left, no timeouts, and Rodgers gimpy. First down, incomplete. Second down, incomplete. Third and ten, over the middle to Cobb--to the house. The unthinkable comeback was complete.

Now we wait to hear the extent of Rodgers' injury. He assured all of us that he would be on the field against the Vikings, but we'll wait to hear what the medical team has to say. At the very least, his mobility will likely be extremely limited for a few weeks, which will be a problem in Week 2. Fortunately, we aren't facing the prospect of heading into that showdown already 0-1 at home in the division. Rodgers made sure of that. Did he ever.

 

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Comments (13):

wee rubes, we got lucky again, 1st. qtr. s.f. best wr Goodwin goes down, then 2 OL go down, 2 starting LB's were out. like I said last year. It's not who you play it's when you play them, good to be lucky. now we have the packers with a gimpy Rodgers. should be no problems now. Also, who in the hell is this Larry guy on here? picks are score on the nuts and almost picked the packers game, played out like he said. I need him on my scouting teams . Go Vikes.

on September 10th, 2018 at 01:37pm

Davy....Go ask your buddy Charts if he would like R Cobb on his fantasy team now!! Rodgers was absolutely marvelous. But lets talk Cobb...probably speed wise the slowest slot guy in the league. But...the veteran angles he took on the TD pass was a masterpiece. Cobb can still be a major factor. GO PACK GO !!

on September 10th, 2018 at 02:29pm

Yes. The Pack looked sooo fabulous and the Vikings were "lucky". *LOL*

on September 10th, 2018 at 02:37pm

Don Majkowski sucked. Your website isn't secure. Hopefully Rodgers is more aware of his surroundings this week, last time he played the Vikings he walked into A. Barr. True story, they even made a rule specifically because the fragile snowflake got hurt. The Packers lose this weekend, not because of a Rodgers injury, but because their defense sucks, they can't run the ball, and their coaching sucks. All the best.

on September 10th, 2018 at 03:09pm

There were a few things I heard today that stuck. It was 17 nothing at half, but the defense only gave up 10 of those points. Speaking of that, apparently the Vikings defense also added to a point total that wouldn't have been very impressive otherwise. Secondly Matthews is slowing down. Hard to argue this one, I also wonder where "Trebski" ranks speedwise. We certainly had a hard time catching him. HA HA was as big a joke as any out there, many pore angles and passive play. Otherwise, The Bears looked splashy, but also disappeared, while the Packers just did enough. Beside Rodgers, who is as clutch as it gets. This next week should be fun. Graham may even show up, it looked like SF was able use there T.E.s Part of me is still asking, So... What's Eric Reid doing?

on September 10th, 2018 at 04:19pm

Your OL protection didn't get better, the Bears simply stopped pass rushing and went Prevent Defense on the bit. Classic Bears choke-job. Rumor is a sprained MCL for AR, that will be an all-season long thing, not just a few weeks.

on September 10th, 2018 at 09:32am

The team looks very flawed, very exposed. The 134 million dollar statue isn't going to last.

on September 10th, 2018 at 09:43am

Pack Defense is still garbage, Rodgers isn't going to last the season and other teams that can actually coach would have buried GB last night. Also, you forgot to thank Kyle Fuller for dropping the gift wrapped game ending INT Rodgers bestowed upon him. And get off my lawn. Also, your site is still not secure.

on September 10th, 2018 at 10:04am

Hope you enjoyed that bungled gift from the Bears coaching staff, it won't be repeated this week. There's hope, the pack's 2nd string QB looks as good as last years second stringer. :-)

on September 10th, 2018 at 10:05am

You're welcome for the win. I let your horrible OL get away with constant holding in the second half. Aaron will need more than one leg next week.

on September 10th, 2018 at 10:57am

Nothing but hate in the comments and its only week 1! Lets see how nasty the queens ragers get when ARod sticks his bum knee right in the Vikings mouth in Week 2. It was ugly and I would not expect to win like that week in week out. At this point its a hard earned W against a clearly improved Chicago Bears unit. The Packers have a recent history of starting slow, I will take this. Say what you want about ARod the statue, when it counted, he drilled throw after throw on target. Whens the last time a Vikes quarterback did that? Jealousy bites doesnt it? I cant wait to see Cousins running for his life when Khalil Mack Bears Down on the purple peter eaters.

on September 10th, 2018 at 11:17am

Your website looks secure to me. Defense is leaky, but with time will improve. Rodgers is ready to roll. Big test against Vikings this Sunday. ganba

on September 12th, 2018 at 12:23pm

Concerns amid the exhilaration: The Packers did what mattered most. Winning the opener, at home, against a division rival. And they only needed a single quarter to do it! But the question arises, should or need that game have been so close? The Bears came out and played nearly the first 3 quarters with an energy and urgency that should have been the Packers'. The lines were supposed to be a strength of the team this year but Chicago dominated most of the game on both sides of the ball. The o-line struggles to pass protect contributed to the 2 Kizer turnovers that resulted in at least a 10 pt negative swing on the scoreboard. And got Aaron Rodgers hurt. Even if he doesn't miss any games, "playing on one leg" could be a serious hindering issue for ARod's game for much or all season. Rodgers on one leg a couple of years ago probably kept the Packers from reaching the Super Bowl. As for Khalil Mack: We may never know how close, if at all, the Packers were to landing him. Maybe Brian Gutekunst should have offered both the Packers first round picks next year to the Raiders and thrown Clay Matthews into the pot to get "Chucky" Gruden to bite. A great win to be sure. But, to use one of Mike McCArthy's favorite sayings, there's plenty for the Packers to clean up before the next game.

on September 13th, 2018 at 05:38am

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