A possible Cinderella story in the making, the Packers are making headlines after deciding to show up in the last half of the season to win their last 8 games with the most recent one sending them to the NFC Championship game against the Falcons.
The packers started off 4-6, a frustrating start for a team that is so used to winning that they’re almost expected to be in the playoffs every year. For Packers fans like myself it was heartbreaking to watch. Then the magic started happening.
Let’s just get this out of the way, Aaron Rodgers might be one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. For all you people out there that are about to freak out, don’t, because I am well aware that he has a long way to go to achieve the status that Joe Montana, Steve Young, Brett Favre, and Peyton Manning have, but he is definitely on track to be a Hall of Famer.
Now that that’s cleared up, let’s talk about his play this season. In case you didn’t have him as your fantasy quarterback (or if you straight up live under a rock), Aaron Rodgers has played phenomenally this whole season, even though the record doesn’t exactly show it. His QB rating is even better than it was last year, throwing 40 TD’s so far with just 7 interceptions. Surprisingly, he’s as mobile as Dak Prescott, but as accurate of a passer as Tom Brady. He also boasts the same X-factor as Kobe Bryant: having ice in his veins, especially when it comes to spectacular finishes.
Last year, we saw the miracle at Motown, when the Packers won with a 60-something yard Hail Mary bomb, which was followed up by a spectacular comeback in Arizona where another long ball was caught last minute to send it into overtime. This year, the pattern continued when the Packers played the New York Giants in the NFC wildcard game. With the Packers up 7-6 at the half, Rodgers hucked it up on 4th and 2. With the announcer letting the world know, “Rodgers does this better than anyone,” it was caught by Randall Cobb in the endzone for a TD as time expired in the first half. Then, this week, he led the Packers to a victory over the “zero-to-hero-back-to-zero” Cowboys in typical, spectacular fashion. Down with under 1 min. to go in the game, the Cowboys tied the game up with a field goal. With just second left (which is plenty of time for Rodgers to make something happen) the ball is snapped and Rodgers show extreme, almost unnerving calm in the pocket as he scans the field. With nobody open, he is flushed to the far side of the field where he fires a dart for about 45 yards to Jared Cook, who ridiculously somehow managed to keep his toes in bounds as he was going to his knees for the catch. Mason Crosby had no problem nailing the 51 yard field goal twice, once for the pointless “ice the kicker” thing that shouldn’t affect a guy making millions to kick a ball, and once to send the cowboys home for the off-season.
So what does the future hold for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers? It’s hard to say, but they have a legitimate shot at at least making it to Super Bowl LI. The Patriots are looking to continue their dynasty, so if the Packers do make it, they’ll have to make sure their practice tapes are in the right hands and the balls at the Super Bowl are properly inflated. For now, they’ll have to rest up and focus on taking down Matt Ryan and the Falcons next week.