This season has not gone the way anyone pictured it, but this is why the game is played each and every Sunday. After watching a rejuvenated team against the Falcons, I think it is fair to say the season is not over yet. There is a lot of fight left, and dare I say a possible playoff run? Week one against the Bears was a game that will not be forgotten, but what if it I told you it was also a story of how our season would turn out. Let’s draw some freaky comparisons and see what is in store moving forward these last three games.
The hype surrounding the Packers going into week one of their 100th season opening up with their history rivaled Chicago Bears was incredible. However, when the game started it was deflating to say the least. It was the same team offensively that we have continued to watch the last few years. The free agent we all wanted in Khalil Mack was single-handedly wrecking the game. To make things worse, Rodgers was carted off of the field with what looked to be a season ending injury. Things were beyond bleak for everyone involved at halftime.
The first half of the season was very similar to say the least. Very disappointing. It was the same team with the same problems. The hype in the off-season was not warranted at all. Not to mention a win (at least one for sure) was literally taken from the Packers by the NFL and the referees. It looked like it was going to be a long average year. They were sitting at 3-4-1 at the halfway point with a few self-inflicted losses as well and struggling wins against average teams. Changes were coming, but we all knew they would wait until the season was over. The over played story line was simply “Another year wasted”.
Rodgers come out of the tunnel, helmet on, looking like he is ready to go back in the game! HOPE! The season is not lost! At this point, Rodgers was very limited with his mobility. Somehow he continued to make plays and do things that makes him one of the best to ever play the game. The Packers looked better in the third quarter, they were driving, but the third quarter was coming to an end. The score was 20-3, and there was not much hope they could pull off this win. But, Rodgers was able to play and the season was not lost which was the most important thing.
The Packers need to make a run, and honestly we were all waiting for one of Rodgers key catch phrases to turn the tide. That catch phrase didn’t come and neither did change. They kept up their baffling play after a game they should have won in LA, another one given away in NE, and a game they dominated in Seattle led to another disappointing loss. This third quarter stretch also held what some were calling the most embarrassing loss in recent memory at home against the worst team in the league in the Cardinals. As Packers Twitter and Packers Nation were beside their selves after the loss, next thing we all knew was a notification coming across all our electronic devices. McCarthy was being relieved of his duties effective immediately. HOPE? The season is not lost? Off-season mode?
Aaron Rodgers led the Packers into the fourth quarter on a mission. This team was unstoppable scoring touchdown after touchdown after touchdown to take the lead. The defense was stout shutting the Bears down play after play, and they closed the game in fashion with a turnover. It was a game for the history books, literally. In the Packers 100 seasons, this marked the largest fourth quarter comeback in team history. It was a game that we could not believe and never pictured it ending that way after the first half. It looked as if the Bears had ruined this 100th season celebration with a free agent that should have landed in Green Bay. This team had another idea and a lot more fight. It was a performance that will be a part of history.
Joe Philbin led this team with confidence, and it showed against the Falcons. It was a team that we have not seen all year. They played with fight and heart. Rodgers was showing signs of being healthy running and escaping the pocket. The team put on a show despite missing some key players on both sides of the ball. I do not think anyone predicted the Packers would play that well. This season is far from over.
So what can we actually expect these last three games? We can expect these players and everyone on the staff to fight. Even if the Packers do not make the playoffs, everyone is fighting for a job. No one knows who the next head coach will be. He will bring his own ideas of a staff, of player evaluations, and of schemes. Everyone involved needs to put their best foot forward which you can tell they have done after this past Sunday.
Some will argue that the Falcons are a mess this year, and I will not deny that. However, this is the same team that has already beat the Bears, should have won in LA, should have won in Seattle, and gave the Patriots a win in New England. They really are not that far off from everything clicking. They have proven that they can play with the best. We have no idea what was going on behind closed doors during the season, but it just feels like this is a new team ready to prove what they are capable of accomplishing.
I am not saying they will win the Super Bowl, but they will play hard. It is going to be a wild end to the season, and one that is a first for everyone with an interim head coach in Green Bay. One way or another this season will end with it being a part of history for the Packers in their 100th season.