Green Bay Packers are once again your No. 1 seed in the NFC. It’s been quite the year for the green and gold, but the job isn’t done yet. The Packers are on a bye week, so let’s take a look at how they got to this position.
It’s been a wild season for the Green Bay Packers and it’s unbelievable to see that it’s almost over. It started off with some crazy drama in the offseason, many injuries, COVID, feet pictures, Thirst Trap Thursday’s, more fake rumors, more feet, and here we are, in the postseason.
At this point, using “wild” doesn’t do this season any justice. No matter what, it’s been a blast seeing this Packers team do what they do. Let’s take a look back at how this season unfolded.
After dealing with all the offseason drama in 2020 with the Jordan Love selection, everybody was hoping for a quiet start into the 2021 season. However, that was too much to ask. Just before the NFL Draft, ESPN’s Adam Schefter dropped the Aaron Rodgers news that he didn’t want to return to Green Bay. This came as a massive surprise that left Packers fans stunned. Eventually, the news led to some beef between the fan base as some sides wanted Rodgers to return and others were fine if he wanted to move on. This gave a little flashback to when Brett Favre decided to (kind of) retire.
Packers fans had to hear from Bears fans and Vikings fans, then had to deal with Broncos fans and Raiders fans drawing up some trade packages to acquire the reigning MVP. Eventually, the Rodgers news started to settle down and he made his return to Green Bay. It was a sigh of relief as many news outlets and reporters were saying this wasn’t going to happen. As Rodgers returned, he also brought back an old friend in Randall Cobb. There were also moments the future of Davante Adams future in Green Bay was in question, which led to many Packers players posting pictures of The Last Dance.
Green Bay Packers football is back and everyone is excited! The Packers are taking on a New Orleans Saints team that isn’t expected to be good and a lot of their starters are coming off rest since they didn’t play in the postseason. What could go wrong, right? Well, everything went wrong. The Packers got embarrassed 38-3, and once again, many people were starting to question the Packers and Aaron Rodgers. On the bright side, it gave us an iconic picture with Rodgers, Adams, and Cobb.
After that rough start in Week 1, the Packers got themselves on a roll, but it wasn’t pretty. There were still things Green Bay needed to work on and it showed in Week 2 against the Detroit Lions. The Packers trailed 17-14 at halftime, but in the second half, we got a glimpse of the Packers’ defense and how dominant they can be. Now, this is the Lions we are talking about, but that continued against the San Francisco 49ers and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The issue started to become the offense being a little slow and the special teams.
In Week 5, we saw the Packers put up some great numbers against the Cincinnati Bengals, but you might already know where I’m going with this. The field goal unit was downright horrible and it was a miracle that the Packers didn’t lose that game. Surprisingly, this wasn’t the worse special teams game from Green Bay, but they still went 4-0 on this stretch to put them in first place in the NFC North.
During this run, the offense was still struggling to get things going, but this is when their defense started to catch everyone’s attention around the league, The Packers took care of the Bears and the Washington Football Team, but Green Bay’s arguably most iconic win of the season came in Week 8 against the Arizona Cardinals. The Packers would be without Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, Elgton Jenkins, Jaire Alexander, Za’Darius Smith, and they lost Robert Tonyan during the game. However, they went into Arizona and defeated the undefeated Cardinals on a game-winning interception by Rasul Douglas in the endzone.
No matter how good was, it felt quickly sidelined by Aaron Rodgers testing positive for COVID-19. The positive test didn’t really raise some eyebrows, but it was his vaccination status that caught everyone’s attention. Then, it didn’t help that he went on the Pat McAfee Show and said what he said. Nonetheless, this gave us a look at Jordan Love against the Kansas City Chiefs. There were mixed emotions on his play, but the Packers’ defense stepped up to make it a winnable ball game.
Love couldn’t pull out the win, but next week the Packers got back on track with a shutout victory over the Seattle Seahawks. Again, the offense wasn’t good, but the defense was remarkable. Unfortunately, the Packers’ defense got humbled by the Minnesota Vikings as Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson picked them apart. On the bright side, the offense played much better and might have sparked something for the following weeks.
After coming off their loss, the Packers had to take on the Los Angeles Rams who just acquired Von Miller and Odell Beckham Jr. Many people (including myself) looked at LA and thought “this team is too good.” Well, the Packers took that personally because they played three-quarters of great football. Green Bay held a 36-17 lead heading into the fourth quarter and was able to hold off a late Rams comeback to secure the win.
Then, coming off their bye week, the Packers got blitzed by the Chicago Bears. It was unbelievable to see the Bears put up a fight, but once the second half rolled around, the Packers put an end to Chicago’s fun. As Green Bay controlled their own destiny for the No. 1 seed, of course, they had to make things a bit interesting. They had barely held on against a Lamar Jackson-less Baltimore Ravens and Baker Mayfield gifted the Packers defense with a four-interception performance.
Then, the time came in Week 17. The Packers got some help from the Cardinals as they defeated the Cowboys and the Vikings were going to be without Kirk Cousins. All Green Bay had was win and they lock up the No. 1 seed. They did just that. The Packers dominated the Vikings for four quarters and probably played their most complete game of the season. The win practically made Week 18 pointless against the Lions.
Here we are again. The Packers are the No. 1 seed, so what it’s different? The offense isn’t putting up the points like they did last year, but they are starting to hit their strides. In the last seven games, the Packers scored 30 or more points six times. Before that run, the Packers only scored 30 or more points twice and that was in Week 2 and Week 3. The defense isn’t playing like their run from Week 6 to Week 10, but they’re getting healthy with Jaire Alexander and Za’Darius Smith coming back.
Also, take a look at the teams. Last year, I believe everyone knew the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were going to be the team to give the Packers a problem. This year, I believe that’s still the same issue for Green Bay. However, if we look at last season, the Buccaneers had a remarkable run to end the regular season. This year, they’re battling injuries and have struggled in games against the Buffalo Bills, New Orleans Saints, and the New York Jets.
Other teams include that haven’t had a great ending to the regular season are the Dallas Cowboys as they lost to the Arizona Cardinals. Speaking of the Cardinals, they lost four out of their last five games. The Rams are coming off a tough loss to the San Francisco 49ers, then close wins against the Cardinals, Vikings, and Ravens. The only teams on a run, besides Green Bay, are the 49ers, who’ve won four of their last five games, and the Philadelphia Eagles have also won four out of their last five games.
I don’t want to get my hopes up, because I’ve done that for the last two years, and look what has happened. However, there’s no doubt in my mind that the Packers are the best team in the NFC and this has to be their year.