I hate to say this because just a few weeks ago I said that the Packers had a great chance to turn things around for the rest of the season. Alas, they haven’t. And from the looks of it, they won’t.
So, what went wrong? It’s hard to tell, but besides quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ broken collarbone, things never quite picked up on the turf for the Green Bay Packers. Heck, they even lost tight end Martellus Bennett back to the New England Patriots. He started seven games and then the team played a very odd game of injury-waive-goodbye with him.
It’s odd to me that the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers have almost an even record against each other. Going into Sunday’s game, the Packers were just one game ahead in one of the oldest rivalries in the NFL. Thankfully, that number went up one with the Packers now winning 14 of their past 16 games against Chicago.
This was the first time I’ve ever been nervous when facing the Bears. The Packers have been on a three-game losing streak since quarterback Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone, and the way Green Bay had been playing, it seemed like the Bears (favored to win this game) would get the win.
One dimensional. That is how Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews described the Chicago Bears offense after a poor performance in yesterday’s 23-16 loss.
The Bears were coming into this game off a bye, so they should have had fresh legs and a fresh perspective. Instead, the Bears came in sluggish, unprepared and downright confused. And the score would have been even worse if Aaron Rodgers were healthy and on that field.
Ask any Chicago Bears fan what was their favorite game against the Green Bay Packers, and they will say the Thanksgiving game. On November 25th, 2015, then quarterback Jay Cutler threw for 200 yards and a touchdown with no turnovers on a rainy night. The Bears defense was clutch on a final goal line drive as former Bears defensive back Tracy Porter intercepted quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The Bears won 17-13.
Ever since Rodgers replaced Brett Favre, he has been the thorn in the side of the Chicago Bears. It has been a running joke for the Packers with how easy it is to defeat their rivals. Well, the last time the Bears and Packers collided was in Week 4, in a horrible shellacking by Rodgers and company.
Week 9 found the Lions in Green Bay. In the past 25 years or so, the Lions really haven’t fared well there. Quarterbacks Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers have pretty much had the Lions number. Well, this time it was a little different.
Rodgers went out week 6 with a collarbone injury and has the potential to be out the rest of the year. That means the Lions had a chance. They would have to handle their business though. Handle it they did. The Lions came into Lambeau, took the lead 7-0 in the first and never looked back. And you know what else? The Lions never had to punt. When was the last time that happened? It was 1971, in case you were curious.
The 2017 NFL season has been full of surprises. Teams that we all expected to be garbage have pulled off some astounding wins, while teams that we expected to roll over most of their opponents have faltered in losses to much weaker opponents. Pick’em pools have been torn to shreds, and some survivor leagues have already crowned their winner.
Each week, I’ll post my picks and my reasoning behind them, and on Tuesdays, I’ll do a quick rundown on where I went wrong, and what I got right. I’d love to hear your thoughts on my predictions, so feel free to drop a comment on the post, or @ me on Twitter.
I never cared about football until January 9th, 2011. Growing up in a country with its heart set on soccer, and born within a family of soccer enthusiasts, football was always the odd sport for me.
Even when I went to study at a football-crazed high school and college (Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education), I never attended a game. I went out of my way to avoid interacting with players, coaches, and matches. Why, then, am I now writing an article about my love for the Green Bay Packers?
It was supposed to be the perfect Packers watching day. I was at one of my favorite client’s sports bars and was going to watch the Packers vs Vikings game with my favorite Vikings fan. Before he even arrived, he was smack talking my team, and I was pretty smug, *knowing* I would easily win the day.
Within only seven minutes my perfect day was shattered along with quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ collarbone. At first, when Rodgers went down after being tackled by Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr, it looked to me like perhaps he had hit him hard in the stomach, and maybe he got the wind knocked out of him. Then the replays began and I saw just how hard Rodgers landed on his right shoulder. His right shoulder. His throwing side.
I woke up this morning with a gut feeling that if the Packers beat Minnesota today, the road to claiming the NFC North would be a walk in the park. A few hours later, the game began and it didn’t look too bad for the Packers. True, the team’s injury roster has gotten longer with each passing week, but the presence of amazing rookie players and the optimism that invaded the fans after that Dallas game seemed enough to get us through.
And then quarterback Aaron Rodgers got sacked and injured on Green Bay’s second drive in the first quarter. The shoulder injury turned out to be a collarbone fracture that could keep him off the field anytime from four weeks to the rest of the year. Worst news of the 2017 season.
While watching the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, I was already thinking about writing my weekly article, and the title for this piece that kept coming back to me was “We’re Better Than This.” It was frustrating to watch the Packers and Cowboys trade the lead over and over, knowing that the Packers should have a larger lead.
It seemed like kicker Mason Crosby’s two missed field goals would make the difference between a win and a loss and it hurt thinking that this game might come down to two simple points. In all the years in the league, Crosby has never missed two extra points in a row. At the same time, this might be the first game in years where I wasn’t nervous during the times Green Bay was down.