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.
Denver has always been a daunting place to play a football game unless, of course, you’re the home team. But the Broncos don’t look like the championship caliber team they normally are. There have been lots of changes since Peyton Manning retired and although the defense is pretty much intact, the offense is lacking, especially at the quarterback position.
Still, coming into this game the Broncos were 3-1 at home. Tom Brady’s Patriots have been 3-4 in Denver in the regular season, and an abysmal 0-3 in the playoffs, so this game wasn’t a sure thing for the 6-2 Patriots coming off of their bye week. But the Patriots played well in all three phases of the game and completely dominated the Broncos. At the end of the 4th quarter, Tom Brady was taken out and recently acquired Brian Hoyer subbed in. As the Broncos’ fans filed out of Sports Authority Field, chants of “Brady! Brady! Brady!” could be heard in the celebratory voices of the remaining Patriots’ fans.
Phew! For the first half of the Green Bay Packers season opener against the Seattle Seahawks, it was quite the nail-biter. While Green Bay has been able to take the win over Seattle for the past three seasons at Lambeau Field, I’m still always nervous when facing the Seahawks.
As it always is when the NFC North superstars face each other, it was an exciting game, aptly named the “Game of the Week”. From the surprising ejection of Jeremy Lane early in the game, to BOTH the offense and defense playing at the highest caliber, to Martellus Bennett taking a 15-yard penalty for standing up for Aaron Rodgers, there was no shortage of things to keep an eye on.
I love Aaron Rodgers. Anytime I mention him, I am quick to note that I find him to be the best quarterback in the entire league. And as a Chicagoan, I also absolutely love Martellus Bennett. I was heartbroken to see him leave my city, and haven’t stopped beaming since he was signed to Green Bay.
It’s been great to see the Green Bay Packers back on the field. I’d say that this preseason seems very special for the teams and for the fans also. There’s a kind of excitement in the air. I’m not in Winsconsin, however, I don’t have any doubt about the proudness of the fans around Green Bay, and why not, the whole Winsconsin state.
Last year, the Packers played against Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs during preseason. The team had 2 loses and 2 wins. It wasn’t too good, but it wasn’t a disaster either. They showed up some good players that time and also improvement in comparison with the previous years.
On the other hand, the team seems much better in 2017. This preseason the Packers played against the Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins and last week, Denver Broncos.
In the first week, the team played versus Eagles at Lambeau Field. They dominated 90% of the time. The guys recovered the balls, they showed a great understanding of the game and also, they played like they were in the season. Some names that I’d like to highlight are Ty Montgomery, Brett Hundley, Martellus Bennett and the man of the game Justin Vogel. That punt return is in the Packers history – I do believe that.