The Green Bay Packers are back in the playoffs. The return of Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb has given the Packers a whole new look and when they combined for a 48-yard touchdown with 38 seconds left, the whole landscape of the NFC changed. The Pack is back!
Somebody is going to have to come up with a name for this one. I almost think it should be called The Block. Because without John Kuhn cutting Julius Peppers it is game over and Rodgers is laying on his back. Instead, Peppers goes down, Rodgers slips outside to his left and floats a strike to Cobb who had his hand up almost right from the snap.
I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. There had to be a flag down somewhere. Or the ball moved or something. To think that Rodgers would come back from injury against the team that injured him and throw a touchdown pass with 38 seconds left is a thing of fairy tales. This doesn’t happen in real life.
But low and behold there were no flags, there was a clean catch and two hail Mary’s later the Packers were division champs. Just like that. It was a game that the Bears had for the taking, leading by eight with 14 minutes left after having scored 14 straight. But the Packers’ offense came back and scored and the Packers’ defense stiffened.
When the Packers took over at their own thirteen with 6:24 left I was just thinking field goal. The drive was a mighty struggle as the Packers had to overcome three fourth downs and before the final play had only traveled 39 yards in 14 plays. At that point I was thinking long field goal at best for the Packers and how much pressure that would be on Crosby, who is having such a great year.
I must admit though, I got excited when I saw the Bears getting ready to bring the house. The one thing that Bears’ coach Marc Trestman apparently did not know about Aaron Rodgers is that you simply don’t blitz him. Rodgers begs for teams to blitz him because he knows it’s a big play waiting to happen. And boy, did it happen.
Rodgers looked a little rusty at first but got in groove as the game went on. For a guy who has taken some heat for lack of fourth quarter comebacks, this has to feel good. Sweet redemption.
Cobb’s return showed how explosive this offense can be with him, Rodgers, Eddie Lacy, Jordy Nelson and James Jones all healthy. Without the two Rodgers interceptions this game probably would not have been close. Cobb is just so dynamic and lines up everywhere so you never know what he is going to do. He may play a huge roll next week against the 49ers.
Speaking of the 49ers I think it is about time the Packers get them in their own element. While I know it doesn’t guarantee anything, visions of Michael Vick dance in my head, I think it does give the Packers an edge, especially with the way this played out. Nobody expected a home playoff game so now that they have one I think the place will be rocking.
The Packers did a good thing for football yesterday, the playoffs would not be the same without them. They may be the best of the worst but in the playoffs it doesn’t matter. It’s proven year after year. Most recently the Packers in 2010, the Giants in 2011, the Ravens in 2012. Who is it going to be this year?