This archived article was written by: Tai Justice
You know what happens when you’re rooting for a creaky but, lovable football team that everyone has already counted out? You relish the victories. All of them. Every single one. You know the season could collapse at any time. You know you’re hanging onto hope by a thread. It’s a little liberating. Your expectations are low because you shouldn’t expect anything at all.
It wasn’t that long ago that I wrote an article about how the foundation of the Packers is breaking and still might be true, but with a win against the Eagles and the rest of the division not being good, the Packers are once again alive.
How did we get here? The Packers lost to the Washington Redskins by 18 on Nov. 20, on Sunday Night Football. This loss dropped the team to a measly 4-6 and it was their 4th straight loss. The first time they’d lost four straight since 2008. The few days after the Washington loss were interesting. I couldn’t read or watch anything about the team that wasn’t an article, or someone saying they needed to fire the coach, fire the GM or even trade players. It was hard to argue with the guys writing/saying this stuff because this team was dead. Done.
The season was over. I spent most of Thanksgiving telling my family members that asked me about the team saying I the same thing that those guys were writing/talking about. I wanted major turnover within the organization and on the team. But then, the Lions beat the Vikings on Thanksgiving and there was a little hope again. Then the Packers beat the Eagles and just like that, I believed again. It’s crazy how fast sports can change your opinion. It went from, “The Packers are 4-6, they are done.” To, “We can win the division!”
Crazy enough, I had written an alternative article if the Packers would have lost their last game against the Eagles. Just because you never know with this stuff. That could’ve been the end of the McCarthy and Thompson era in Green Bay. Instead the Packers prevailed behind vintage Aaron Rodgers, 318 yards and two touchdowns and he made a play every time the Packers needed one. I have talked myself into them yet again. I have rocks for brains.
Packer fans will remember this Eagles win as a super meaningful win that kick started a run. The night the Packers officially threw their hats back into the 2017 title race, or just a win that ended up hurting their draft position. I think it’s the first part. I think they’ve found something and if Rodgers is back to the best quarterback in the NFL, they can do this. The Packers have been a dominant team in the regular season in 2011 (15-1), no Super Bowl, 2012 (11-5), no Super Bowl, 2014 (12-4), no Super Bowl. 2010 (10-6, barely snuck in the playoffs) Super Bowl. I’m not saying that’s what’s going to happen because I don’t think it will, but just pointing out a fact. It doesn’t totally make sense, but then again, none of this makes sense.
You never know with those creaky, but lovable football contenders. In 2007, the Packers were within a game of the Super Bowl with Brett Favre running on fumes. The same thing happened in 2003. Injured, beat up team, coming so close to making the Super Bowl. More recently, the 2014 team was the best team in football and had an epic collapse in the NFC Championship Game that cost them a trip to the Super Bowl. Now the guys from 2016 might be making a run at this. Nobody saw this coming and really, that’s the single best thing about it. All you need to do is make the playoffs and anything can happen. The 2010 team snuck into the playoff the last week of the season and ended up hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in February. Just get in and you have a punchers chance. And with Rodgers on your side, that’s all you really need.