Aaron Rodgers repeatedly announced that the Green Bay Packers would get rolling when the games finally mattered. But as I watched the game, I couldn’t help but ask: Where’s that offense been for the past ten weeks?
What seemed like empty proclamations proved prophetic as the Packers looked unstoppable during their 35-18 romp over the Washington Football Team in Sunday’s Wild Card Playoff game.
The Packers used a balanced, up-tempo offense to essentially do whatever they wanted after a dreadful first quarter. In a sight that no opponent ever wants to see – and one that’s been rare this season – Rodgers was uncontrollably smiling as the final seconds ticked off the third quarter. This is the level of performance fans are accustomed to.
For a team many fans (such as myself) were ready to write off, the Packers are now kind of intriguing. The prevailing narrative of the 2015 Packers is “What’s wrong with their offense?” Though one strong performance against the 28th ranked defense is not enough to declare their struggles a thing of the past, their adjustments make you believe they can be consistently above-average.
Lest their efforts be forgotten, the defense also impressed on Sunday. They rose to the occasion during a first quarter goal line stand that prevented the game from snowballing into a dumpster fire. They also sacked Kirk Cousins six times and did not allow Washington to have any sustained momentum throughout the afternoon.
Keep in mind of all NFC teams the Packers were the #5 scoring defense and trailed only the Carolina Panthers in quarterback sacks. Considering how good their defense can be, it’s within the realm of possibility the Packers will make an inspired run at Santa Clara.
But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. What is immediately important is the Packers finally played an entertaining game of football and – at the very least – delayed the onset of winter by one week.
A few more observations from the game:
-Though the Packers did not win the the division, this is the sixth consecutive season where they are the last NFC North team standing. Earlier in the day the Minnesota Vikings lost to the Seattle Seahawks in an incredibly Vikings-esque manner.
-Jared Abbrederis needs more playing time. He is an incredibly good route runner, as demonstrated on the two-point conversion in the fourth quarter.
-J.C. Tretter was lights out at left tackle after allowing the safety in the first quarter. He may need to repeat this performance next Saturday against the Arizona Cardinals. We all know from recent history what happens when you can’t stymie the Arizona pass rush.
Check out our previous Packer blogs.