For the last five weeks, the Green Bay Packers have seen star quarterback Aaron Rodgers break his collarbone, started three other quarterbacks as his replacement, and saw their division lead become a deficit after losing the last five games. This past Sunday, however, could be the day that things finally started to turn around for the Pack.
Trailing by 11 at halftime to the Atlanta Falcons, the Packers could see their season coming to an end. But after some halftime adjustments, the Packers outscored the Falcons 12-0 in the second half, and Jarrett Bush sealed the game with an interception of Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan. After not winning any of their five November games, the Packers look like they might finally be back on track. With the Detroit Lions losing to the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday, the Packers trail the Lions by only half a game with three remaining.
This win was big for the Packers on so many levels. For one, it proved that they could win a game without Rodgers under center. Even though the Falcons were a measly 3-9, the Packers had to save their season by showing that Rodgers was not the only player on the team.
After falling behind 11 points at halftime, I thought the playoffs were about to be flushed down the drain. But to my amazement, the defense shut down the Falcons’ offense in the second half, and the Packers’ offense was able to move the ball down the field. A good defense will help a team that is down to its fourth quarterback of the year. They made sure the deficit didn’t grow, and made a huge stop at the end of the game to give the Packers a victory.
Like I have mentioned, with the Lions’ loss to the Eagles, the Packers are only half a game behind the Lions and Bears for the NFC North lead. If the Packers were to win out, they would need the Lions to lose one of their final three games in order to win the division. If Aaron Rodgers were to come back this week against the Dallas Cowboys, the Packers have a very realistic shot of winning the division. Even if Rodgers doesn’t return until they play the Pittsburgh Steelers, they still would have a reasonable chance to catch the Lions and Bears.
All in all, it was about time the Packers won a game. Going the entire month of November without a victory was pretty depressing. But November is over and December has started off on a high note. The good news for the Packers is that Cowboys starting quarterback Tony Romo has struggled throughout his career in December, having an 11-16 overall record. They also got beat pretty handily by the Bears last night. If the injury-plagued Packers wanted to play the Cowboys in any month, December would be the optimal choice. It is go time for the Packers. They got the breakthrough victory, and now they just need to keep piling the wins on.
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