March 25, 2023
Packers playoff pressure 'feels really special' to Rodgers

GREEN BAY, Wis. — To suppose, Aaron Rodgers At one level this season, the backup quarterback needed to entertain the concept. Jordan Love If the Inexperienced Bay Packers had simply performed the rope, they might have completed the season.

And that was somewhat over a month in the past.

The Packers had been down 4-8 after a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and Rodgers left the sport attributable to a rib damage. They had been on the verge of being knocked out within the playoffs with a 3% likelihood, in keeping with ESPN’s Soccer Energy Index.

No surprise Rodgers wanted a second—seven truly—to elucidate what it felt prefer to be confronted with a win-and-win state of affairs subsequent weekend. Inexperienced Bay will host the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Subject within the common season finale subsequent Sunday.

“It feels actually particular, it does,” Rodgers stated. “It has been an attention-grabbing yr. At instances I have never had my finest soccer, however I used to be requested to extend my lead and be somebody the blokes can depend on to maintain the sport collectively, even when it did not look like it.” There’s something to play or we’ve no likelihood to flee. There have been many particular moments all year long.”

The house win that beat the Minnesota Vikings 41-17 on Sunday was one among them. It got here 16 weeks after the Vikings knocked out the Packers in Minnesota within the season opener.

It wasn’t a terrific efficiency by Rodgers. In actual fact, many didn’t. He accomplished solely 15 of 24 passes for 159 yards. He scored for one objective and ran for one more. He landed precisely one landing in every of the Packers’ 4 video games on this profitable streak. For the primary time in Rodgers’ profession, the Packers had 4 consecutive wins, every scoring one objective or much less.

At no level this season has Rodgers launched one among his signature statements like “RELAX” or stated he thinks he can “handle the desk” just like the Packers did in 2016 after they had been 4-6 years previous and had been victorious to take all of it. The highway to the NFC Championship Sport.

“It did not look nice for some time,” Rodgers stated. “And I used to be resigned to the truth that a few of these truths had been doable. And once I obtained my thoughts there, I had a peace of thoughts about it — but in addition with a decided mindset that we might get again to this factor. And I feel what I am most happy with for myself and our group is the numerous various things that would occur. and we get caught collectively, and we put ourselves ready to do one thing particular.”

Rodgers stated one thing he would not agree on Sunday because the Packers had been 3-6, dropping 5 video games after the sport in Detroit on November 6, and a string of matchups heading to Dallas-Tennessee-Philadelphia. However now he can inform himself that if they’d gained a kind of three video games, they might have had an opportunity to make the playoffs by a rating of 9-8.

Certain, they beat the Cowboys to finish their dropping streak, however then inflicted losses to the Titans and Eagles.

“Like at 4-6, I feel I had religion at 16,” Rodgers stated. “Generally it’s a must to idiot your self somewhat to imagine somewhat extra.”

A big a part of the remainder of the group adopted him. A extremely touted however failing protection for many of the season turned the whole lot into the setting of 4 takeaways to go along with corners in every of the final two video games. Jaire AlexanderVikings star receiver efficiency close to closing Justin Jefferson (a 15-yard catch). After which there’s the emergence of the comeback Keisean NixonHe kicked off 105 yards for a landing within the first quarter on Sunday.

“You’ll be able to sit there and preach no matter you need, however they should imagine it, and that is a tribute to the blokes in our locker room,” stated Packers coach Matt LaFleur. “And that is what I’ve all the time stated and thought [general manager Brian Gutekunst] and his group do such a terrific job of bringing in folks of excessive character that in instances of hassle you study what you actually have, not simply from our coaches, our gamers, however from everybody within the constructing. And I feel everybody stayed collectively. I’ve by no means felt finger-pointed at one level. It is a credit score to everybody in our group.”

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