Gonna keep this a bit more concise than the last time, but wanted to collect some thoughts about another gutty win by the Packers.
1. It’s so nice to have Aaron Rodgers back in my life. The separation anxiety was a bit much to handle. I know he was a little bit rusty in the first half, but 75% of him is still far greater than 100% Wallace/Tolzien/Flynn. Fitting the ball in amidst tight coverage, recognizing when the rush is coming (as opposed to learning about it only after getting trucked like Flynn would do), and simply having demonstrably assertive command of the offense were things that I missed terribly over the past couple months.
2. Randall Cobb’s nice to have back, too.
3. The most important play of the game was obviously Rodgers-to-Cobb, but the second most significant moment came when the Green Bay offense shooed the punting unit off the field and convinced Mike McCarthy to go for it on 4th-and-inches from their own 22. The Packers picked up three 4th downs on that drive. Rodgers had the exact right word for it: “character”.
4. The block that John Kuhn made on Julius Peppers saved the season (for now, at least). Kuuuuuuuhhhhhhnnnn got jussssssssst enough of him to allow Rodgers to slide to his left and hit Cobb for the 48-yard touchdown. It’s the little things.
5. Speaking of little things, it’s silly to gripe right now but I can’t remember the last time the Packers picked up a two-point conversion attempt. They should try running the ball on those — nothing else ever works.
6. James Starks has been an unsung hero this year. He may not have even made the team if DuJuan Harris hadn’t suffered a season-ending injury in training camp, but he’s been solid. Starks averaged 5.5 yards per carry on the season, and ran 11 times for 88 yards yesterday. It’s huge that his performance makes it easier on the coaching staff to give Eddie Lacy some rest.
7. Soldier Field was more benign than I thought it would be yesterday. My girlfriend had gotten us tickets for my birthday back in September, and I admittedly had an ominous feeling about the game for the past two months. The two other times I’d been there, I swore I’d never go back after too many fans were drunken neanderthals. There were a lot more Packers fans than I expected — and they were around our seats in every direction — so even a loss would not have been as horrific as I envisioned. (Don’t get me wrong — it still would’ve been fucking terrible. Just a bit less so.)
8. The last few weeks could be the beginnings of a storybook run, and they might not. But, by and large, they’ve been really fun. I can’t wait to jet up to Lambeau this weekend. I really hope our momentum continues into Sunday’s game against San Francisco. They’ve terrorized us for the past 18 months, and it’d be fantastic if this group can figure out some way to exorcise those demons.
9. Either way, though, the season’s a lot better than it looked a month ago and I feel affirmed that it’s all been worth it. Like, just imagine being a Browns fan.