As i jumped up and down running from my friends living room to his kitchen, and kitchen back to his living room, and living room back to his kitchen, in what was surely a display that confused my new puppy, I couldn’t help but think: how did this even happen? Now, after an incredible 61 yard bomb from the boot of Justin Tucker, I live in a world where the 2013 Green Bay Packers, despite the apocalypse of bad luck and injuries that have befallen them, control their own playoff destiny. Not only do they control their own playoff destiny, but there are many signs that QB1 is coming this Sunday.
So remember all that senseless drivel that I wrote about tanking the season and loading up for 2014 with high draft picks? Eff that noise. I am nothing if not a guy who won’t stick to his guns. In fact I’m completely abandoning those guns. I am a passionate fan who prides himself on not reacting as harshly and maintaining optimism but I cashed this season in. I wasn’t going to call for anyone’s head. I think maybe Capers needs a wakeup call or maybe to be shown the door, but that’s not where I placed the blame for this wayward season. The team wasn’t constructed that poorly, it just got hurt. The spots where the defense struggles, ILB and S, are definite talent issues. It’s not really TT’s fault that his biggest playmaker in that fashion, Desmond Bishop, suffered a career altering injury at the age of 28. A lot of things that happened this season aren’t anybody’s fault.
I’ll tell you who I’m going to give credit to, though. Matty gosh darn Flynn. Yes, he, the offense, and the team got blown out in Detroit on Thanksgiving. It happens. The fact is though, his comebacks against the Vikings, Falcons, and Cowboys have put this team in a position where they are win and in. You can certainly tell me that if Scott Tolzien was still the team’s QB the Packers would be in the same position, but I’m certainly not going to believe you.
1. Matt Flynn- how unbelievably clutch is Matt Flynn? He has absolutely saved the season with wild comeback efforts against the Vikings, Falcons and Cowboys. He’s done his job and put this team in a position to play in the postseason. I would argue that he’ s earned himself the backup position for 2014 as well.
2. Eddie Lacy- what a phenomenal draft pick by Ted Thompson. As rocky as his selections in round 1 have been, round 2 is TT”s jam. Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Nick Collins, Eddie Lacy, Casey Hayward the list goes on and on. Lacy has brought a dimension to the Packers that they haven’t had since Ahman Green, figures to have a 1,200 yard season, and if QB1 returns could be a key cog on an unstoppable unit.
3. Starting corners- Sam Shields and Tramon Williams have both been the subject of much consternation over the course of their Green Bay careers. Both made huge plays in the epic comeback on Sunday and might have also both secured their financial futures wit the team next season.
1. Morgan Burnett- he just continues to play nondescript football. I’ve been a big Burnett supporter and continue to believe that he could be a good player if he were next to a superstar (like Nick Collins) but as the QB of the defense he’s just not cutting it right now. Packers fans need to hope that Burnett rights the ship.
2. Run defense- what the hell is going on out there? While Rodgers was at the helm of the offense, the defense didn’t seem to have all that many problems stopping the run. They spent most of the first half of the season in the top 6 in run defense including some dominating early season performances. I’m not sure if it’s just Johnny Jolly’s injuries or if Brad Jones should be shelved for Jamari Lattimore, but something needs to be done to fix what’s going on up front.
3. Slow starts- I enjoy the Cardiac Pack just as much as the next guy, but realistically it would be a lot easier on everybody if AR would come back and allow the team (read: defense) to play from ahead like they are accustomed to.
Bottom Line: this team is in a position that very few thought possible when the team was getting waxed on Ford Field at Thanksgiving. Whether or not thsi team can make any noise in the playoffs is no longer relevant to me. I’m just here for the party.