Packers’ 2020 season was special despite heartbreaking end

The Green Bay Packers season ended in a heartbreaker in the NFC Championship Game.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time this sentence has applied to a Packers’ season. Compared to previous losses, this one particularly hurts. The 2016 and 2019 teams were lucky to make it that far, as unfortunate as the losses were. But this Green Bay Packer team proved itself as the best in the NFC. They had the title game run through Lambeau Field. Aaron Rodgers played arguably the best season of his career. This year’s team had one of the best chances to win the Super Bowl. But it didn’t work out, and that sucks.

But even though this season ended in heartbreak, it was a truly special season and should be remembered as such.

The 2020 NFL season was far from guaranteed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The draft process was severely altered, making every pick more of a gamble. The offseason was truncated, giving less time for rookies and new free agents to acclimate to a new system. Many players chose to opt out of the season. New roster rules were added, and bringing in new players was a difficult process.

Through all of this, the Packers managed to improve as a team. Sure they had the same record as in 2019, and their season ended in the same round of the playoffs, but when watching this team play, it was clear the offense went Super Saiyan. For a team that was a hot regression candidate, their offense hit new peaks.

The love and respect this team has for each other were apparent. This was a team that believed in itself as a football team and as individual people. The inside jokes went from the locker room to the field. The offense took Nathaniel Hackett’s love of the weakest Austin Powers movie and used it to make a statement on the field; this Packers team loved gooooooold. Not only was the team fun to watch because it was a good team, but it was clear they were having fun, too.

In a year where the Packers drafted the heir apparent to Aaron Rodgers, Rodgers was calm, collected, and confident. He had one of the best seasons of his career, with 4,299 passing yards, a 70.7% completion rate, and 48 passing touchdowns. The media expected an angry Rodgers, and many fans still rage about the Love selection, but Rodgers put it all on the field and will likely win his third MVP.

In addition to his dominance on the field, Rodgers gifted us with his weekly appearances on “The Pat McAfee Show” and opened himself up to the world a bit more. Rodgers entertained us not only on gameday, but every Tuesday as well.

2020 was a hard year for the world. Sports are important for the distractions they provide as well as the way they bring people together. In a year where we really needed it, the Green Bay Packers put on a hell of a show. The ending sucked, but unlike Game of Thrones, this bad ending shouldn’t take away how fun the journey was.

The Packers have a lot of work to do now that their offseason has begun. The defensive and special teams coordinators should have big question marks next to their names. The team has some difficult roster decisions to make. COVID still is at large and will surely affect this draft as well. It’ll be hard to make another Super Bowl run; it always is. But for now, let’s enjoy the incredible season this team gave the fans in 2020, take a deep breath, and get ready for the 2021 season.

Matt Hendershott is a Packers fan and Miller High Life enthusiast from Northwest Ohio. He has a Master of Arts in Media and Communication from Bowling Green State University. You can follow him on Twitter @MattHendershott.
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