Nostra-Damon: Playoffs and Super Bowl
In part seven, I looked into future of the Green Bay Packers and saw how the last two games of the regular season transpired for the Green and Gold. I also showed final results of the entire regular season and shared with everyone how the playoff seeding will look. In case you missed it, click here to catch up! Finally, this is the conclusion of the 2023 Nostra-Damon series. Who will win Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas? This is Nostra-Damon: Peering Into The Packers Future Part Eight.
Nostra-Damon: Wild Card Round
The Green Bay Packers won the NFC North Division in 2023, thus they have earned the right to host a playoff game. Because they were the fourth best division winners, they host the Dallas Cowboys.
Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers
In week eleven of the regular season, the Dallas Cowboys were just 4-6 on the season. Consequently, people in the media and in the Cowboys building were starting to believe that it was time to let go of Mike McCarthy, but Jerry Jones didn’t fire him. Big Mike repaid the Cowboys by getting the Cowboys back to their winning ways and to end the season the Cowboys won the last six out of seven, having only lost to the Bills. This was good enough to finish the season 10-7 and earn the fifth seed and a playoff birth.
Both the Packers and Cowboys were teams that had been hot as of late. The Packers won their last four out of five games and the Cowboys their last six out of seven. Something had to break.
Jordan Love’s offense began with the ball at great field position and with his first ever playoff throw…he was intercepted by Stephon Gilmore. The Cowboys took the ball down the field and scored quickly. Before the Packers knew it, they were down 17-0. The Packers never gave up.
The Packers made an epic comeback, but the defense couldn’t get enough stops. The game went to overtime thanks to a game-tying field goal by Anders Carlson of the Packers. The score was 34-34.
The Packers lost the coin toss and the Cowboys chose to receive. The Packers defense was just too gassed and the Cowboys went straight down the field and scored a touchdown. However, this was the new overtime rules. The Packers still had a chance to respond.
Keisean Nixon took the kick return to the fifty-yard line. The Packers drove the ball to inside the ten yard line and were goal-to-go. First down, unsuccessful pass to Christian Watson in the back corner. Second down, Love threw a quick pass in the flat to Aaron Jones, which got the Packers closer but did not score. They were two yards away. Third down, AJ Dillon got the handoff up the middle and was stuffed at the goal line.
Since it was now fourth down, the Packers season was completely on the line. Love received the snap, he rolled out to his right, had an opening, and dove for the pylon. TOUCHDOWN – it was ruled a touchdown. The Cowboys linebacker had gone in for the tackle but Love scored. Then, the crowd heard that the play was under review.
When looking back at the play, the ball was sadly less than an inch away from the pylon when Love’s knee hit the turf. He was short. The game ended on fourth down. It was not a touchdown. The Packer’s season was over.
Cowboys 41-Packers 34
Other Wild Card Weekend Games
The second-seeded Eagles hosted the surprising seventh-seed Rams, and the Eagles won easily.
The third-seeded Saints took advantage of a weak division and continued to luck out by taking advantage of a sixth-seeded, injured Lions squad. The Saints moved on.
In the AFC, the second-seeded Chiefs faced the seventh-seeded, very dangerous Ravens team led by Lamar Jackson, who had a comeback year. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs were just too much for the Ravens.
The third-seeded Bengals welcomed the sixth-seeded Chargers into Cincinnati, which just so happened to be a mistake. The Chargers took home the “W.”
Finally, the Jacksonville Jaguars hosted the Buffalo Bills and the Bills won thanks to the legs and arm of Josh Allen.
Onto the divisional weekend: the first-seed 49ers hosted the Cowboys, and the Cowboys were sent packing.
The Saints’ luck finally ended when the Eagles hosted them in the divisional round.
In the AFC, the Jets and Aaron Rodgers earned the first seed and had the privilege of welcoming in the sixth seeded Chargers. The Chargers, having to travel across country again after the prior week, really showed in this matchup. The Jets won easily.
The final game of the divisional weekend was the Bills at Chiefs. This game was a repeat from a game earlier in the year in which the Chiefs won against the Bills in Kansas City. The divisional round game between these two was just as electric, but with a different outcome. Josh Allen, thanks to the overtime rule changes, had a chance to answer the Chiefs touchdown in overtime, and they did just that! Except, instead of just kicking the extra point, the Bills went for two and got it! The Bills won the game.
A repeat of last season’s championship game, the 49ers hosted the Eagles. This time, the 49ers Brock Purdy stayed healthy and the 49ers defense helped beat the Eagles.
In the AFC Championship game, the Jets and the Bills faced off in New Jersey. These two rivals faced off twice in the regular season in which both squads won one. Aaron Rodgers found himself in another championship game, but this time was different. Rodgers finally won another.
Super Bowl LVIII
The biggest game of the year and Rodgers found himself in another Super Bowl. The problem that stood in his way from winning his second ring just so happened to be the team that didn’t draft him. The San Francisco 49ers were the other team in the Super Bowl. The game was a Super Bowl for the ages, and it came down to who was going to have the ball last. Rodgers and the Jets scored the go-ahead touchdown with fifty seconds remaining in the game.
New York thought they won their first Super Bowl since Joe Namath. They did not.
Rodgers, on the sideline like so many times before, was helpless to watch. In the last fifty seconds of the game, the Jets defense seem to fall apart and an immaculate drive led by Brock Purdy ended with a last-second field goal to win the game.
The San Francisco 49ers won the Super Bowl.
Rodgers lost to the 49ers again.
Jets 28-49ers 30
That ends it for this year’s Nostra-Damon. It’s been a wild ride – thank you for joining me. Now it’s time for the real stuff.
Training camp, here we come.
Damon is a diehard, fully-immersed cheesehead who currently lives in southern Missouri. He teaches at a local high school and has a family YouTube channel about all things Packers. You can follow him on twitter at @packersfamily and on YouTube at The Packers Family.