NFL

The Packers’ playoff push “feels very special” to Rodgers

The Packers’ playoff push “feels very special” to Rodgers

GREEN BAY, Wis. — to think Aaron Rodgers At one point this season he had to entertain the idea of ‚Äč‚Äčthat backup quarterback Jordan Love it might be the end of the season Green Bay Packers they were playing the rope.

And that was barely a month ago.

The Packers just dropped to 4-8 after losing at Philadelphia Eagles, and Rodgers left the game with a rib injury. They were on the brink of elimination, with their chances at 3%, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index.

No wonder it took Rodgers a second (seven of them, actually) to pull himself together before explaining how he felt about facing a win-and-go scenario next weekend. He will host Green Bay Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field next Sunday in the regular season finale.

“It feels really special, it does,” Rodgers said. “It’s been an interesting year. It hasn’t been my best football at times, but I’ve been asked to step up my leadership and be someone the boys can rely on to keep it together, even if it doesn’t seem like it. There’s something to play for or we don’t have a chance to run. There have been a lot of special moments throughout the year. are”.

The home team won 41-17 on Sunday Minnesota Vikings was one of them. It had been 16 weeks since the Vikings swept the Packers in Minnesota in the season opener.

It wasn’t an impressive performance from Rodgers. In fact, there have not been many. He completed just 15 of 24 passes for 159 yards. He threw a touchdown and ran for another. He has a touchdown pass in four of the Packers’ games during this winning streak. It’s the first time in Rodgers’ career that the Packers have won four straight by scoring one touchdown or less each time.

This season Rodgers didn’t make any of his signature claims like “RELAX” or say the Packers could “run the table” like he did in 2016, when they went 4-6 and won. Road to the NFC Championship Game.

“He didn’t look great for a while,” Rodgers said. “And I was resigned to the fact that some of these realities were possible. And when I brought myself there, I was at peace about it. I was at peace with everything. Whatever was going to happen, I surrendered to that reality… – Also, the mindset that we could still get back into this thing with tenacity. And I think what I’m proud of is that, for me and our team, a lot of different things could have happened, and we stuck together. We put ourselves in a position to do something special together.”

Rodgers said something he wouldn’t admit Sunday when the Packers were 3-6, had lost five straight after the Nov. 6 game at Detroit and were looking at the Dallas-Tennessee-Philadelphia games. But now he can say he told himself that if they won one of those three games, they would have a chance to go 9-8 and make the playoffs.

Sure enough, they beat the Cowboys to end their losing streak, but then lost to the Titans and Eagles.

“I had faith, like 4-6, I think 16,” Rodgers said. “Sometimes you have to trick yourself a little to believe a little more.”

A good portion of the rest of the lineup followed suit. The defense, which was highly praised but failed for most of the season, has turned it over with four takeaways in the last two games along with the cornerback. Jaire AlexanderA nearly shutout performance from the Vikings’ star receiver Justin Jefferson (a catch of 15 meters). And then there is the creation of the translator Casein Nixonhe had a 105-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the first quarter on Sunday.

“You can sit there and preach all you want, but they have to buy in and that’s a credit to the guys in our locker room,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said. “And I’ve always said it and I think it [general manager Brian Gutekunst] and his staff does such a great job of bringing in people of great character that you know what you really have in tough times, not just from our coaches, from our players, but from everyone in the building. And I think they all came together. I never felt like there were any fingerprints. So that’s a credit to everyone in our organization.”



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