Friday, December 15, 2017

The Packers Have Another Chance to "Run the Table" in 2017

Aaron Rodgers
The 2017 NFL season has been, without a doubt, bizarre, unusual, and one of the strangest in some time. There have been plot twists left and right. Fans have witnessed the largest number of “major injuries” occurring in one season, mostly falling upon key players. This is an ominous record, possibly the highest number in league history. Now, Packers fans will witness the return of Aaron Rodgers. Ticket King has asked T.J. Bryce to make sense of all of this.

The football universe works in strange ways, doesn’t it? We can’t say that anyone really wanted “A-Rod” to go down early in the season, with little hope of his return. True fans never wanted Aaron Rodgers to break his collarbone, so the stage could be set for his triumphant return. But everyone can agree that it took quite a bit to get where the team is now, and he's coming back on Sunday. The Packers back-up quarterback engineered two overtime wins against two of the league’s worst teams this season. With just over fifteen minutes on the clock, Hundley helped to stage a stunning come back victory against the Cleveland Browns. When the Packers went down 21-7 late in third quarter on Sunday, most fans thought “That’s it, the Packers will be sitting at home in January for the first time since the George W. Bush Administration.” But then, something snapped, and the team decided not to go down without a fight. Out of nowhere, Brett Hundley morphed into his best version of Aaron Rodgers. For the last 25 minutes of that game, Hundley made one perfect decision after another, and that game tying touchdown toss to Davante Adams was a big time play that had been absent since Rodgers went down in “Minny.” Suddenly, the Browns (who spent the entire game not to being the Browns,) decided to "be the Browns" once again. On top of that, Trevor Davis decided this was the perfect time to make the biggest play of his career. DeShone Kizer also decided that, in overtime, at home, with a great chance at their first victory of the season, would be the perfect moment to make the dumbest decision an NFL quarterback has made in recent memory. Following the Kizer jump ball, the Packers got the ball back in prime position. Just moments later, Adams caught a bubble screen pass, shook off a tackle, ran into the end-zone, and kept running all the way up the tunnel. To the Packers critics that have been saying, "Why were the Packers celebrating? They just needed a stunning comeback to beat the worst team in the league?" My reply would be just four words: "Aaron Rodgers is back."

When arguably, the best quarterback in the league broke his collarbone, Brett Hundley had one job to do, and that was to keep hope alive, just in case there was way that  Rodgers could return this season. Hundley did that, just barely. When Adams sprinted into the tunnel on Sunday, Hundley slammed his helmet down, and ran up the sideline in great jubilation. Why? Because he probably realized he had just done his job. In my opinion, it took more than Hundley winning a few games to set the stage. NFC playoff contenders above the Packers have suddenly started to come back down to earth. The Saints have a lost a couple, so have the Falcons, and the Seahawks lost at home to the Jaguars. The Rams just lost two of three as well. All of those contenders have tough games ahead, many games against each other, which might just cancel half of them out. But wait, there’s more. The Vikings runaway freight train ran out of steam on Sunday in Carolina. On top of that, Carson Wentz is the latest star to fall victim to the injury bug this season. There is real no clear-cut favorite in the NFC any longer. A Wild Card team could win three road games quite easily in January, and walk into U.S. Bank Stadium for Super Bowl 52.

Now here comes Aaron Rodgers. With the return of his “Aaronness,” the Packers are now the most dangerous team in the NFC. With Rodgers, the Packers could very well win seven straight games (six on the road,) and bring the Lombardi Trophy home. This is probably not what other NFC teams wanted to see, but that’s football. Late afternoon last Sunday, the Packers were done, and then the Browns decided to be the Browns. Aaron Rodgers, and the Packers have a chance to come back to life. A few things have to go their way, but remember, this team won it all as a Wild Card pick back in 2010. The rest of the league might have to pay for the Cleveland Browns’ mistake. Don’t get the parade ready for Lombardi Avenue just yet, but we just might see a party in the streets of Green Bay at the end of this bizarre season.  

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