So, I really have no idea how to close this blog out. I’m kinda winging it. But to sum it all up as simply as possible, this season was a freakin’ roller coaster ride. It had the highest of highs and lowest of lows. Since I don’t particularly enjoy re-living the lows, let’s take a look at the highs, shall we?

Favorite Regular Season game: Week 14 vs. Seattle
This one was amazing for a number of reasons. Our team seemed to be totally in sync, we spanked the Seahawks, and got a whopping six turnovers. I don’t think I’ve been happier watching a game in recent memory.

Favorite Playoff game: Divisional Round vs. Dallas
Okay, maybe it wasn’t my favorite while I was watching it. But in hindsight, the way we managed to come back from nearly blowing it was incredible. Plus, Mason Crosby’s game-winning field goal is just renaissance art.

Favorite Plays:
The Jeff Janis end-around against Seattle. Because Jeff Janis.
Randall Cobb’s end-of-half Hail Mary against the Giants. I mean… it does not get better than that.
Jared Cook’s Michael Jackson catch in the divisional game. HE WENT TO JARED!
Jordy Nelson’s 3rd and 11 completion against Chicago in Week 15. I will NEVER ever get tired of Jordy hauling in 60 yard bombs. Ever.
All five interceptions in the Seattle game. Featuring Vince McMahon.

As for free agency, which started on March 9th of this year, we let a LOT of people go, including:
-G JC Tretter to CLE
-G TJ Lang to DET
-RB Eddie Lacy to SEA
-TE Jared Cook to OAK
-DT Mike Pennel to NYJ
-LB Julius Peppers to CAR
-DB Micah Hyde to BUF

However, Ted Thompson has been off the RAILS with the free agent signings this offseason, which include so far:
-TE Martellus Bennett (from NE)
-TE Lance Kendricks (from LA)
-G Jahri Evans (from NO)
-CB Davon House (from JAX)
-DT Ricky-Jean Francois (from WAS)

All in all, an average season. However, with the new free agents and an impending NFL Draft, who knows what we’ll do next year? I’m thinking we run the table all the way to Super Bowl 52 this time.

And here… is where the magic runs out. :(

However, back in January, I was nervous, yet optimistic about this game. Sure, the Falcons were on fire, but so were we after that miracle win in Dallas. Right? RIGHT??? Exhibit A: my dad texting me before the game.

Dad, always the optimist. Until Matt Ryan throws 3 touchdowns against us. Then the angry swearing starts.

Dad, always the optimist. Until Matt Ryan throws 3 touchdowns against us. Then the angry swearing starts.

So I had hope. Buuuuut that hope quickly disappeared, as – you remember what happened – the Packers ended up losing this one 44-21. The Falcons jumped ahead of the Packers by a whopping 31 points before the Pack even put any of their own points up. The Green Bay offense only registered three touchdowns, one each from Jared Cook, Davante Adams, and a still-injured Jordy Nelson. The offense also had a lot of costly drops, and Ripkowski had a costly end-zone fumble. Overall, Aaron Rodgers and his squad on the offensive side of the ball just couldn’t get it done.

So here we are, in the first half, getting completely spanked. And now, a glimpse into the Martino family group chat.

Spoiler alert: The taquitos did not help.

Spoiler alert: The taquitos did not help.

The defense was so bad that there are actually no words in the English language to describe it.

I mean, that’s pretty much true. The secondary had SO many whiffed chances for picks, and they just never executed. Injuries obviously didn’t help, as was the case all season. Matt freakin’ Ryan ran in a touchdown against our defense, as well. Needless to say, this defense’s inability to perform had many Packer fans calling for Dom Capers’ head. And Ted Thompson’s. And Mike McCarthy’s……..

So, that’s where the Packers’ season ended. It was an insane ride that ended in heartbreaking fashion. As usual, am I right?

My next post will be a wrap-up of sorts. It’ll detail what we need to do better and heck, maybe there’ll even be a little draft preview. We’ll see. . .

I’ll start this post with a cool story related to this game… my cousin, a die-hard Packer fan, is in the Army, and he had just returned from a tour in Afghanistan a few days prior to the divisional game. His wife managed to snag tickets to the game at AT&T Stadium. They got on the news and everything, they had a great time, and damn… did they witness a hell of a game.

After making an impressive comeback against the Giants in the Wild Card round, the Packers made it to the divisonal round. The admittedly-intimidating Dallas Cowboys were looking to be a tough matchup, but I had hope going into the game. Along with, you know, the ridiculous nervousness that usually comes with these sorts of things.

Both offenses competed furiously against each other in this matchup. Aaron Rodgers threw for 355 yards, while hot-shot Dallas QB Dak Prescott threw for 302. Dallas RB Ezekiel Elliott had many successful runs, but Ty Montgomery and Aaron Ripkowski matched that. Dallas’ receivers got the ball down the field fast, and so did the Packers. However, nothing could compare to that catch from Jared Cook at the end of the game. You know the one.

Speaking of pain and anxiety, that’s where the defense comes in. Heh. The Packers’ defense was not the best in this game, and considering that, it’s kind of a miracle that we won this one. I distinctly remember screaming “WHY ARE WE NOT COVERING JASON WITTEN?!” at my TV at one point. There were dead spots and blown coverages all over the place. Luckily, they held it together enough, but they were pushing it. We all remember how this game ended. Dallas ties it up with 35 seconds left in the game, and the Packers get a chance to score, with Mason Crosby kicking the game-winning field goal.

And now, my descent into insanity in the five-minute-or-so span that Crosby kicked the FG.

Yeah. I deleted a lot of tweets that day. I was a hot mess.

So, of course, this means we’re headed to the NFC Championship game, against the Atlanta Falcons, who are on fire. We ran the table this far… could we do it in Atlanta?

PLAYOFF TIME! With last week’s NFC North-clinching win against Detroit, the Packers were playoff bound, and they faced the New York Football Giants in the Wild Card round. After a pretty dead-looking first half, Packer fans starting thinking we’d be one and done. However, the Packers rallied and beat the Giants, 38-13. So let’s take a look back, shall we?

The first half of the game was just straight-up disappointing. Five out of seven offensive drives ended in punts for the Packers. The offense looked disjointed and confused. The defense actually held together pretty well, however. The Giants’ only two scores in the first half were field goals, though, so there’s that, at least.

Yes, the above tweet is true. At one point the Packers had only LOST yardage. I was beginning to think we’d go one and done, until a speedy touchdown drive from Davante Adams gave me some hope. I had even MORE hope when Aaron Freaking Rodgers did what he does best as time ran out on the first half.

Aaron Rodgers. With NO REGARD FOR HUMAN LIFE.

That was the spark that the Packers needed to get going. In the second half, the offense got it together. In total, Aaron Rodgers threw for 362 yards and four TDs. Three of those TDs were to Randall Cobb, undoubtedly this game’s star player.

The defense actually did a great job holding back the likes of Odell Beckham Jr, Victor Cruz, and Tavarres King. Clay Matthews also had an impressive fumble recovery.

The Packers continued their unprecedented “table run” with their Wild Card victory. Next week, the Packers take on the formidable Dallas Cowboys in the divisonal round.

Oh, yeah, and this was the game that Odell Beckham punched a hole in the wall at Lambeau. Gonna go ahead and dump a bunch of tweets about this here.

And just like that, it’s the last game of the year! Week 17 was a Sunday Night showdown between the Packers and the Lions. This was for all the marbles for the Pack – with a win here, they would win the NFC North, get a shot in the postseason, and effectively “run the table” on the regular season. So, needless to say, I was nervous.

However, despite a couple of setbacks, this team pulled it out! The offense got the job done. The run game was alive and well in this game. Aaron Ripkowski, Ty Montgomery, Christine Michael, and QB1 himself Aaron Rodgers all had carries today. Rodgers threw for 300 yards and 4 TDs, including this ridiculous one to Geronimo Allison. Dude scrambled for like nine seconds, made a PERFECT pass, and G-Mo was able to catch it somehow.

(The clip of the pass is another one of my favorite calls from this season. Al Michaels just sounds completely dumbfounded. “I mean… you just can’t stop him when he does that!”)

The defense remained kind of a hot mess, but they did contribute to this successful game. Our corners got largely smoked by the likes of Golden Tate and the rest of the Lions’ receiving corps. It was hard for our D-line to contain Detroit running back Zach Zenner, as well. Clay Matthews almost had an amazing interception, but it slipped out of his hands.

That was actually physically painful to watch, honestly. Also painful to watch were the injuries in this game. We were quite literally running out of corners, as Quinten Rollins was taken to the hospital with a neck injury. However, Micah Hyde swooped in at the end of the game to help seal the Packers 31-24 win with an interception.

And that’s the exact minute I went insane. After a Hail Mary from Detroit QB Matt Stafford and a recovered onside kick by Richard Rodgers, the Packers clinched the division title, which had seemed impossible seven weeks ago. So now, have an assortment of excited player tweets, because those were probably my favorite part of winning this game.

So on we go to the Wild Card round, where the Packers will face off against the New York Giants. The regular season table might have been run, but the postseason table has just been set.

In Week 16, the Minnesota Vikings came to town on Christmas Eve. It was not a merry Christmas for our rivals. The Packers beat the Vikes 38-25, which knocked Minnesota out of playoff contention after starting their season 5-0. Could we really run the table, as Rodgers said we could? Let’s dive into it, shall we?!

Overall, the offense meshed really well in this game. Impressive touchdowns were hauled in by Davante Adams, Richard Rodgers, and Jordy Nelson. Aaron Rodgers threw for 348 yards and 4 TDs in this spectacular showing. Rodgers also ran in a TD himself, and juked the CRAP out of Minnesota CB Xavier Rhodes as he did so.

Just filthy. Part of the offense’s successes were due to the fact that Minnesota’s defense was just bad. Nobody could seem to cover Jordy in particular. He seemed to be pretty happy about that fact, judging how he went super saiyan after one of his TDs.

Hype Jordy is best Jordy. Needless to say, I was very happy with how the offense presented themselves in this game. I was thankful for this, as well, because I was spending Christmas Eve at a family member’s house during this game. I sure didn’t want them to see my football anger, so I’m thankful that our dominant offense kept us on top throughout the entire game.

On the defensive side of the ball, things actually went okay. Clay Matthews had a great strip sack on Minnesota QB Sam Bradford. There were a couple of moments where our secondary couldn’t quite cover TE Adam Thielen, which mildly irritated me.

Even if our defense had their weak moments, overall this game was wildly successful for the Packers. Spirits among Packer fans were at an all-time high. One more win, at next week’s primetime matchup with Detroit for the NFC North title, and they’d run the table. Merry Christmas, indeed.

In the next game of our table-running journey, the Pack took a journey down to frigid Soldier Field to take on the Chicago Bears. The game was filled with twists and turns, and the 3-11 Bears kept pace with us way more than I would have expected them to. However, we did win, 30-27, and as an added bonus, this win tied up the Bears/Packers all time win/loss record. One more win, and we’ll beat them! IT’LL HAPPEN!

On the offensive side of the ball, there were no passing TDs today, which was weird and a bit unsettling. Davante Adams and Jordy Nelson had a couple of really bad drops, which scared me a bit. Rodgers was still a bit gimpy from various leg muscle tweaks in both legs, so that could be part of the reason, as well.

However, our run game was the star of the show. Former Seahawk Christine Michael got a TD under his belt. Wide receiver turned running back Ty Montgomery also rushed for 162 yards and 2 TDs. Monty had an impressive 61 yard run that initially only looked like it’d gain 2 yards.

Defensively, we were pretty much hot garbage, which is probably the main reason we let Chicago nearly come back to beat us. There were many blatant missed tackles from our defense. Nobody could really cover Alshon Jeffery worth a damn. The only great thing about the defense today is that they got three turnovers, mostly off of overthrows from Bears QB Matt Barkley.

As always, the Packers have to give me at least one heart attack each season, so when this game was tied with a little over a minute left in the fourth quarter, I started getting worried. However, a 60 yard bomb to Jordy Nelson on 3rd and 11 set Mason Crosby up to boot the game-winning field goal.

(I was seriously a hot mess by the time this game was ending. I hadn’t drank any water that day – only soda. So I was getting so worked up and nervous that I quite literally almost passed out. Shaking, tingly hands, the works. I had to go lie down for a good fifteen minutes after that game ended. Oops.)

The general consensus among Packer fans after this win? A win is a win, but we should not have let the Bears come back that closesly. However, the table’s still running! Next week, we move onto Minnesota.

Lastly, it was so cold and we were hitting so hard, that a Bears player’s decal flew off his helmet. Insanity.

The table run continues! And, this week, the Packers took down the Seahawks in a decisive 38-10 win, and it made this whole “run the table” thing seem so much more attainable. And, look, most of this post is going to be me just reminiscing about how downright insane this game was. First up: Davante Adams with THIS RIDICULOUSNESS. This 66-yard pass ended up being the longest of the season.

(“Welcome to Week 14!” … the minute I heard that, I knew this was going to be a good game. It also instantaneously became one of my favorite Joe Buck calls of all time.)

The offense went ham during this game. Aaron Rodgers threw for 3 TDs and 248 yards in total. The connections he had with his receivers were as strong as they’ve ever been. Jordy Nelson, Ty Montgomery, and Randall Cobb all had multiple targets, and Nelson and Adams were responsible for hauling in the aforementioned the three touchdowns. Jeff Janis also had an end-around rushing TD that still makes me nearly cry of happiness every time I watch it. The offensive line kept Seattle’s defense away from Rodgers very well. Overall, I was so impressed with the offense. Ridiculously impressed.

Defensively… Okay, give me a fangirl moment here: CAN WE TALK ABOUT THIS DEFENSE?!?!?!? SIX DAMN TURNOVERS!!!!! This defense had a ridiculous FIVE interceptions and one fumble recovery. I could not, and kinda still can’t, comprehend that number. That just doesn’t happen.

The defense also got three sacks on Russell Wilson. I have never been so happy to see Seattle’s garbage offensive line fail so badly. Both the line and the secondary actually had a good day for the most part. They impressed the hell out of me, as well, holding the Hawks to only one touchdown and one field goal.

This game was one of the most fun games I’ve watched in a long time. I frequently go back and watch highlights because, just… wow. Next week, a streak of NFC North games to close out the season, starting with the Bears.

…Okay, but seriously? The Janis end-around is my freaking favorite.

After a season of highs and lows, we’re entering the home stretch! After last week’s win in Philly, a spark of optimism came back to the team. Many people attribute this win streak to Aaron Rodgers’ “run the table” comment from a few weeks back. This could be true, but there was another element that I believe brought good luck to this team.

Reddit user Tom_Grossi had tried wearing all of his lucky Packer jerseys during the losing streak, with none of them working. For the previous week’s game in Philly, he dressed his dog, Synclaire, in a jersey, posting “None of my lucky jerseys have worked this year… I brought out the big guns.” After winning the Philly game, Tom decided to dress Synclaire in her jersey again.

Hey it worked last week. Lucky dog jersey back again. from GreenBayPackers

Now that we’ve seen cute dogs: onto football! This week’s matchup against the Texans proved to be intriguing, especially once Wisconsin woke up that morning and looked out their windows.

That’s right… SNOOOOOW GAAAAAAME! (Sorry. I just love snow games.)

As for the game itself, it was a really fun watch due to all the snow. The first score came in the second quarter, with Aaron Rodgers connecting with Randall Cobb for the 9-yard touchdown. In what was probably my favorite moment of the game, Cobb went slip-sliding into the end zone and then proceeded to make a snow angel. Altogether, the offense did really well. There was an actual even balance of pass and run plays, which had been a really weird discrepancy for the past several games. Aaron Ripkowski had a couple of wonderful runs, including one for a TD, and Rodgers threw for 213 yards.

Defensively, we did alright as well. We held Texans QB Brock Osweiler to two TDs. Julius Peppers came through with a couple of impressive sacks. Injury-wise, the linebacker massacre continued, with Jake Ryan leaving to nurse an ankle injury and Nick Perry leaving to go get his problem hand bandaged up.

All in all, the Packers braved the frozen tundra and pulled out a 21-13 win over the Titans, improving their record to 6-6. The table running continues! And I truly think it has something to do with that dog. (Synclaire went on to become somewhat famous on the Packers’ team subreddit, with fans declaring their undying allegiance to the “Magic Jersey Pupper”.)

Next week, we move onto a truly insane game with our old foes, the Seahawks. Oh, and don’t think I wouldn’t leave you without a gif of Randy’s snow angel.

Once Week 12 rolled around, the Packers were 4-6. They needed to win the last six games of the season to win the NFC North and try their hand in the playoffs. Every game was a must-win, including Week 12’s matchup in Philly against the Eagles. I didn’t know if they could do it, but Rodgers’ little “run the table” comment gave me some hope.

Herein begins… the table run. (Insert dramatic music here.) And guys… our first drive ended in a touchdown, a 12-yard pass to Davante Adams. Holy crap. We were leading. Oh my god. Stay calm. Okay. Holy crap.

AND CAN WE TALK ABOUT THE SECOND TOUCHDOWN?!?!?! A 20 yard pass from Rodgers, to Davante Adams, who somehow came down with it while he was heavily covered. I’ve said a lot of things about Davante Adams over the years, but that catch was unreal, along with the rest of his play in this game. Overall, the offense really meshed today. Rodgers was on fire, throwing for 313 yards and rushing for a couple as well.

The one offensive moment that scared the daylight out of me was when Rodgers tweaked his hamstring. Naturally, I began to freak the hell out… until I saw Rodgers enter The Injury Tent. This became somewhat of a meme on Twitter in the moments after he went in. What’s the tent for? we all asked. Where is he GOING?! Turns out, they have these little privacy tents for if a player needs to take their pants off to get a muscle worked on by the trainers. Fun fact.

Defensively, we held it together, though it was pretty much a hot mess in the second half. Again, the secondary was slow, and the defense as a whole began to be riddled with injuries. At one point, we kept losing linebackers and boy, was I a mess at that. I believe this was the first game that we’d put Morgan Burnett in at ILB, which low key terrified me a little bit.

The Pack won over the Eagles 27-13 and kept hope alive for one more game. Sounds stupid, but it was the first time I’d felt genuinely happy after a game in a loooong time. Next week, the Packers take on the Houston Texans. The table running continues!