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!

You know this is going to be a fun blog post when that’s the first tweet, huh? In Week 11, the Packers faced off against Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins. And man, was it one ugly loss, 42-24.

I knew it wasn’t going to be fun watching the defense this week, but it was especially heart-wrenching in this game. Things just looked terrible. The secondary was slow as hell and couldn’t cover worth a damn. Pass rush and run defense were nearly nonexistent. Injuries plagued the defensive guys, including a horrific leg injury to Demetri Goodson that I luckily didn’t see (and do not plan on ever willingly looking at).

Offensively, things were slightly better, but not by much. Jared Cook made his return from an ankle injury earlier in the season, and he had an average game with 6 receptions for 105 yards. James Starks had a great 31-yard TD run, which at this point, was our longest TD of the season. (Woof.) Aaron Rodgers threw for 3 TDs and 351 yards, and weirdly enough, again had the most rushing yards in this game. Those were just the bright spots – there were still some boneheaded timeouts, bad coaching decisions, and costly drops. Mason Crosby missed a 36-yard field goal, which just didn’t help at all.

I almost couldn’t make it through this game. It was just so bad on both sides of the ball. So here, have an assortment of social media posts that perfectly describe the existential despair I felt while watching this horrid showing.

Yeah. Even Skip Bayless, noted Packers hater and general airhead, is confused about this crap. I don’t even know. The post-game press conference again included such buzzwords as “difficult loss” and “we knew we needed to perform better”, which just enraged me even further.

Week 12 approached, and I had no idea what was going to happen. At this point, we were no longer in control of our own destiny for the playoff picture. We were now two games back in the NFC North. The Vikings had the tiebreaker. The Wild Card game looked like a pipe dream. However, Aaron Rodgers, in an effort to placate the fans, said the following in a press conference later in the week.

Maybe a snappy catchphrase from QB1 was just what the Packers needed to get themselves back in gear. . .

Look, I know this is an academic blog and I said there would be little profanity on here, but this Reddit post just about sums up how Packers fans were feeling after the team’s 47-25 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 10.

Shit-canned. By the freakin’ Titans. That’s about right.

The offensive struggles continued in this game. Rodgers continued to just not look like himself. He threw two picks and two TDs, the first of which only came five minutes into the second quarter, after the Titans had already put up 21 points. He also rushed for a TD and actually had more rushing yards than Ty Montgomery and James Starks. Whaaaaat?

Yep. Not happy. At all.

Receiver-wise, we did alright, with Nelson and Adams getting the majority of the targets. The line also drew a bunch of dumb penalties, which nearly drove me insane. Seriously – I had gone to the Culvers drive-thru in the middle of the game. I was listening on the radio, and I straight up yelled at the top of my lungs in my car because we’d just picked up our third or so straight holding penalty.

Same.

Again, defensively, another huge off day. The secondary continued to struggle – Quinten Rollins straight up just gave up on covering DeMarco Murray on his 75-yard TD run early on. Our pass rush couldn’t even do anything against some of the Titans’ second-string o-linemen. Injuries didn’t help on this front – Ladarius Gunter, Micah Hyde, and Jake Ryan all were injured at various points during the game.

So, yep. Another loss, and another week of me drastically lowering my expectations. Players failing to execute, constant injuries, and abhorrent coaching from Mike McCarthy. Shit-canned, indeed.

At this point, the Pack are 4-5 and looking for a win against the Washington Redskins. Let’s take a sneak peek at that, shall we?

Great.

Week 9! The losing streak continued with a visit to Indy to take on the Colts. And I could tell this game would be a rollercoaster ride after the very first play of the game was a 99-yard kickoff return by the Colts’ Jordan Todman. (I had to be at work for about the first half of the game. The symphonic wind ensemble was a bit confused when I, the stagehand for their rehearsal, whimpered “you’ve GOT to be kidding me” at her phone when that happened.)

So the Colts jumped out to an early lead, and they kept that lead the entire game, eventually besting the Packers 31-26. This was another one of those games where I think we could have pulled it out, had we had healthy guys out there making plays. A couple of elements really stood out to me when I got to watch the game in full.

First, the offense got a little weird again. Rodgers, though he threw for 297 yards and 3 TDs, missed some throws that he’d normally make in his sleep. Jeff Janis got some snaps, but dropped what would have been a crazy 50-yard pass. The one thing I loved offensively from this game was this insane touchdown pass from Jordy Nelson.

On a free play!!! I LOVE THAT CRAP!

Defensively… yeahhhh. I wasn’t very happy with it. We couldn’t put pressure on Andrew Luck, even against Indy’s less than stellar offensive line. The secondary gave up some big plays, failing to cover Indy’s receivers well at all. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix had two great interceptions, but other than that, the defense was nothing special.

Ugh.

At this point, I started to just not know how to feel about the team. The loss left us in third place in the NFC North. One aspect of the team looks great one game, the next it sucks. Nobody knew what was wrong. I, personally, was starting to lose my passion for football. The next few weeks would accelerate that feeling for me and many others, especially in next week’s matchup against the Titans.

Lastly, though, to leave this blog on a high note: SQUIRREL IN THE END ZOOOONE!

via GIPHY

The Packers took on the Atlanta Falcons in Week 8, in a 33-32 loss by one point that I, surprisingly, was not too mad about due to the fact that the team actually looked pretty darn good. Although, going into it, I was pretty scared because, you know, the injuries were piling the hell up.

(Gotta love how the above post has a “read more” because the list got so long. Ha. Hahaha. Injuries SUCK.)

In general, our offense looked more relaxed and confident in itself. The game was truly an offensive shootout, with both teams scoring at least four touchdowns. Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan dueled it out, with both QBs throwing for over 200 yards. (Rodgers also had 60 rushing yards, because we had no running backs at that point, and that’s just how this ridiculous season played out.) Insane catches from Jordy Nelson, Trevor Davis, and Geronimo Allison made our offensive possessions spectacular.

One of the best football names of all time, honestly.

Defensively, I was actually super impressed with how we did. Yes, we didn’t have a bunch of defensive players due to injury, but we held it together. The secondary could have done a bit better, had they had healthy guys available, but as this Reddit post said…

Yeah. Sounds a little melodramatic, but that’s really how it was. I really think we could have pulled a win out if we just had more healthy personnel. That’s why I was completely okay with this loss. We looked GOOD for a gimpy team, so what’s one extra L on the record?

But oh, how the tables will turn in the coming weeks. Next time, we look at our showing versus the Indianapolis Colts.