May. 30, 2016
Anyone else feel incredibly nervous when the score went to 28-20, you know, that kind of "here we go again" moment? The feeling where history is about to repeat itself, and not in a good way? Yeah, I had it too, and trust me, that feeling was there for a lot of us Packer fans. And the history part was there too. Let me rephrase that second question, the feeling where history is about to repeat itself, and in a good way? (notice I got rid of the word "not"). Yeah, I'm thinking back to when the Packers last played a postseason game in Arlington, and when it was not against the Cowboys but against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
After all the Packers did to try to force the Cowboys to take the lead for good, after all of the offensive heroics and the stand the defense took at their own 32 yard line to not let Dallas score a touchdown. After the Iceman, Mason Crosby, hit three 50+ yard field goals in the last two minutes (one was an attempt at icing him) including a buzzer beating 51 yarder to send the Packers back to the Georgia Dome. Oh, and let us not forget the last time the Packers were in the Georgia Dome in the postseason was the same year.
I know, I'm a guy who 10 or so weeks ago stopped believing in this season, and there are still many holes that the Packers need to fix quickly which I will get to, and I said that it might be time for a quick retooling of the franchise around the twilight of Rodgers' career. We go as far as Rodgers goes, that has always been true, and that is why all of the holes we have are able to be masked. But now, after how the game in Dallas started and finished, I believe we can run the table all the way to being the first sports franchise to have dinner with the new president, Donald Trump.
Just because we beat the "best" team in the NFC doesn't mean we are out of the woods quite yet. If there is an NFC offense that is better than Green Bay's and Dallas', it is going to belong in Atlanta. And the two best AFC offenses are still around too, in Pittsburgh and New England. In other words, Quinten Rollins is needed back ASAP. I understand Damarious Randall is battling through injuries, but he could not cover my 94 year old grandmother at this point, and that needs to change immediately. Matt Ryan, Tom Brady, and Ben Roethlisberger all will carve up Randall and LaDarius Gunter, and put even more pressure on the offense.
Speaking of the offense, Davante Adams had an injury, and thank everything he returned. But, with added pressure comes added responsibility, and something tells me that Jordy Nelson will return for the Super Bowl. That will be a huge bonus for the Pack. Also, figuring out the balance between the run and the pass is important too, as these teams that remain have a much better pass rush than the Cowboys and Jason Pierre-Paul-less Giants. I wouldn't worry with our offensive line, but with sack leading Vic Beasley on the other side next week is a cause of concern. The Steelers also finally have a good pass rush again, and the Patriots grow defensive studs in a garden nearby the stadium. Point being, we need to figure out an effective plan on getting 20, quality rushes.
Here's something few people have noticed, the Packers have beaten all but one of the five playoff teams in the NFC since they were 4-6, and yes, that last team is the Falcons. In other words, if the Packers beat the Falcons, there truly is no denying that we are the best team in the NFC like I thought we were at the beginning of the season. Slow down Vic Beasley and fix the secondary, and the Packers beat Atlanta. I just don't feel like Rodgers can be stopped at this point.