And that was just over a month ago.
The Packers were just down 4-8 after losing to the Philadelphia Eagles, with Rodgers out due to a rib injury. According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, they were in danger of losing the playoffs with a 3% chance of doing so.
It’s also why Rodgers needed a second (actually seven people) to calm himself down before explaining how it feels to be facing a win-win scenario next weekend. No wonder. Green Bay will host Detroit his Lions on his field at Rambo his regular next Sunday in his season finale.
“It feels really special,” Rogers said. “It’s been an interesting year. There have been times when it wasn’t the best football, but I was asked to strengthen my leadership and be someone the team can rely on to keep it going. Something to play for. Either you have it or you don’t have the chance to do it. There were many special moments throughout the year.
Sunday’s 41-17 home victory over the Minnesota Vikings was one of them. He came 16 weeks after the Vikings beat the Packers in Minnesota in the season opener.
It wasn’t Rogers’ spectacular performance. In fact, there weren’t many of them. He made only 15 of 24 passes for 159 yards. He threw for one touchdown and ran for another. He has just one touchdown his pass in each of his four games for the Packers in this streak. This is the first time in Rodgers’ career that the Packers have won his four straight games, each with less than his one touchdown.
This season, Rodgers will issue one of his signature proclamations such as “RELAX” or “run the table” like in 2016, when the Packers went 4-6 to win it all. I didn’t say what I thought I could do. Road to NFC Championship Game.
“It didn’t look good for a while,” Rogers said. “And I resigned myself to the possibility of some of those realities. And when I set my mind to it, I had peace about it. I was at peace about it all.” Whatever was supposed to happen, I surrendered to that reality–and I still hold the firm belief that we can get this thing back. I think that’s what I’m most proud of for our team.Together, we’re in a position to do something special.”
Rodgers said on Sunday that the Packers were 3-6, losing five in a row against Detroit on Nov. 6, and didn’t concede when considering a series of matches against Dallas, Tennessee and Philadelphia. But now, he can say he told himself that if he won one of those three games, he had a chance of making the playoffs 9-8.
Sure enough, they ended their losing streak by defeating the Cowboys, but then lost to the Titans and Eagles.
“I had confidence, just like 4-6 in 2016,” Rodgers said. “Sometimes you just have to trick yourself a little more and make yourself believe a little more.”
A good portion of the rest of the team followed. A much-hyped but flat defense for most of the season, along with cornerback Jaia Alexander’s near-shut-down performance against Vikings star receiver Justin Jefferson in each of the past two games. (1 catch for 15 yards). And then there’s the appearance of returner Keithean Nixon, who made a 105-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the first quarter on Sunday.
“You can sit there and preach whatever you want, but they have to take it. That’s credit to the players in our locker room,” Packers manager Matt Raffler said. “And I’ve always said it and I think [general manager Brian Gutekunst] And his staff does a great job of bringing in very unique people, and in times of adversity, it’s not just the coaches and the players, but really everyone in the building that’s doing what they really have. And I think everyone stuck together. I never felt a finger pointing. So it’s a credit to everyone in our organization. ”