It’s the end of the 2017 NFL football regular season and for those teams who didn’t make it to the playoffs this year, it’s time to reflect and to start looking ahead to next season.
Unfortunately, this season marks the first time in a long time that the Green Bay Packers find themselves in this situation. After eight straight playoff seasons, this year the Packers are watching the postseason from home.
However, even though there were some great hardships for the Packers football team and fans this year, and the season didn’t end as well as it looked when it started, there is still much to look back upon with pride.
After a stellar 2016-2017 postseason that ended just one game short of the Super Bowl, the 2017 season started with three wins and just one loss to the Denver Broncos in the preseason. This was a very promising start and had many fans eager and hopeful for the start of the regular season.
This brings us to the first of many season highlights.
Aaron Rodgers wins first ever career overtime game.
In week three of the 2017 NFL regular season, the Packers were at one win and one loss(against last year’s playoff rivals the Atlanta Falcons) going into their 9/24/17 game against the then 0-2 Cincinnati Bengals.
The game did not start well for the Packers and they went to halftime facing a 21-7 deficit.
They were able to salvage the game in the second half, however, and in the final minute of regular game time, Aaron Rodgers was able to complete a red zone pass from the three-yard line to Jordy Nelson in the end zone for a game-tying touchdown with the point after.
The score was 24-24 going into overtime, and Cincinnati’s offense had the ball.
The Packers’ defense stepped up to the metaphorical plate and came up with a big stop on that drive forcing the Bengals to punt.
This set up Rodgers to make an incredible 72-yard pass up the sideline on third down to Geronimo Allison allowing the kicking unit to win the game with a very short field goal.
This was Rodgers’ first ever NFL overtime win and the first for the Packers team since 2007.
“The Hit” and the rocky road that followed.
Aaron Rodgers had a very good early season winning four of the Packers’ first five games before being put on the injured list with a broken collarbone after a late hit early in the week six game against the Vikings.
This put quite a damper on the Packers’ season, but while there was a steep learning curve and some very large shoes for replacement quarterback Brett Hundley to fill, the Packers did an admirable job of making the best of a bad situation.
While Hundley did not have a positive win/loss record this season, the Packers new that they still had a chance. If they were able to hold on until Rodgers returned they might still have a shot at the playoffs.
To make this happen after losing five out of the six games since Rodgers’ injury, the Packers were able to come up with two clutch overtime victories in a row, first, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, then a week later, against the Cleveland Browns.
These two very critical victories kept the playoff chances alive for the long-awaited return of Rodgers.
Unfortunately, Aaron Rodgers was not able to come up with the victory the Packers needed against the Carolina Panthers to stay in the running for the playoffs, but the Packers have much to be proud of in how they handled what was a very tough year, and much to look forward to with a healthy roster starting next season.