Saturday, June 3 2023

Coming out of the holiday always feels like a bit of a foggy daze, after all that food consumed, all that anticipation now passed, and — bah, humbug — all that money spent. The NFL and its festive slate didn’t help much with the mental clarity, either, given that here we are with the postseason approaching and something we never saw coming right in front of us.

“All aboard,” yelled Aaron Rodgers, as the Green Bay Packers continued a charge towards the postseason that has turned from laughably unlikely to quite probable, thanks to a comeback win at the dwindling Miami Dolphins and a whole raft of other outcomes falling in their favor.

OK, Rodgers didn’t actually say that. But the Packers’ momentum shift is now fully fledged, as they’ve gone all the way from 4-8 to a position where two more wins to close the regular season and one tiny bit of external assistance will mean they make the playoffs.

[Related reading: Packers win with aggressive approach, bringing playoff hope to Green Bay]

“Everything we needed to happen this weekend … happened,” Rodgers told FOX’s Pam Oliver.

‘This was special’ — Aaron Rodgers spoke with Pam Oliver after the Packers’ win over Dolphins

Aaron Rodgers spoke with FOX Sports NFL reporter Pam Oliver about the Green Bay Packers’ win over the Miami Dolphins.

“I don’t think we’ve struggled with confidence but definitely haven’t had a lot of believers outside the locker room, I don’t think. So maybe this will give us a couple on the bandwagon.”

Apart from being hued in green and yellow, it is a little hard to imagine what a current Packers bandwagon would look like, but the thing that comes to mind is a rickety old contraption with bouncy wheels and peeling paint, being held together by some fortune, good driving and neat mechanical patchwork.

Yet it’s still rolling and is beginning to pick up followers and believers, mostly because it is starting to feel like the stars, somehow, are firmly aligning for Green Bay.

They weren’t outstanding against the Dolphins and shoulda, woulda, coulda lost, had Tua Tagovailoa not tossed three interceptions in the fourth quarter. Even with the win, the Packers’ prognosis would have looked considerably bleaker had the New York GiantsWashington CommandersSeattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions not all lost a day earlier.

Now the road for that bandwagon to perambulate its way down has had most of the obstacles conveniently cleared. Next up is the NFC North winner, the Minnesota Vikings, at home. Despite Minnesota sitting at 12-3 and still in contention for the No. 1 seed, the Packers are slight betting favorites.

Aaron Rodgers outperforms Tua Tagovailoa as Packers hold off Dolphins, 26-20

Aaron Rodgers threw for a touchdown and 238 yards to help the Green Bay Packers pick up a 26-20 victory against the Miami Dolphins.

Green Bay closes out the season in Week 18 against the Lions, and if Rodgers and Co. prevail again there, all it would take would be for the Commanders to lose one of their final two games (or the Giants to lose both), and Rodgers would be heading back to the postseason, the place that has brought him one Super Bowl title and much, much heartache.

To get to even here, where the chance persists, has taken a resolute dose of escapologist skill.

“Unbelievable,” FOX’s Daryl Johnston said on Sunday. “They found a way to win and that is huge at this time of year, when you don’t play your best football and still win.”

It is, indeed, somewhat unbelievable, for so recent was the time when the Packers’ campaign looked toast that our minds our still conditioned to regard it that way. With Rodgers earning $50 million per year and Davante Adams departed, the team slipped and slid its way toward ignominy, behind an offense that didn’t look good enough and didn’t appear to be helped much by Rodgers repeatedly alluding to its failings.

Three wins have shifted that conversation, and there are some good vibes brewing. Rodgers isn’t playing like an MVP but he’s beginning to feel this streak — and wouldn’t it be just like him to squeeze into the postseason via some wild collection of events going his way, then smirk “I told you so,” at the entire sports universe.

It’s not like everything has altered. Rodgers isn’t making miracles happen, he’s just finding a way to keep his team in contention for long enough to catch some good luck. The receivers still aren’t outstanding, and while their connection with Rodgers has improved, this still isn’t an elite combination.

The defense is good but not great, but none of these things seem to matter as much as the fact that the Packers have finally found some mental verve and are fighting their way through this muddled playoff picture.

The finish line, quite remarkably, is now in sight — albeit in the distance — a feat in itself for a bandwagon that saw its wheels fall off just a month ago.

Top stories from FOX Sports:

Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports and the author of the FOX Sports Insider newsletter. Follow him on Twitter @MRogersFOX and subscribe to the daily newsletter.

Get more from National Football League Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more

in this topic

Source: FOX Sports


Ranking the Top 5 Knicks Stories of 2022


Clippers vs. Pistons odds, line, spread: 2022 NBA picks, Dec. 26 predictions from proven computer model

Check Also

Pro Sports Media

Trending Now

Denver, Miami expect $25 million in revenue from 2023 NBA Finals

Denver and Miami are projecting a maximum of $25 million in earned revenue from the 2023 NBA Finals, which includes expenses on hotels and rental cars, per the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. Of course, the report excludes ticket sales and fan merchandise. The city’s economic competitiveness team is predicting that the NBA Finals will […]

Read More

Hendricken ace Alex Clemmey is Gatorade RI Baseball Player of the Year

You can add 2022-23 Gatorade Rhode Island Baseball Player of the Year to Alex Clemmey’s already impressive resume. The 6-foot-6 senior lefthander has compiled a 6-1 record with a 0.59 ERA to lead the Hendricken Hawks to a 19-1 record and a berth in Rhode Island’s Division I state baseball tournament. A Vanderbilt commit, Clemmey […]

Read More