NFL

Aaron Rodgers, Packers Rally Around Each Other After Crushing Blow

The Green Bay Packers did what they had to do. After a rough week, quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Packers took care of business in the regular-season finale. They went into Soldier Field and defeated the Chicago Bears, locking up the No. 1 seed in the NFL. This all happened after they received Thursday’s crushing news of their teammate and friend.

The Packers are home throughout the playoffs

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The Green Bay Packers could be a major problem in the NFC. The Packers earned that coveted first-round bye and will rest up before resuming their quest for a Super Bowl title. The NFC road to the Super Bowl goes through Lambeau Field.

Playing at Lambeau’s sub-freezing temperatures in January could prove difficult for Green Bay’s opponents. Combine that with facing the red-hot Packers, and things should be challenging for those NFC teams. Green Bay is one of the hottest teams in the NFL entering the postseason as the Packers have won six straight games and eight of their last nine.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is in the running to win his third MVP. Rodgers has thrown four touchdown passes in each of his last two games. He finished the regular season with a league-leading and career-high 48 touchdown passes. Rodgers was intercepted just five times. He also led the NFL in completion percentage in 2020, completing 70.7% of his passes.

The Packers got troubling news last week

The Green Bay Packers had a lot at stake and a lot on their minds Sunday. On Thursday, they found out that their prized left tackle, David Bakhtiari, would be sidelined the rest of the year after suffering an ACL injury. The incident occurred during a practice Thursday in a non-contact drill.

Bakhtiari is arguably the NFL’s best left tackle. He’s certainly the highest paid. Six weeks ago, the Packers signed the former fourth-round pick to a four-year extension worth $103.5 million. The deal made Bakhtiari the highest-paid lineman of all-time.

“You gotta move on, but right now it’s still a little raw,” Rodgers said Friday, according to ESPN. “We’re still sad and hurting for Dave, just because it’s our brother and it’s our left tackle, our teammate. It’s been a tough time for us and times that by infinity is probably where he’s at right now.” 

On Sunday, the Packers rallied around each other

A win Sunday and the Green Bay Packers wouldn’t have to travel in the postseason until they reach the Super Bowl. Sunday’s game, however, was no easy task. They were on the road against a division rival who was also looking for a playoff berth. They also were playing without left tackle David Bakhtiari, who is lost for the season after an ACL injury suffered at Thursday’s practice. The injury is a brutal blow.

The Packers, however, moved some parts around Sunday and appeared to not miss a beat. The Bears dominated the time-of-possession game, limiting the Packers to just 44 offensive plays. The Packers scored 35 points on 44 plays and came together without Aaron Rodgers’ biggest protector.

“We have a lot of confidence,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said, according to PackersNews.com. “in the guys we have in that locker room that we can still accomplish what we need to. It doesn’t really necessarily change how we game plan, or how we approach each and every game, because of the versatility and flexibility and depth that we have in the O-line room.”