The Green Bay Packers were one game away from reaching the Super Bowl a year ago. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has just one ring in his illustrious NFL career. The Packers are hungry and are two wins away from returning to the big stage. Now the Packers have even a little more incentive to claim that Lombardi Trophy.
The Packers have some home cookin’ ahead
When the Green Bay Packers defeated the Chicago Bears in the regular-season finale, they capped their record at 13-3. The 13 wins were tops in the NFC and earned Green Bay the lone first-round bye. The victory also assured the team will be playing at frigid Lambeau Field throughout the conference playoffs, a significant advantage for the Packers.
Green Bay entered the postseason as one of the hottest teams in the NFL, winning its last six games of the season and eight of the last nine. Aaron Rodgers had another very strong season and is a leading candidate to win the league’s MVP. It would be the third of his career.
Rodgers led the league in touchdown passes with 48. He was intercepted just five times. Rodgers finished the season with 4,299 passing yards and he completed a league-leading 70.7% of his passes.
The Packers suffered a tough blow prior to the Bears game
On the Thursday leading up to the Week 17 matchup with the Chicago Bears, the Green Bay Packers were given some tough news. During practice, starting left tackle, David Bakhtiari, went down with a knee injury suffered during a non-contact drill. It was later revealed it was an ACL injury and Bakhtiari was ruled out for the season.
Bakhtiari is a Pro Bowl tackle who had just signed a four-year extension worth $103.5 million with the team. He’s the highest-paid lineman in the game and the highest-paid in league history. The loss was a significant blow to the Packers.
The day after the injury, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said he was still in the “grieving process” over the injury. “We’re still sad and hurting for Dave, just because it’s our brother and it’s our left tackle, our teammate,” Rodgers said, according to ESPN. “It’s been a tough time for us and times that by infinity is probably where he’s at right now.”
Green Bay wants to win one for David Bakhtiari
They are playing without their top offensive lineman David Bakhtiari, but that doesn’t mean he’s not on their mind. With three more victories this season, the Green Bay Packers would seal up another Super Bowl title. It would be that much sweeter if they could win one for Bakhtiari.
“David helped me more than he’ll ever know,” Packers tight end Robert Tonyan wrote in The Players’ Tribune on Thursday. “And you damn sure better believe that we’re gonna do everything in our power to help bring that guy a Lombardi Trophy this year. We’re all heartbroken for David, obviously, but I’m truly hopeful that we’re about to do something special for him over the next few weeks.”
The Packers are looking to take a step further than they did last year. They are also hoping Aaron Rodgers can grab his second title. Now add David Bakhtiari to the mix and the Packers have a lot more incentive to bring home that Lombardi Trophy.