2017, Week 14: Packers 27, Browns 21 (OT)
Eight weeks ago, I predicted that the Packers would beat the Bears, Bucs, and the Browns. I turned out to be right on the money on that prediction. But now the plot thickens. Aaron Rodgers may be back for next week’s game, and if he is, that changes everything. Suddenly the Packers go from middling team that can barely beat the Browns to a serious threat to make the playoffs.
I was at this game today. It was a whole lot of fun. Actually, it was freezing cold and very disheartening for three quarters. But the Packers have this “never-say-die” attitude. As opposed to Cleveland, whose fans left as soon as the Packers forced overtime because they knew they were going to lose. Deshone Kizer of the Browns threw an interception Brett Favre would be proud of. (I love Favre, he’s my favorite player ever. His interceptions were those passes in Madden that you regret the instant your finger leaves that button.) The Packers turned that pick into a touchdown to win the game in OT.
It doesn’t matter that the Packers almost lost to the worst team in perhaps the entire history of pro football. No one cares about that anymore. Because they refused to give up when trailing 21-7 entering the fourth quarter, they ended up coming out with a dramatic victory which boosted their confidence and morale. Not only that, they suddenly have a realistic shot at making the playoffs. And that’s worth staying the whole game for!
+: Brett Hundley. Give him credit, he played outstanding in the fourth quarter and overtime. He played like a genuine NFL starter. I don’t know what caused his sudden transformation into Superman, but I get the feeling the coaches loosened their grip on his plays, allowing him to do some stuff that he hadn’t been doing the first 3 quarters. The best was when he ran over his own receiver Geronimo Allison in an attempt to gain more yards. He didn’t care anymore; he was getting that first down no matter who was in the way. On the final drive of regulation, it seemed he was on the money every third down (actually, he was). And again in overtime. I’m not ready to trade Aaron Rodgers quite yet, but I feel so happy for Brett that he was able to contribute so much to this win.
+: Davante Adams. Two touchdown catches, the game-winner in overtime as well as the game-tier with 17 seconds or so to go. That is impressive. He’s easily Hundley’s favorite receiver. I think that he’s actually gotten better under Hundley. Getting all the looks and being counted on to make the big plays, he’s now the main man in the receiving corps. It’s time the Packers open up the checkbook and pay the man, Shirley.
-: Pass defense. Sadly the pass defense looked horrible for three quarters. Then in overtime they get an interception, although that pick was on one of the worst pass decisions I’ve ever seen. There’s got to be some improvement here, Rodgers or no Rodgers.
2017 Green Bay Packers: 7-6
Next week: at Carolina