Diagonals Guru: Time Heals Wounds in Green Bay

MIAMI – Time heals wounds. At least that seems to be what is happening with the Green Bay Packers. Although perhaps we should change the saying to, “Victories make you forget temporarily.”

Let’s start by saying that the Packers’ win last Thursday against the then-undefeated Arizona Cardinals, given the circumstances, is one of the best in Green Bay in recent times.

It may not have had the visual impact or spectacularity of any of the three incredible Hail Mary passes Aaron Rodgers has completed in his illustrious career, but the Packers’ most recent success told us much more about the current state of the franchise.

In a short week, Green Bay had to travel to Arizona without its three main receivers – Davante Adams, Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdez-Scantling – and despite losing tight end Robert Tonyan to injury in the middle of the game, the Packers managed to get out. victorious against all odds.

Head coach Matt LaFleur is now 33-7 in the regular season, the best record for any coach in the Super Bowl era in his first 40 games.

Their success in the regular season is unquestionable, but the 2-2 record in the Playoffs proved that in years past, they weren’t a finished product.

The Packers were labeled as a fine and talented team, but one that, at the same time, was not strong enough in the trenches and was dominated by more physical teams. The San Francisco 49ers humiliated them in 2020 and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated them in 2021 in the Postseason.

Then came Rodgers’ soap opera in the offseason, the philosophical questions about his potential retirement, the starkest press conference in recent memory in memory, and a near certainty that this would be the quarterback’s last year in Green Bay. .

In Week 1, they were dominated at will by the New Orleans Saints and they will surely remember the wave of criticism that ranged from “Rodgers head is not in the Packers” to an incredible “who is going to be a Jeopardy driver, we do not want it. in Green Bay if you don’t want to be here. “

Seven consecutive victories later, only crickets are heard and the words are blown away, but let’s go back to the great triumph of Thursday and the subliminal message it sends us.

We all knew the Packers were going to run the ball without their top three receivers available and still couldn’t stop them. Aaron Jones is a genuine double threat and both he and AJ Dillon combined for 151 yards on the ground and never seemed to go down on first contact.

The work of the offensive line was phenomenal. It didn’t matter that they were without tackle David Bahktiari and center Josh Myers or that Elgton Jenkins played out of position. Nor does anyone seem to remember that one of his best centers in the league, Cory Linsley, is now with the Los Angeles Chargers.

Without many talented players and with many adversities, Green Bay imposed its physical will, something it did not do so consistently in years.

It was the defense that generated two of the three losses that ended in 10 points for the Packers. By the way, they didn’t have defensive coordinator Joe Barry. It is worth remembering that Za´Darius Smith had surgery on his back and is still out and also emphasize that his best two cornerbacks, including one of the best in the NFL, Jaire Alexander, and Kevin King, did not play against the Cardinals either.

It didn’t matter, because Rashan Gary is enjoying a great season, because De’Vondre Campbell has been a pleasant surprise and because Rasul Douglas, who curiously was in Arizona’s practice squad a while ago, ended up having the final interception.

All teams sustain injuries in this beautiful contact sport, but it seems these new names have given the Packers a new identity, who now look like a hungry, physical team.

Of course, not everything is perfect, because it seems difficult to understand why LaFleur decided not to run inside the rival 5-yard line three times, but as has happened throughout the year, the Packers manage to win, although not look like a fancy outfit.

There are already three consecutive games in which Green Bay “barely” scored 24 points, low by their standards, but this version of the Packers has variants. In the past, Green Bay was overly reliant on Rodgers and Adams magic and while it is a great formula today, it is not enough to aspire to great things.

Today the Packers can beat you in different ways, they have proven to be more physical and the running game has become a crucial part of their offense.

After beating the Cardinals, it is likely that the Playoffs will go through Lambeau Field and with the cold, running the ball and being physical with an improved defense is just what the doctor ordered to think about Postseason wins, which brings us back to our initial premise: “Time heals wounds”.

Today no one talks about the future of Rodgers. Can you imagine if the Packers made it to the Super Bowl one more time.

If that happens, will Green Bay dare to go against what has been the modus operandi of its franchise and decide to make the passes with Rodgers and change to Jordan Love?

After all, victories make you forget and everything in life changes in the blink of an eye.

Just as the DNA of these Packers has changed, that today they make me a genuine candidate for the title.

This week, taking advantage of the theme of the introduction and that recently Tom Brady said that the only thing missing from his career would be to throw a Hail Mary pass to win a game, I leave you with ALL AARON RODGERS AVE MARÍA AVE PASSES.

* Home teams are second


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Diagonals Guru: Time Heals Wounds in Green Bay