Aaron Rodgers just became the most dangerous quarterback in the NFL playoffs.
“Why?” You ask.
Well, he and the Packers have proven for most of the latter part of the season, that they are the most unpredictable team in the league, and that right when you think your safe…bam! They gotcha.
One week, the offensive line can appear hapless, the running game ineffective, and Rodgers can seem frustrated and confused. Then the next game they’ll light you up like the 4th of July.
Hell, on Sunday that all happened in a matter of minutes. In the 1st quarter of the wild card game against Washington, the offense continued to play the stale version of football they have wallowed in ever since clinching a playoff berth a few weeks before.
Then all of a sudden when the football world had their shovels out, ready to dig the Packers final resting place for the season, Rodgers and the offense put on a show that reminded us all of the good old days.
It’s been so on and off actually, that people have been wondering if it’s some kind of a trick.
Are the Packers who won their first six games with very little resistance, playing possum against the best teams in the league?
Were Mike McCarthy and his staff saving their best cards for when the games really started to matter?
Did they actually have the wherewithal to build up the Redskins confidence in the first quarter, just to leave them standing with their pants around their ankles for the rest of the game?
Although it’s an interesting theory, I find it fairly hard to believe.
Does a coach with the intellect to pull off a scheme that dramatic, decide to let his quarterback take a brutal beating game in and game out for most of a season.
Would a quarterback with Rodgers competitive spirit be able to reel in his very nature to set up a ploy like that, even if he wanted to?
Would Eddie Lacy, one of the most punishing backs in the league, risk a concussion on a sleight of hand?
And were the powers that be really savvy enough to forsee that a road game in December gave them a better chance at advancing in the playoffs, then a negative temperature game at Lambeau field?
I guess we will find out soon enough, but some seem to think that the evidence so far, suggests that the Packers might just possibly have the best poker face in the history of the league.
Green Bay rolled over everyone they played for almost the first full half of the season. Then they played two teams (Denver and Carolina) they were fairly certain they would see in the postseason. That’s when the wheels came off.
Then as soon as they found themselves in a mini losing streak, and gave up full possession of first place to Minnesota. They flipped on the switch, played their best game of the season, and destroyed the Vikings in their own stadium.
It was like they wanted to let the upstart Vikings know they hadn’t gone anywhere, and wanted to stay just alive enough in the playoff hunt for the time being.
Then they went back into hibernation against the Bears, and seemed to be sleeping for the first half against the Lions before pulling off a miracle comeback.
After that they woke up for two weeks (against the Raiders and Cowboys), until they had the playoff berth in the bag. Then they went back to taking a nap for two weeks.
They pulled it off so well that hardly anyone but the most seasoned Packers fan, thought this team who was being picked by experts early in the season to win the Super Bowl, had any chance against the scrappy Redskins.
All I know, is that it’s going to be hard for the Cardinals who whipped Rodgers and the Packers around like a rag doll just two weeks ago, to take the Green and Gold seriously in practice this week.
And even if they do, what do they have to practice against? They can watch all the film they want to from two weeks ago, but what will they find to work on?
The answer is a resounding, “Nothing!”
The Packers have left very little evidence to show for the very solid season in which they quietly stacked up 10 wins. They were good enough to make the playoffs and yet remain the mystery men of the league. It’s like they somehow pulled off the perfect heist and then disappeared behind a smoke screen.
They say that the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was making you believe he didn’t exist.
Well, how about Aaron Rodgers convincing us all that somewhere along the line he had lost his magic touch.
He did it so well that even when he pulled of the most amazing play of the year with no time left on the clock in Detroit, critics had to find every other excuse in the book to justify how it could possibly have happened.
Including trying to convince themselves that he had to have payed off the officials, or that even Rodger Goddell may be in on the action.
Now all the Cardinals can do is wait and wonder for a week, to see what other tricks he may have been saving for them. Even if they knock him around and make him look like a fool for the first part of the game like the Redskins did, how long will it be before he pulls another rabbit from his hat and gets the last laugh.
All I know for certain, is we have seen Aaron Rodgers dominate for a long time when he has to carry the whole team on his back. How good will he be now that he actually has a defense to help shoulder the load?
What’s even scarier is the Packers have gotten this far without ever revealing their “A” game.
And we all know “A” is for Abracadabra.
So if you are one of those football fans who lives in fear of the Packers and Rodgers returning to glory, I suggest you say an extra prayer or two the next few evenings.
Otherwise, R E LA X, kick back, pop open an “Old Milwaukee” or two and prepare to enjoy the show!