Packers' push for playoffs 'feels basically special' to Rodgers - ESPN

green BAY, Wis. -- To suppose, Aaron Rodgers at one element this season had to entertain the idea that backup quarterback Jordan Love could finish out the season if the eco-friendly Bay Packers have been simply taking part in out the string.

And that was barely greater than a month ago.

The Packers had simply fallen to four-8 after a loss on the Philadelphia Eagles, and Rodgers left the game as a result of a rib damage. They were on the verge of playoff removing, their options at three%, according to ESPN's football energy Index.

No ask yourself Rodgers vital a second -- seven of them, really -- to collect himself earlier than he may explain the way it all felt to be dealing with a win-and-get-in situation next weekend. green Bay will host the Detroit Lions at Lambeau container in their ordinary-season finale subsequent Sunday.

"It feels basically particular, it does," Rodgers said. "it's been an interesting year. It hasn't been my choicest football every now and then, but i have been requested to step up my management and be a person the guys can count on to hold it collectively, even when it does not appear to be there is anything else to play for or we don't have an opportunity to make a run. there's been lots of particular moments during the year."

The 41-17 home win Sunday over the Minnesota Vikings become one of them. It got here 16 weeks after the Vikings blew out the Packers at Minnesota in the season opener.

It wasn't a excellent efficiency by way of Rodgers. actually, there have not been many of them. He accomplished simply 15 of 24 passes for 159 yards. He threw for one landing and ran for yet another. He has had precisely one landing move in every of the Packers' 4 video games in this profitable streak. it be the primary time in Rodgers' career that the Packers have won 4 straight with him throwing for one or fewer touchdowns in each and every.

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    At no aspect this season did Rodgers challenge one in every of his signature proclamations similar to "R-E-L-A-X" or say that he notion the Packers could "run the desk" like he did in 2016, after they had been four-6 and won out to get the entire way to the NFC Championship game.

    "It did not seem brilliant for ages," Rodgers mentioned. "and i changed into resigned to some of these realities being viable. And when I took my mind there, I had a peace about it. I had a peace about all of it. some thing became alleged to turn up, i was surrendered to that reality -- with also the resolute frame of mind that we might nonetheless get returned during this thing. and i feel it truly is what i'm most proud of, for myself and our crew, is that there were a lot of various things that could occur, and we caught together and we put ourselves in position to do whatever thing special."

    Rodgers mentioned something Sunday that he wouldn't admit when the Packers were 3-6, had misplaced 5 straight following the Nov. 6 online game at Detroit and have been looking at a stretch of matchups that went Dallas-Tennessee-Philadelphia. but now he can say that he told himself in the event that they might just win a type of three video games, they would have a chance to go 9-8 and sneak into the playoffs.

    bound ample, they beat the Cowboys to conclusion the losing streak however then followed with losses to the Titans and Eagles.

    "I had faith, plenty like at 4-6 I think in '16," Rodgers spoke of. "sometimes you've got got to fool yourself a bit bit into believing a bit bit extra."

    a very good element of the relaxation of the squad adopted. A defense that became extremely touted but fell flat for most of the season has turned things around to the tune of four takeaways in each and every of the past two games to head together with cornerback Jaire Alexander's near-shutdown performance of Vikings' star receiver Justin Jefferson (one capture for 15 yards). after which there is the emergence of returner Keisean Nixon, who had a one hundred and five-yard kickoff return for a landing within the first quarter Sunday.

    "that you can sit down there and preach some thing you want, but they've bought to buy into it and that's a credit to the fellows in our locker room," Packers coach Matt LaFleur referred to. "and i've always mentioned it and that i think [general manager Brian Gutekunst] and his body of workers do such an excellent job of bringing in excessive persona americans that in instances of adversity you discover what you definitely have, no longer best from our coaches, our gamers, but in reality everyone within the building. and that i suppose each person caught together. I by no means felt at one aspect that there was any finger-pointing. So it really is a credit score to every person in our corporation."

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