The Packers may have suffered through an unmemorable season, but they did get things kicked off with one of the best games of 2018, and on Saturday night, Aaron Rodgers was recognized for the teams’ stunning 24-23 comeback against the historically great Bears defense with the “Moment of the Year” award.
It was a thrilling and supremely unlikely victory given how the season progressed for both the Bears and Packers. The Bears would jump out to a 17-0 halftime lead after knocking Aaron Rodgers from the game with what looked to be a fairly serious knee injury. Rodgers would return, down 20-0, to a huge ovation in the second half, and partially because he had no mobility, morphed into a Tom Brady-esque quick strike passer to finish out the game. Getting the ball out early served to neutralize the fierce Bear pass rush, and Chicago had no answer as Rodgers carved up the NFL’s number one defense as if it were Dom Capers-led. Rodgers capped off the game with a 75-yard touchdown to Randall Cobb, who weaved in and out of a sea of defenders before finally taking it to the house.
Both Cobb and the Packers peaked early in 2018, as this game accounted for roughly a third of Cobb’s season production. After this he would catch only 29 balls for just 241 yards (8.3 per reception), for 1 TD, while only hauling in 56% of targets.
Presenting the award was none other than Brett Lorenzo Favre, who Rodgers thanked as an early mentor, and an inspiration. Rodgers also thanked “Cobby,” who is unlikely to return to the team next season after a sensational Packer career.
It was a nice moment, and a well-deserved honor for a sensational performance, but it was also a bittersweet reminder of what might have been. That said, it was also an indicator of just how good the team could have been with slightly better health, and slightly better coaching. In 2019, perhaps they will have both.