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Thursday Cheese Curds: Packers begin playoff push as a much better team than a year ago

The Packers enter the playoffs as favorites to make it to Super Bowl LV. It’s much different feeling than when they entered last year’s playoffs.

NFL: JAN 03 Packers at Bears Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers may have an identical record to last year’s team, but this group feels like anything but similar to 2019’s version.

The major difference is of course the offense. This year’s unit scored almost at will, led by a resurgent soon-to-be three-time MVP quarterback in Aaron Rodgers. Last year the offense would play well in spurts but was far too inconsistent in the first year under head coach Matt LaFleur.

Such improvement also has come on the backs of a truly special season by receiver Davante Adams. He has broken and challenged several team records held by such legends as Don Hutson and Sterling Sharpe and developed a connection with Rodgers that many have deemed unnatural.

On the other side of the ball, it’s also much different. The defense carried the fledgling offense early and often in 2019, but this year’s group struggled for much of the season before finally coming into their own in December. Last year it felt the defense peaked too early as they struggled a bit later in the season. This year they seem to be hitting their stride at the perfect time.

When the Packers hosted the Seattle Seahawks in the divisional round last year, no one really knew what to expect. It was an unexpectedly blessed season under a rookie head coach and many fans were happy to just be back in the playoffs after a two-year absence.

This year, it’s a different feeling. The team and their fans have their sights set on a Super Bowl and many around the league view the Packers as the clear favorite to represent the NFC in Tampa Bay in January.

What a difference a year makes.

In today’s curds we look at the differences between 2019 and 2020 plus what has driven Adams during a season for the history books.

There’s good reason for this Packers team to believe—Packers.com

With the Packers finally having an offense and defense that complement each other for the first time in what feels like forever, Super Bowl dreams are legitimate. Now can the team finally break through for the second time in the Rodgers era?

Packers’ Aaron Rodgers has just 89 interceptions in 6,587 passes — and he hates every one of them—ESPN

A return to MVP form is a big reason why the Packers are where they are and the quarterback’s photographic memory is a skill that has continued to serve him well. I mean he remembers his seventh career interception from 2008. That’s crazy, right?

Davante Adams Is Peaking in Every Way Possible—The Ringer

It’s absolutely unfathomable that some fringe Packers fans wanted Adams cut in 2015. I don’t know if anyone saw THIS kind of production coming, but what Adams has achieved is truly remarkable in a franchise that has many great wide receivers in their 100+ year history.

‘All hands on deck’ approach could boost Packers’ erratic special teams—PackersNews.com

If there’s been one area where the Packers have been consistently poor, it’s been special teams. Luckily for them on Saturday they face a team even worse on special teams than they are.

Oh Good, Scientists Discovered Snakes Can Turn Their Body Into ‘Lassos’ To Climb—Huffington Post

2020 brought us murder hornets so what has 2021 brought us for a sequel? Apparently it’s lasso snakes. You’ll never look at a tree the same way again.