Give the Green Bay Packers credit, they sure know how to make Christmas exciting.
After appearing to take control of the game at the end of the first half, the Packers for a second week in a row let their AFC North opponent back into the game. This time it was the Cleveland Browns who appeared primed to steal an upset road win over the best team in the NFL.
That is until Rasul Douglas started doing Rasul Douglas things again, making a clutch interception to all but seal the game.
Fans at Lambeau Field and at home breathed a big sigh of relief when Douglas made yet another hero play but the brinkmanship the Packers played Saturday didn’t overshadow what was perhaps the biggest story of the day.
Aaron Rodgers broke Brett Favre’s franchise record of 443 touchdown passes with a pass to Allen Lazard to tie the game early. Lazard deserves plenty of praise as well for the effort he made to get to the pylon which he barely did.
Rodgers was greeted with a short but sweet message from Favre congratulating him on breaking the record which also included a request for Rodgers to win another Super Bowl.
Thankfully Green Bay hung on to win their 12th game after the offense sputtered in the second half and the run defense was shredded to pieces by Nick Chubb. It was a very 2019-feeling win.
At the end of the day however a win is a win and Green Bay maintains their grip on the top seed in the NFC with two games to go. In terms of a Christmas present, that’s all fans really wanted.
The good news? The Packers are finding ways to win games. The bad news? They’ve been teetering on the edge of giving the last two games away. Thankfully they don’t give style points in the NFL and with the playoffs approaching, just surviving is all that matters.
Thankfully head coach Matt LaFleur knew immediately after the game what the issues were and instead of a standard “we will look at it” answer, he was specific about poor tackling on defense and the lack of aggression on offense. That should provide confidence the team can and will get this fixed.
Douglas has gone from practice squad player to bona fide superstar during his abbreviated season with the Packers. Douglas’ addition was called an “all-time” mid-season pickup by Rodgers and it’s tough to argue that. The Packers literally would not be the top seed in the NFC without Douglas’ two clutch interceptions.
It feels kind of dirty saying this one for last but everyone knew it was coming Saturday. It’s a remarkable feat given Rodgers sat for three years and missed another full season between two broken collarbones in 2013 and 2017. No matter what you think of the guy, you can’t deny he’s one of the best to ever do it.
Remind me never to get into a drinking contest with a hamster. I wouldn’t touch Everclear in college let alone now but hamsters don’t even flinch.