There are no moral victories in the National Football League. Aaron Rodgers said that following the Green Bay Packers 33-32 loss to the Atlanta Falcons Sunday.
Rodgers is right. There isn’t. The Packers needed to beat the Falcons. A win would have helped their playoff hopes tremendously. Now, another team with a similar record owns a tiebreaker over them.
However, it’s still early. Green Bay is still 4-3, right in the hunt and finally, Rodgers is back to playing like an MVP.
The Packers lost and it stings. But remember, they lost six times in 2010. And while they lost the game, they found their quarterback and that’s why they really have a chance over these last nine games.
Rodgers wasn’t perfect against Atlanta. But without Randall Cobb, Ty Montgomery and basically every running back on the roster, all he did was complete 28-of-38 passes for 248 yards and four touchdowns. Oh, he also ran six times for 60 yards and led both team in rushing yards.
More than that, Aaron got his swagger back. His back-shoulder touchdown pass to Trevor Davis was a thing of beauty. His first-quarter bomb to Jordy Nelson was right on the money.
McCarthy: I thought Aaron was outstanding. Offensive line played well. We got a lot of production from our receivers. #GBvsATL
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) October 30, 2016
Rodgers is starting to find something in Davante Adams. Yes, Adams didn’t run the final route the way his quarterback wanted, but there’s no denying he’s taken a big step.
Green Bay did battle without its top three corners, its best running option, its best slot receiver, its best pass rusher and still almost beat an Atlanta team that is leading the NFC South.
This Packers team isn’t championship caliber right now, but thanks to Rodgers’ improved play, it could be. Once the team gets healthy, Green Bay could go on a run.
Rodgers on injuries: There are no excuses. We are all professionals out here & expect to play well. Proud of our guys. #GBvsATL
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) October 31, 2016
Next week’s game against Indianapolis is key. Then it’s onto Tennessee, Philadelphia and Washington. All three of those games are on the road and the last two could have a significant impact on the wildcard race.
This Packers team is finding itself and it’s far from a finished product. But Rodgers is out of his slump — that much is clear. So that’s why even though Green Bay lost, there is still plenty of reason for optimism.
A win over the Colts, gets Green Bay to 5-3. That’s halfway to 10 wins and halfway to what likely would be a eighth straight playoff appearance.
Right now, the Packers are just trying to tread water. But when the team gets healthy and if Rodgers keeps playing at a high level, this team will be a juggernaut. And no one, not even the Vikings or Cowboys, will want to see it come the NFC Playoffs.