The Packers were 4-6 and in danger of missing the playoffs last season before they reeled off eight straight wins to advance to the NFC title game.
Their run came screeching to a halt during that game in Atlanta, however. The Falcons were up 24-0 at halftime and cruised to a 44-21 win that left the Packers one game short of the Super Bowl for the second time in the last three years.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers said “to do what we did is awesome,” but noted that it wasn’t enough and that the team should be left with a simple message from the way their season ended.
“Going forward, we have to be better when our best is needed. All around — offense, defense, special teams,” Rodgers said, via ESPN.com. “There are plays in that Atlanta game that, if they go our way, it’s a different ballgame. We missed a kick, we fumbled, we go stagnant on offense and the next thing you know, it’s 31-0. You’re not going to win games like that against good teams. I think we’ve rebuilt a little bit, but we’ve got to see what we’ve got here.”
The Packers’ rally to win the division was certainly impressive, but it’s not the sort of thing you can count on happening on a yearly basis. Playing better earlier would also give them a better shot of playing those crucial playoff games at home, something that hasn’t been the case in their last three playoff losses.