Born out of a series of Tweets by commenter @RandBallsStu
, an idea by your humble proprietor and a sick thirst to rile up Packers fans for no good reason, we present the second installment of our series called, "The Increasingly Lost Season." In this series, Stu will give a brief recap of the Packers' misfortunes as they tumble from 15-1 Super Bowl repeat team of destiny to Randy Wright-esque putridity (even if, in all likelihood, they really don't).
Everything came together for Green Bay last Sunday, as they decisively beat a terrible team at Eli’s House, downing the Tennessee Titans 55-7. It was deservedly overshadowed by more impressive victories from better teams like Seattle and Minnesota, but in an increasingly lost season, it was notable nonetheless. Coupled with San Francisco’s loss, it put the overachieving bunch in the NFC’s #2 spot, ensuring them of a first-round bye in the unlikely event of a victory this Sunday.
Is this blowout a harbinger, a portent of better things to come for this once-proud franchise? Or is it an anomaly, a one-off burst of competency from a banged-up collection of aging commercial actors who also play sports sometimes? While many football pundits are caterwauling about how the Pack is back, I think a fair observer would note that they’ve simply gotten some of their better players (Clay Matthews, Greg Jennings) back from injury in time to play lousy opponents.
That will not be the case in Week 17, when the diminutive Aaron Rodgers leads the (fluky, but whatever) NFC North champions on the road to Minneapolis and the surging Vikings. Minnesota is coming off a dominant road win over AFC heavyweight Houston, and will lock up a playoff berth if they can win at home against a lesser team than the Texans. This win would almost certainly guarantee a rematch with a sure-to-be-rattled Packers squad in Green Bay next week, where Rodgers just can’t seem to win when it matters most.
Of course, just because the Vikings are better than the Packers doesn’t mean they’ll win, as the events of Week 13 showed. That said, Christian Ponder has apparently steadied himself after his disastrous game at Lambeau Field, making the playing field that much more uneven for the Green and Gold. Can Green Bay hold onto that first-round bye, prevent Adrian Peterson from running roughshod over them yet again, and stifle the playoff dreams of their bitter, more qualified rival? In an increasingly lost season, it’s hard to say they will.