The Green Bay Packers really needed that win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. If the Packers would have lost, I had some evil, nasty thoughts running through my head.
Thoughts like, “If the Packers have another one-and-done in the playoffs, they’ve essentially been a more exciting version of the Cincinnati Bengals since winning the Super Bowl in 2010.”
Whew. That’s a bad one. Not entirely inaccurate, but still bad. Nobody who loves the Packers as much as I do should ever put the Packers in the same sentence as the Bengals, even if it’s just in your own head and the Packers are trailing by eight in the second half of a divisional playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys.
Another thought I had: “Fire everyone.”
That makes me no different than the (dozens? hundreds? thousands? tens of thousands?) crazies on Twitter who call for Dom Capers’ head after every first down allowed by the Packers, or demand the public flogging of Ted Thompson for every big-name free agent not signed by Green Bay.
The last, and most insane thought I had: “Put in Matt Flynn!”
Seriously, my mind was so weak when the Packers were trailing that I actually allowed this thought to creep into my head. If I would have tweeted this insane thought or allowed it to escape my mind in the form of words through my mouth, a team of medical professionals would have pulled up to my house and confined me to a straight jacket before hauling me off to a faraway facility for further evaluation.
Thankfully, the Packers won. Now, only the Seattle Seachickens stand in the way of the Packers reaching the Super Bowl.
My mind is right again. As Mike McCarthy would say, my mindset is no longer polluted. But sometimes my mindset gets polluted when the Packers are losing an important playoff game. I can’t help it.
Thankfully, the following players stepped up and knocked all those crazy thoughts out of my head. The Packers Stock Report normally contains a rising, steady and falling section. But when the Packers win a playoff game, I get so happy and amped up that I eliminate the steady and falling categories.
(Brad Jones, you’re off the hook this week.)
A Packers postseason win means everybody is rising, but here are a handful of players who stood out a little more than others:
24 for 35 for 316 yards, 3 TDs, zero interceptions and a 125.4 QB rating. On one leg. Damn.
Football is a funny game. Two-thirds of the way through the season, we were wondering if Davante Adams was a bust. Now he’s helping the Packers win playoff games. Adams reminds me more and more of a young James Jones. Frustrating at times, but talented enough to be an impact player.
Even if Peppers didn’t do a single thing in the regular season, his strip of DeMarco Murray in the third quarter was worth every penny the Packers are paying him this season. Remember the playoffs of yesteryear when the Packers lined up guys like Erik Walden and Andy Mulumba at outside linebacker? Yikes.
The price tag for re-signing Cobb goes up after every game and he deserves every penny. What a big time player.
Daniels might not make the flash plays like Peppers or teammate Clay Matthews, but he’s a constant force inside. On Sunday, he even fought through a blatant hold to sack Tony Romo.
Speaking of quietly making an impact, Quarless has turned into a nice second option for Rodgers if Cobb is covered when the play breaks down. Tough, reliable and consistent. That’s what Quarless was on Sunday and what he’s been most of this season.
The Rodgers-to-Rodgers connection to take the lead on Sunday was one of the most memorable plays of the season. Once a game for the last several weeks, Richard Rodgers has come up with a big play.
When the early success of the running game didn’t carry beyond the opening drive, McCarthy found his team stuck in the mud. So what did he do? He ditched the buttoned-up game plan, spread the Cowboys out, and tested the limits of what his one-legged quarterback was able to do. The adjustment and strategy shift paid off. Now the Packers got a shot to play in Arizona.
Adam Czech is a a freelance sports reporter living in the Twin Cities and a proud supporter of American corn farmers. When not working, Adam is usually writing about, thinking about or worrying about the Packers. Follow Adam on Twitter. Twitter .