Finishing with a 13-3 record, dominant running game, and winning ugly, the Packers have had a standout season. These are some things from the season that fans will remember. The Packers changed their identify this offseason and we’re ready to show their new and improved team this season. The Packers experienced ups and downs this season as every team does. Here are the five best moments of the Packers’ regular season.
- Allen Lazard’s Coming Out Party vs the Lions
Undrafted, signed to a practice squad, cut by the Packers after the preseason, and only brought to the 53-man roster because of an injury to rookie TE Jace Sternberger. Allen Lazard’s offseason and rise as the Packers’ number two receiver was unconventional to say the least.
The Packers headed into week five against Minnesota in desperate need of a playmaker at wide receiver. Davante Adams was out with turf toe and the Packers were struggling offensively. The Lions started the game hot and jumped to a 13-0 lead halfway through the second quarter before Green Bay closed the half with 10 unanswered points. The Lions continued to add field goals and were up 22-10 in the fourth quarter. The Packers’ offense was stale and couldn’t find rhythm to battle back against a hungry Lions team.
Enter Allen Lazard. The undrafted rookie came into the game and made a beautiful catch for a 35-yard touchdown that changed the game.
Rodgers is known for needing receivers to earn his trust to get involved in the offense and with that play Lazard did just that. Lazard finished the game with four receptions for 65 yards and one touchdown. All coming in the fourth quarter and helping to set up Mason Crosby’s game-winning field goal.
Lazard continued his rise this season posting the Packers’ second highest yard total with 477 yards despite only starting three games and not earning consistent playing time until week six. Lazard is also one of Rodgers’ favorite targets on 3rd down. Lazard earned 190 of his 477 yards on 3rd down and has been targeted 19 times.
- Za’Darius Smith Dominant vs the Vikings
Za’Darius Smith was GM Brian Gutekunst first free agent signing of the 2019 offseason. He came off a career year with the Ravens in 2018 and was signed to change the Packers’ pass rush. Paired with another free agent signing Preston Smith, the Packers’ pass rush has become one of the best in the NFL.
Smith put fear in the offensive line all season and led all other edge rushers with requiring the most double teams. Smith headed into a crucial week 16 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings after being one of the biggest Pro-Bowl snubs and going three games without a sack.
With a win against the Vikings, the Packers would clinch the NFC North and become one win away from a first round bye in the playoffs. Smith did everything in his power to ensure a victory for the Packers. Za’Darius Smith finished with 3.5 sacks, 5 tackle for losses, 5 quarterback hits, 6 quarterback pressures, and 0 missed tackles. He led a Packers defense that held Cousins to 122 yards passings which was his second lowest of the season. Smith received the only Christmas gift he wanted this year.
Smith quickly became a fan favorite in Green Bay, and with performances like that shows why he is a leader on and off the field. With being snubbed from the Pro Bowl and All-Pro teams this season, look for the chip on his shoulder to grow bigger and more dominant performances.
- Aaron Jones Waves Goodbye to the Cowboys
The Packers headed into Dallas coming off the first loss of the season and without their best receiver in Davante Adams. At this point in the season, Dallas seemed to be a Super Bowl contender who was looking to bounce back after their first loss the week before to the New Orleans Saints.
The Cowboys came into the game as a powerhouse offense who scored at least 30 points in three out of the first four games of the season, whereas the Packers were a struggling offense that was relying on a tough defense to win games for them. The Packers needed someone to step up in Davante Adams place, and boy did Aaron Jones do just that.
Aaron Jones racked up four rushing touchdowns for the Packers and was the only player to score a touchdown for the team that day. Jones’ four rushing touchdowns in a single game tied a Green Bay record. He wasn’t just satisfied with 107 yards and 4 touchdowns on the ground, so he added on 75 receiving yards.
The Packers dominated the Cowboys from the start of the game and showed they will bounce back from any loss during the season. The Packers continued to rely on Aaron Jones the rest of the season who finally hit 1,000 yards for the first time in his career and led the NFL in rushing and total touchdowns. Let’s not forget he also gave Packer fans one of the best celebrations that he was later fined for when he waved goodbye to the Cowboys’ defender on his way to the end zone.
- Vintage Aaron Rodgers vs the Raiders
Aaron Rodgers lost his accuracy, father time is catching up with him, Rodgers is on a decline, the Packers should look to draft a quarterback. These, among many others, were things fans of the NFL were saying about Rodgers before and during the season. Granted there were moments where those allegations seemed to be true, but Rodgers used the week seven matchup against the Raiders to show he still one of the most talented quarterbacks to ever play the game.
Rodgers headed into the game without his top receiver Davante Adams and one game ago led the Packers on a come-from-behind-win against the Lions.
Aaron Rodgers did not let Adams absence slow him down. Rodgers threw touchdowns to two different running backs, two different wide receivers, and a tight end. He found open players consistently and led the Packers to a dominant victory. Rodgers also showed he still was dangerous outside of the pocket and ran one in for a score. He finished the game with 6 total touchdowns, 429 passing yards, and a perfect quarterback rating. Rodgers looked like the Rodgers of old and fans were ecstatic to see it.
1.Mason Crosby’s Redemption vs the Lions
Mason Crosby’s worst game of his career came in 2018 against the Detroit Lions. He missed four field goals and one extra point in a losing effort. After that game Crosby has become Mr. Reliable for the Packers, hitting 107 of 112 of his kicks since.
Crosby’s two most important moments of the season came against the very team he looked horrendous against a season ago, the Detroit Lions. In week six against the Lions, the Packers fell to an early deficit and needed to fight their way back. The Packers fought their way back to lessen the lead of the Lions and were down 22-20 with two seconds left in the game. Mason Crosby came onto the field, kicked a perfect kick through the uprights, won the game for the Packers, and had his first ever Lambeau Leap. To make it even better, Crosby did this after hearing that his wife is cancer-free earlier that week.
Crosby’s redemption story does not end there. In week 17, on the same field he missed five kicks on, Crosby was again put in a situation to win for the Packers. The Packers’ offense struggles all game, but the Packers found a way to be tied at 20 with three seconds left. Crosby came onto the field that he struggled on just a season ago, and nailed the game winner for the second time this season against the Detroit Lions.
Crosby’s field goal was not only a game winner, but it also clinched a first round bye for the Green Bay Packers. The Packers now look to make the most of their first playoff appearance in three seasons.