The good, the bad and the odd of the Packers' season
The Green Bay Packers' season ended Sunday afternoon at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers capping a strange year. The total record for the team was a perfectly mediocre 8-8-1. Yet, the Packers won the NFC North and reached the playoffs for the fifth straight season. There was plenty to cheer for, plenty to shake your head at and enough to wonder what exactly was going on out there.
Here are some of the good, the bad and the odd moments and players that helped define the 2013 Packers season.
After a slow start to the season (a fumble and benching in week one, a concussion in week 2 and missing week 3) the rookie out of Alabama exploded for 1,208 yards and 10 touchdowns in his final 14 games (including the playoff game). He ended the season hearing his name chanted around Lambeau Field on Sunday. He set franchise records for a rookie and is in the conversation for Rookie of the Year and has given the Packers a legitimate running threat for the first time in years.
Aaron Rodgers' return
After suffering a broken collarbone, there were thoughts Rodgers might not return at all in 2013. But, the former Most Valuable Player took the field in the final week of the regular season in Chicago and led the Packers to a 33-28 victory by throwing for 318 yards and two scores against two interceptions, including the game-winner to Randall Cobb on a fourth down play late in the game.
The first half looked awful as the Packers trailed 26-3 at the break, but Matt Flynn led a stirring second half comeback where the Packers outscored the Cowboys, 34-10. Flynn tossed four touchdowns in the game and Sam Shields and Tramon Williams came up with huge interceptions of Tony Romo late.
In the nine full games Rodgers played in 2013, his chemistry with Nelson was incredible. The wide receiver caught 56 passes for 872 yards (15.6 average) and 8 touchdowns. Without Rodgers? Nelson caught just 29 passes for 442 yards and no scores.
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