010616-roberto-ruizPackers Lose to Vikings, Head to Washington

The Green Bay Packers head to the nation’s capital to take on the Washington Redskins without much fanfare or hoopla. Widely considered the weakest team entering the playoffs, the Packers have stumbled in without much of a hope or prayer of making it to the NFC championship game, let alone the Super Bowl. Winning the division was never the goal, but it was a stepping stone that would have raised the level of confidence in this football team enough to not consider them an afterthought. The Seattle Seahawks are technically seeded lower than the Packers, but any team still playing would prefer to play the Packers and it really isn’t even a hard decision.

The Minnesota Vikings have been a solid team all year, excelling on defense and in the run game. Still, the talent level within the organization does not even approach the talent level in Green Bay, yet there they were, celebrating a division title while Green Bay walked off the field. This wasn’t supposed to happen, this was supposed to be our year, our decade. Some fans are just happy to have made the playoffs. Still, many more are going to be upset when the Packers make an early exit from this year’s playoffs. Are fans spoiled? Of course they are. Any franchise that succeeded a quarterback who is considered one of the greatest of all time with a quarterback who is arguably better, has a spoiled fanbase. But when you have a once-in-a-generation quarterback playing the whole year, making the playoffs is expected. Losing to Minnesota should have never happened.

So on we go to take on a Redskins team that has spent much of this season floundering as well. The Redskins are turnover prone and have yet to beat any team of significance. Squeezing by a mediocre Redskins team should be a give-in for this Packers squad, yet nobody can be certain of a victory in this game. Playing the Redskins should feel like an extra week off, but instead it feels like an extra week of agony. Week after week, heartbreak after heartbreak, the green and gold march on. If they are lucky enough to prevail against Washington, their reward will be another butt-whooping by the Arizona Cardinals or Carolina Panthers. Hard to get excited isn’t it?

45-0. That is the only score that would actually make me start to change my mind about this Packers squad. I would need to see touchdowns. I would need to see a snarling defense that is prepared to carry this team through the postseason. I would need to see pinpoint accuracy from Aaron Rodgers and elusive quickness from Eddie Lacy. I would need to see an anger and passion that has been lacking thus far. I would need to see this team act hungry. Have we really seen that from the Packers since their Super Bowl victory? Maybe week three against Seattle, but that is only if we choose to fool ourselves.

I sure hope your plans this weekend don’t revolve around the Packers.

Packers win 17-14.