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All of a sudden, nobody's worried

Posted Sep 13, 2012

You were worried. Of course you were. All of Packernation was worried.

What if they lost? At home, again. To another NFC team. To an NFC North team. To the Bears!

You could almost hear Packers fans praying as they filed into Lambeau Field Thursday night. They came humbly. They came filled with worry. It was only natural.

How about the players? Were they worried?

“No,” Aaron Rodgers said, dismissively. He would hear none of it.

“You guys had some worry, feeling some of the panic,” he said playfully to reporters, moments following the Packers’ 23-10 win over the Bears. “Inside the facility there wasn’t any panic.”

Outside the facility, Aaron, there was definitely panic. Hey, at least the fans are willing to admit it. Right, fans?

So let’s come at this question from a different direction. Being that a loss would’ve left the Packers at 0-2, heading to Seattle, can you appreciate what this win means?

“It feels good to win. We played a good team in Week 1 and we played a good team in Week 2. It’s good to be 1-1,” Rodgers said.

How good is it to be 1-1? I’ll take it from there, Aaron.

It’s so good to be 1-1 that a part of me thinks the Packers saved their season last night. Winless and coming off consecutive home losses headed to the place where teams from east of the Mississippi go to “die?” I’m not sure the Packers would’ve dug themselves out of that hole much before midseason.

This is a huge win. The Packers are 1-0 in the NFC North. That’s of critical importance.

Had they lost, they’d be dancing in the streets in Chicago. They’d be throwing dirt on the boys from the Bay.

Ask yourself, how much sleep would you have lost? Would you have gone to work on Friday? Would you have spoken to your wife and children? Would they have spoken to you?

What’s most important is how the Packers won the game. They won with their weakness, which means that, all of a sudden, their weakness is a strength.

 All of a sudden, the Packers’ defensive coordinator, one of the finest defensive minds of the last 20 years, knows what he’s doing, again, as if he ever stopped knowing what he was doing. Winning can be that dramatic.

Just as suddenly, the Packers have a running game. Cedric Benson made the Bears play run. He scared them, just as he’ll scare every team that has to play the Packers and gets a look at that tape. All of a sudden, they’ll know they have to do more than stop Aaron Rodgers. Winning can be that dramatic.

The Packers sacked Jay Cutler seven times and Clay Matthews had 3.5 of those. To put those stats into perspective, the Packers had only 29 sacks all of last season; they already have 11 in two games. Matthews has already equaled his total for all of last season, and the No. 32 team in the league in sacks per pass play in 2011 is now a solid No. 1 in the league in sacks per pass play in 2012.

That’s not improvement? Hey, all you had to do was wait a game. You could’ve saved yourself a lot of worry.

The Packers are now halfway through a punishing opening month of the season. They have to go to Seattle and they have a game left at home against the Saints before September passes, but last night’s win gives the Packers a chance to position themselves nicely for an inviting October schedule that includes games against teams that, well, struggled a little last year.

How big was last night’s win? Well, answer me this: Are you worried anymore?

Additional game coverage - Packers vs. Bears
 
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