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The scene, the style, the substance make for memorable Packers win

Important victory as big picture starts taking shape


GREEN BAY – This could be one to file away if the rest of the season unfolds the way the Packers hope it will.

The snow tumbling down at Lambeau Field, another NFC contender trying to rally, the Packers pounding the ball on the ground and chalking up the victory, certifying their rebound from a rough week out west.

Sure, it was only Nov. 10, so the cold and snow was a little early, but it isn't too soon to call it an important win.

"Those are the fun ones you're going to think about in 20 years," quarterback Aaron Rodgers said shortly after the down-to-the-wire 24-16 triumph over the Panthers. "…'Remember that night it was snowing, and we were playing a big game coming off a disappointing loss, that hopefully galvanized us and sent us on our way'… Tonight was a classic Green Bay game with the weather and the temperature, a good opponent, running the football."

The Packers had the right formula to get to 8-2, and even if they could have avoided the drama, these wouldn't be the 2019 Packers without some.

From a play-style standpoint, Rodgers saw a Green Bay offensive line controlling the line of scrimmage and a defense that earned a boost of confidence with two end-zone stops in the second half.

Head Coach Matt LaFleur talked about his team "leaving it all on the field" with "no regrets" heading into its bye week. The Packers can heal up their bumps and bruises and get ready for a stretch run that starts with a long road trip to San Francisco, the top team in the NFC at the moment.

The Packers only have two regular-season games left at Lambeau Field, but they're 5-1 at home and the adjustment to the winter weather has already been made for whatever Mother Nature brings the rest of the way.

"Guys were embracing the cold, … and I reminded Matt this is our weather. We love this weather,'" Rodgers said. "It seems like this place is becoming what it was for so long, a very difficult place to play. We're putting ourselves in position to have an opportunity to get one of these meaningful ones down the line."

Rodgers is talking about a home postseason game, of course, and the Packers have enjoyed only one of those over the previous four seasons. Just two of their last seven playoff games have been at Lambeau, so Rodgers' focus on the big picture is understandable.

With the bye week here, the Packers are allowed to take a look around, at least briefly. Especially on a day the New Orleans Saints picked up their second loss in a home upset, and when either the 49ers will get their first loss or the Seahawks will get their third on Monday night.

But LaFleur also stressed the coaches will dive into an extensive self-reflection as to just what this team does best, and what it must do to clean up pre-snap penalties and other miscues that are making things more difficult at times than they should be.

Lambeau Field hosted a Week 10 matchup between the Green Bay Packers and the Carolina Panthers.

"The reality is we're sitting in a pretty decent spot. But, you can't take that for granted," LaFleur said. "As soon as you start getting comfortable, you're going to get beat.

"We've got a lot of great opponents coming up. Shoot, we have to play our entire division again. We've got to continue to improve each and every week because I mean, that's this league. If you don't, you're going to get beat."

It's a lesson the Packers learned already, and they had an answer for their second serious dose of adversity this season.

The first came when their own goal-line failures cost them a Thursday night home game against Philly, and top receiver Davante Adams was lost for a month to injury. They won four straight games, two on the road.

Then came the unsightly performance in Los Angeles, and on Sunday the Packers got back to the "contagious energy," to use Rodgers' phrase, that's fueled a fun and close-knit bunch.

Where it goes from here will be just as much fun to find out.

"This was what we needed," Rodgers said, "for sure."