Over the years, Packers fans had seen Aaron Rodgers pull off some incredible finishes. But considering the circumstances, September 9, 2018, could go down in history as his greatest.
For context, the Packers sputtered throughout the 2017 season after Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone after a hit from Minnesota’s Anthony Barr early during week six’ game at Minnesota. Heading into that contest, Green Bay was 4-1 and alone in first place in the NFC North.
But after Rodgers went down, so did the Packers. Green Bay would lose their next three straight and five out of six overall. Still, after wins over Tampa Bay and Cleveland, there was a chance they could run the table and get back into the playoffs. Rodgers returned for the Packers Week 16 matchup at Carolina, but the rust was evident. Unfortunately, 2017 would turn out to be a lost season for both the team and their future Hall of Fame signal caller.
But when the 2018 season rolled around, optimism for a strong season from the Packers and their quarterback was in abundance. Their opening night opponent was their longtime rival, the Chicago Bears.
Trailing 7-0 with 9:44 left in the first half, Rodgers was sacked at the Packers 27-yard line, injuring his left knee in the process. Packers fans felt the worst was about to befall their two-time MVP all over again when Rodgers was carted off the field for further examination.
By the time the Packers got the ball for the first time in the second half, they were down 20-0. But like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, Rodgers re-entered the game with a slight limp and some catching up to do.
Still, as the fourth quarter began, Green Bay trailed 20-3.
What transpired next became the stuff of legend.
Erasing the largest fourth-quarter deficit to win in franchise history, Rodgers led the Packers on touchdown scoring drives of 81, 75, and 75 yards to snatch victory in the opener 24-23.
“Rodgers Returns” can be heard in its entirety, Sunday at noon, on Milwaukee’s new radio home for the Packers, 97.3 The Game!