First of all, I want to live in a world where Rodgers comes through the tunnel at Soldier Field to this song with McCarthy and Thompson playing the roles of Badass Billy Gunn and Road Dog Jesse James*. Like I think my head would legit explode. Gotta make sure I've got my 'clear history' death spotter on speed dial just in case. Jon died as he lived, watching the Packers and reveling in late 90's WWF references.
Anyhow obviously we know now that Rodgers is back for Sunday. But what does that mean in the grand scheme? I know A LOT of Packer 'fans' that have been bloviating for weeks that they should just sit him because we're not going anywhere with our defense anyway blah blah. Look is our defense suspect? For sure. Is it worse without Clay Matthews? For sure. Am I starting to dislike MD Jennings on a Marshall Newhouse** level? Absolutely. But here's the thing, Rodgers changes EVERYTHING. If you say things like 'sure Rodgers is back but does that mean our defense gets better' just know that you are wrong on basically every level. Rodgers being back does make our defense better. That's how important he is to our team. The primary reason is because he keeps our defense off the field with long drives. Like I know the game on Thanksgiving in Detroit was a total sh!tshow but keep in mind that for as bad as our defense was, they were on the field for FORTY ONE friekin' minutes. 41! And that's because our offense was generating 3 and outs like they were the bizarro world '99 Rams. Not going to happen with Rodgers. So while our defense doesn't go from bottom 10 to top 10, they improve at least marginally. And history has proven that you can win a Super Bowl with an MVP quarterback and a middle of the road defense (see 2006 Colts). And you can win with a middle of the road quarterback and a hall fame defense (see 2000 Ravens). As long as ONE side of the ball is dominant you can run the table. Beat the Bears and bingo bango, not only are you in, but you have a home playoff game next weekend. Win that and who knows. Do I think we can go into Seattle and win? No. But if you injected me with truth serum (PBR) before our divisional matchup in Atlanta in 2010 I would have told you the same thing.
*I spent way too much time thinking about this but I picture Mike McCarthy as Road Dog and Ted Thompson as Bad Ass Billy Gunn. Call it a gut feeling but I think Ted Thompson is as Ass Man.
** If Marshall Newhouse is forced into duty at tackle Matt Flynn better be right behind him.
PS: Randall Cobb sounds like he may be a go too, and Lacy is set to rumble against the league's worst rush defense.
Double PS: I will say this about maybe sneaking in at 8-7-1; I sort of feel for the Cardinals. Worst case is they're 10-6 in the toughest division in football and they are on the outside looking in.