Cory's Corner: Packers Are Model Of Resiliency

The Packers have overcome so many obstacles and currently sit with NFC Royalty. 

Style points don’t matter in the NFL. Unlike college football, there are no such thing as polls. There are plenty of people that still make NFL Power Rankings, but they are completely worthless. 

The bottom line is this: win. 

And that’s exactly what the Packers did for a fifth straight time this year and for a fifth straight time against the Bears as Green Bay beat Chicago 24-14 at Soldier Field. 

The amazing thing about the Packers is that they still are not firing on all cylinders. 

“I think it shows we will be OK,” Packers running back Aaron Jones said after racking up 76 yards rushing and 34 yards receiving. “It shows we can win games in multiple ways. We have the leaders that we need. We have everybody in the locker room that we need to get the job, just continue to put the work in and stack success.”

The Packers are one of the best teams in the NFL without their best left tackle in David Bakhtiari, best outside linebacker in Za’Darius Smith, best cornerback in Jaire Alexander and another starting cornerback in Kevin King. Versatile starting offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins has missed games and now starting center Josh Meyers will miss time with a knee injury and starting safety Darnell Savage is in concussion protocol. 

“We’ve backed it up the last five weeks,” said Aaron Rodgers, who accounted for all three touchdowns on Sunday. “But the way that we’ve done it with the guys that we’ve done it with, with the kind of injuries that we’ve had. You look at our roster now, there’s a lot of guys who weren’t with us that are getting big minutes.”

Everyone is going to be talking about the phrase, “I own you,” from this game because the Packers are now 22-4 against the “Midgets Of The Midway” since 2009. The last time the Bears beat the Packers in Soldier Field was in 2018. And I do love Rodgers letting it all out and playing with a full sleeve of emotion. 

But the best story coming out of that game was the resiliency of the Packers. They’ve shuffled the lineup so many different times in the last few weeks, but nothing has changed in the standings. The Packers are now 5-1 — one of four 5-1 teams in the NFC in addition to 6-0 Arizona, the only unbeaten team left in the NFL. Think back to that first week, lots of people — including me — didn’t exactly have a lot of warm and fuzzy thoughts after the Saints completely smoked the Packers in Jacksonville. 

But this team has proven that it has the ability to overcome obstacles. Whether that’s shaking off the rust from a slow start or shrugging off many notable injuries and not using that as an excuse. Let’s face it, all NFL teams have to deal with injuries during the season, it all depends on how each team responds to those injuries. Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield blamed the 23-point home loss to Arizona on many things.  

That’s not how Green Bay is operating. Equanimeous St. Brown didn’t originally make the roster, but was called up from the practice squad in Week 2. Bringing in so many different guys can cause a culture shock, but the leadership has been so strong that it has never been an issue. 

The Packers have had many challenges so far this season. But every challenge hasn’t appeared in the shape of the opponent. And that’s why the Packers need to be celebrated. 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

5 points

Comments (32)

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Spock's picture

October 19, 2021 at 06:25 am

The Packers have done well overcoming injuries (kudos to the coaches and players) but they really, really, need to get some players back! Fingers crossed that this injury trend will start to reverse. GPG!

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Guam's picture

October 19, 2021 at 07:31 am

"Fingers crossed that this injury trend will start to reverse."

Amen to that Spock. The Packers have been remarkably resilient, but they aren't going to the Super Bowl without Bahktiari, Alexander, Jenkins, Savage and the Smiths. They need to start getting these players back as well as losing no one else!

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Crankbait's picture

October 19, 2021 at 07:11 am

Yes we have a nice record right now but can you name any top quarterback in the league that we have played against this season? (Rothlisberger is obvious in decline.)
I am enjoying the victories as much as anybody but in the back of my mind I know that we have not yet been truly tested by a playoff caliber team .

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MarkinMadison's picture

October 19, 2021 at 08:14 am

You look at QB rating and screen out the guys with less than 500 yards, and here is what you get:

Wilson
Stafford
Murray
Prescott
Winston
Brady
Burrow
Cousins
Rodgers
Allen
Mahomes
Wentz

So they have played two of the "top 12" and the top two QBs so far this year are coming up on the schedule, plus Mahomes and Stafford. You can quibble about the list, you can make your own, but this is a league in flux. In my view there are two QBs to really fear in this league, and they are Mahomes and Rodgers. They just don't happen to be having statistically great years right now.

P.S. - If the playoffs started today, the Saints, Bengals and Steelers would all be in.

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LambeauPlain's picture

October 19, 2021 at 11:29 am

With the exception of the Lions, the Saints, Niners, Steelers and Bares put a very good defense on the field.

Given all the injuries to top players, the Pack has earned the 5 wins with great coaching and players stepping up.

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 19, 2021 at 07:13 am

"The bottom line is this: win. "

100%. Its why i said 2 weeks after a game most people don't remember what happened in those games. Its only the game they are on and onto the next. For example, can anyone tell me what happened in the 49ers game (I don't really need to know, i'm just making a point)? I know we won. And 2-3-4-10 weeks later, that is the only thing that matters.

I guess I shouldn't say its the only thing that matters because, how they won is equally important. In that 49ers game, they led most of the way. Until 37 seconds left in the game. The 49ers took the lead. Most teams that is a loss. But we aren't most teams. We have 12. And he led us to a victory. The fact that this team still fought with 37 seconds and made it look pretty damn easy is so damn impressive.
Things like that can build a teams character. Its the fact that the didn't give up with 37 seconds left.

Forward to this week. This sentence says it all.
"But the best story coming out of that game was the resiliency of the Packers". The Packers are without some major key players. They find ways to win. That is what builds championship caliber teams. Finding ways to win when not everything is perfect. When you are playing with 3rd/4th/5th string players. Finding ways to come back when down late. Those are traits that lead to championships.

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NickPerry's picture

October 19, 2021 at 07:34 am

"Packers are now 22-4 against the “Midgets Of The Midway” since 2009."

Lets start with saying that's the BEST description of the Chicago Bears I've heard in a long, long, time! The MIDGETS Of The Midway...Priceless Cory...

The Packers have done well to overcome a TON of injuries. The numbers of injuries this year to All-Pro and Pro Bowl players have been unbelievable. Most teams who lose the caliber of players the Packers have would crumble simply because depth would be an issue.

I think it's time those who STILL bag on Gute for not drafting this player or that player, this position or that position, in other words ALWAYS bitch because Gute isn't drafting who THEY think he should draft, should take a look at this team he's constructed and the injuries they've overcome to go 5-1 thus far, and maybe reevaluate what a good job he's done. Or maybe those who are still so critical will NEVER be happy no matter what.

Midgets of the Midway... LMAO...Go Pack Go!!

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croatpackfan's picture

October 19, 2021 at 11:59 am

I'm with you Nick on this subject. I almost gave up of watching the last game vs midgets of the Midway, but than I remember to calm down and to wait till the half time. It was worthy.

As many here I have my opinions on the players. For example, I'm still baffed why ESB is still on the roster. I know this last TD (not accepted), but what with everything else? Maybe I do not see some important small things and make wrong conclusions.

But, this team is Gutekunst team, leading very well by MFL, and they are really resilient. Kudos to Brian Gutekunst for adding valuable pieces all time during the season to overcome all the problems this season.

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NickPerry's picture

October 20, 2021 at 05:02 am

"But, this team is Gutekunst team, leading very well by MFL, and they are really resilient. Kudos to Brian Gutekunst for adding valuable pieces all time during the season to overcome all the problems this season."

Totally agree here Croat. If you think about it Gute has built this team AROUND a franchise QB who's getting older. He's drafted a solid O-Line for today and the future the last 2 years. Because Rodgers was older, he's gave him a hell of a running game. He may not have drafted the WR's many of us wanted, but he built the ENTIRE offense to help AND protect a 37 year old QB

On defense he signed 2 pass rushers right away and drafted a third. He also signed a veteran safety and then constructed a hell of a secondary. He's tried to fix the ILB position (at least IMO) through FA. Next up IMO will be the D-Line addressed in the draft.

We were very close last year and IMO bringing back the band was smart. Just LOOK at the draft pieces from this past draft that have already contributed this year. Meyers is going to be a good one. I think JRJ is already pretty good and with experience only will get better.

Bottom line is Gute built a team Rodgers can win with NOW, and a team who will win in the following years with Love with a few more pieces. You know, I know I'm a homer, but 5-1 with Rodgers playing just okay and not great is a testament to how good this team is.

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Gman1976's picture

October 19, 2021 at 01:46 pm

GREAT point about Gute. He really has been phenomenal with his FA pickups, working within the cap, and putting a competitive team on the field.

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MarkinMadison's picture

October 19, 2021 at 07:39 am

I think what these games show is the quality of the roster and the quality of the coaching. Before the New Orleans game I made the comment that the Packers' offense has a way of making third string cornerbacks look competent. Now they've flipped the script by having their own third string cornerbacks go out and look competent. And it is the much maligned DL that made it possible in the last game.

One thing I'll quibble with is the quote from Aaron Jones. I don't think this offense has multiple ways to win. It has one way. And getting Mr. Jones involved is that way. He is the key. The point about not facing a top QB is also very much a concern.

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Handsback's picture

October 19, 2021 at 08:04 am

Green Bay’s division is pretty weak. No matter the record, win enough to get into the playoffs and hopefully have a stronger roster to compete for the SB….

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dobber's picture

October 19, 2021 at 09:09 am

I would say the NFCN so far is pretty average. As a whole, 1 game under .500, playing the AFCN (6 games over, no teams under .500) and the NFCW (7 games over .500).

Packers are 2-0 vs. AFCN, 1-0 vs. NFCW, and 2-0 vs. NFCN, all others 0-1
Bears are 1-1, 0-1, 1-1, 1-0
Vikings are 0-2, 1-1, 1-0, 1-0
Lions are 0-2, 0-1, 0-3, 0-0

The argument could be made that the division is getting fat on the Lions, but by definition every division finishes .500 with itself. There's a long way to go yet, but I would say the Vikings and Packers are going in the right directions, the Bears have to figure things out, and the Lions are already booking vacation plans for January.

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Matt Gonzales's picture

October 19, 2021 at 08:55 am

Should GB have beaten all the teams they have so far? Sure, but football is a game filled with upsets and surprises, and with the injuries GB has had nothing is a given.

What impresses me the most is the WAY the Packers are winning. The offense looks different this year. They're using a lot less fluff/gimmicks, less motion, etc., and guys are still getting open. RBs are still churning yards when teams know the run is coming. A patchwork OL is mostly keeping Rodgers clean and opening running lanes. The defense is doing enough to keep GB in games and, despite hiccups, still making some clutch plays.

These wins haven't been pretty by any means, and it won't be enough against teams like KC, LA, ARI, but they're learning how to grind it out and to play full games, and that is incredibly important.

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dobber's picture

October 19, 2021 at 09:12 am

I agree: this team isn't running away from opponents and hiding like it did a year ago. I like your use of the word "grind". I think that's appropriate. I don't think that grinding out wins is a bad thing in the long run.

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croatpackfan's picture

October 19, 2021 at 12:06 pm

Well KC already lost 3 games - Ravens, Bills and Chargers. So they are not unbeatable. I see only Arizona game as the top test this regular season.

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dobber's picture

October 19, 2021 at 12:44 pm

Baltimore, Cleveland and the Rams will be stiff challenges.

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Gee's picture

October 19, 2021 at 04:53 pm

Yeah if they go 2 and 1 in those 3 games I would jumping up and down

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 19, 2021 at 10:20 pm

Quarterback is still the KEY PLAYER.

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4thand1's picture

October 19, 2021 at 09:43 am

The team still goes as AR goes. He , the team played bad week one, they got hosed. Since then , AR is playing like an all pro , along with A Jones and Adams. The Packers have the BIG 3. Also the front 7 is a lot better, especially up the middle, FINALLY! Maybe, just maybe, playing all these young guys in the pre season has paid off?

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SwedeBayPacker's picture

October 19, 2021 at 09:51 am

"best cornerback in Jaire Alexander and another starting cornerback in Kevin King."

This made me laugh.

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Dragon5's picture

October 19, 2021 at 01:58 pm

sounds better as "and another excuse for a starting cornerback"

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 19, 2021 at 10:20 pm

Stokes has taken the mantle so far this season. He is dynamic and relentless.

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JohnnyLogan's picture

October 19, 2021 at 11:30 am

Winning even when riddled with injuries and missing key players can galvanize a team but there is a key player the Packers are missing that will be their undoing... a #2 receiver. Without a #2 receiver, and there isn't an NFL-caliber one on this team, the Packers will have to be lucky to win in the playoffs.

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 19, 2021 at 10:23 pm

Jones out of the backfield should neutralize the cover two or shade zones on Adams. Tonyan will be more involved once they keep him OUT of the blocking scheme.

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Packers0808's picture

October 19, 2021 at 11:36 am

Kind of bad timing this year maybe to have bye so late in season. All seems to be timing!

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Tedlyflyfisher's picture

October 19, 2021 at 12:25 pm

We play on Thursday night next week and they will have a week and a half before the following game (K.C.). That may help. I like having the bye week later. Helps guys get healthy for the playoff run!

6 points
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Packers0808's picture

October 19, 2021 at 01:27 pm

It all depends when injuries occur is all I am saying! Last two years no major injuries to numbers of guys at all, this year a whole slew early is why I said the timing thing!

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LambeauPlain's picture

October 19, 2021 at 11:45 am

The Packers are emblematic of an NFL team with great coaching and impressive depth of good football players.

Gutey and his staff have drafted good players and landed talented FAs. Matt and his coaches are getting players to perform at a high level (exception are ST return and cover teams...consistently poor). Team just needs antibodies for the injury bug.

Starting to feel like 2010?

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TarynsEyes's picture

October 19, 2021 at 11:47 am

This team is proving which has been known for at least a decade, that they're the best in the Division and will again walk into the playoffs, as long as Rodgers is the QB. The disappointments come after that heroic achievement, like beating up little brother, as has been as much the norm as walking into the playoffs, them being shown the door for whatever reason that most will deny as legit.

They are Sysyphus.
To show amazing determination, but to always fall short of getting that rock atop the mountain.

A win is a win until it isn't, and no matter how great they play in the regular season, the only win worth its salt is the last game of the season which must be a WIN, or all the feats before fall again into the wastebasket of doesn't matter.

Watch the games and win numbers grow and boast of the individual stats, but until they win THE GAME have the hangover remedy ready at your side to ease your pain because this is it, now or never under Rodgers who will leave you with ONE SB appearance and win, a number that usually signifies the best now signifying defeat and failure to achieve expectations for the GB Packers.

SB or Bust was never as true a mantra as it is for GB this season.

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Packers0808's picture

October 19, 2021 at 01:31 pm

Watching the Packers play and win any game is a lot of fun, lose no matter the game is not fun. I realize each to his own but the Super Bowl is just another game over hyped and over advertised. Packers are in it great, they win better yet, they lose oh well, they got there. Football is just a game and fun to watch.

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PatrickGB's picture

October 20, 2021 at 10:51 am

This site thinks that the Packers are simply lucks! https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/which-of-the-nfls-top-teams-have-be...

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