The 49ers may have sent the Packers packing, but there are still plenty of reasons to celebrate. All in all, 2023 was a strong year for the Packers, marked by standout moments that should have fans excited for the next season.
At the same time, sportsbooks have already given them a boost in early odds for 2025’s Super Bowl ahead of this year’s clash between San Francisco and Kansas City. Before that action, take some time to refresh yourself with the Packers’ 2023 highlights.
Jordon Love’s First Comeback
After trading away Aaron Rodgers, many expected this season to be all about recovery. Instead, they got a strong foundation to build from, led by new starting QB Jordan Love. While the squad didn’t make it through the playoffs, they showed that the Packers are still a force to be feared in the NFC.
Assuming no shake-ups, the Packers are looking competitive for the next year. This year’s NFL odds belong to either the 49ers or the Chiefs, however.
The 49ers are favorites to win at -125 while the Chiefs are slightly behind at +120, though media sentiment shows that it could go either way. If the 49ers win, it might relieve Packers fans to know they lost to the best team in the league this year.
Signs came early that the Packers had something special, specifically their first home game against the New Orleans Saints. Going into the last quarter, the Saints led the game with a brutal 17-0 scoreboard. The Packers surged ahead with an explosive comeback win, if only just, at 18-17.
It was an early sign that without Rodgers, the Packers could do just fine with the talent they have built over the past few years. Love finished this season with over 4,000 passing yards and 32 touchdown passes, great for his first starting season.
Packers Made Underdog History
Resting on the legacy of greats like Brett Favre and Rodgers, the Packers aren’t used to being the underdogs. That changed this year when 2023’s underrated roster found themselves as the No. 7 seed for the first time in NFC history. Fortunately for them and us, they’d double down and make history yet again when they faced the Dallas Cowboys.
The Cowboys entered the NFC as the No. 2 seed. This fact alone had a lot of pundits backing Dallas over Green Bay going into the Jan. 14th wild card game. Then there was the yawning 10+ point gap between the No. 2 and No. 7 seeds, based on previous games since the No. 7 seeds were added in 2020.
However, the clash at the AT&T Stadium quickly showed that the game was more competitive than first thought. The NFC East champs lost to the Packers 48-32, a massive upset for Cowboys and pundits everywhere.
It was the first time that a seventh seed won an NFL playoff game. The wild card victory also put the Packers on their collision course with the 49ers. We know how that went, though that bout was also a lot more competitive than first predicted – the 49ers only just won.
Both the Saints and Cowboys games show the best of the Packers this season. More highlights may be yet to come, as running back Aaron Jones is also a finalist for the NFL Salute to Service Award. Getting some awards for this year’s squad could make up for Matt LaFleur not making the finalist list for Coach of the Year.