It was a very somber scene as Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb walked off Lambeau Field together following a heartbreaking 20-16 loss to the Detroit Lions.
"Stop playing with us, we the Detroit Lions," said Jamaal Williams following a two touchdown performance that sealed the deal for the 9-8 Lions on Sunday night.
Following some controversial comments made by Rodgers following their first loss to Detroit earlier in the season, the Lions were ready for Green Bay. Playoffs or not, Dan Campbell had his team ready to roll, saying that "We want them (Green Bay) out" after the first quarter.
Well Detroit got their wish, knocking the Packers out of playoff contention. On a day that Aaron Rodgers was just a tick off, the Lions made fewer mistakes and played cleaner all around football.
It was a fairly uneventful second half until rookie linebacker Quay Walker was ejected for shoving a member of the Detroit medical staff. Following the national attention on NFL medical staffs in the last week, the officials ejected Walker and Green Bay lost their athletic spark plug in the middle of the defense.
Immediately after the ejection, Detroit handed the ball to Williams again who cruised into the end zone for his Detroit season record 17th touchdown carry of the season.
Similar to their Week 9 loss at Ford Field, the Packers could not capitalize offensively. A fumble by Aaron Jones, a terrible 4th and 1 play call from Matt LaFleur and general inconsistencies led to a horrific offensive showing against the 32nd ranked NFL defense.
Eventually, it has to be said that the Packers miss Nathaniel Hackett, Davante Adams and Luke Getsy. Following 2 years of being the best red zone offense in the NFL, the Packers simply were not dynamic when it mattered most.
Moving forward, decisions need to be made. Aaron Rodgers is no longer worth $50M a year, and the Green Bay front office needs to see what they have in Jordan Love. With plenty of offensive core, Watson, Doubs, Jones and Dillon, and plenty of defensive core, Alexander, Clark, Gary, Wyatt and Walker, Green Bay needs to look towards the future.
For Rodgers, the future is uncertain. The four time NFL MVP needs to take a moment to let the emotions run through before he makes a decision on his future. Aaron promises not to hold the Packers hostage, but acknowledges that,"At some point the carousel comes to a stop, and it's time to get off."
At the end of the day, Matt LaFleur said it best. "He (Aaron Rodgers) is one of the best to ever do it." Packers fans should be overjoyed and cherish the fact that for the last 31 years, Green Bay has witnessed two of the greatest human beings to ever throw a football.
On a cold night in 2007, Packers fans realized their time with Brett Favre was over. As the saying goes, All Good Things Come to an End. For Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers and the Cheeseheads, tonight may have been the final stop on that carousel.