They may have been Super Bowl favorites in the preseason, but the Green Bay Packers were all but written off as a lock for the NFC championship after the injury bug ravaged the team from the beginning.
Most players and coaches would have given up on the season with the loss of so many starters and key players on both offense and defense. Not this team.
The Green and Gold brought in players who would play with pride and they were determined not to go down without a fight.
Mike McCarthy is a prime candidate for Coach of the Year after leading his team of misfit players, rookies, budding stars, and veterans alike down the long road to Dallas in 2010.
The Packers opened the season with high expectations on the road against an Eagles team in its first year without QB Donovan McNabb.
Kevin Kolb was the starting QB for the Eagles, but he didn't last for long. Clay Matthews came out firing in 2010 recording three sacks in each of the first two games. One of those sacks resulted in Kolb's game-ending concussion that would allow the resurging Micheal Vick to come into the game.
The Packers led 27-10 at the beginning of the 4th quarter, but found themselves trying to contain Vick in the final minutes of the game. Clay Matthews proved to be the greater force and stuffed him on a 4th and 1, sealing the game for the Pack.
Everything would have been peachy for the Pack on the plane ride home however Ryan Grant had left the game with a season-ending ankle injury.
At that instant, their running game had been struck an ugly blow. Grant had led the team in rushing the last two seasons with over 1,200 yards each year. Little did they know, more trouble was on the way.
Final: W 27-20
MVP: Clay Matthews
A matchup at Lambeau against one of the worst teams in the NFL in 2010 proved to be an easy victory for the Pack.
QB Aaron Rodgers found TE Jermichael Finley four times for 103 yards and threw two touchdowns for an offense that couldn't be stopped all afternoon.
The Packers defense allowed only one TD and collected two passes from QB Trent Edwards in the blowout. Matthews also made a mess of Edwards with another 3-sack game as his team improved to 2-0.
Final: W 34-7
MVP: Clay Matthews
The biggest rivalry in professional football was displayed in primetime on Monday Night Football at Soldier Field.
Green Bay was clearly the better team, but with 18 penalties and a heartbreaking James Jones fumble on the potential game-winning drive, all they could do was watch as the Bears won on a Robbie Gould FG with four seconds left on the clock.
It would turn out to be the story of the team's season, with all six losses coming by four points or less.
Rodgers threw for over 300 yards and got the ball in the endzone twice, one rushing and one passing. Finley had another 100 yard game, but the Pack couldn't overcome critical flags and turnovers.
Despite giving the game away, the Packers would have two more chances to take down Chicago after their archrivals handed them their first loss of the season.
Final: L 20-17
MVP: Aaron Rodgers
The Packers may have taken the visiting, winless Lions a bit too lightly late in the game after they seemed to be pulling away.
CB Charles Woodson had returned an interception for a TD in the third and it appeared the Lions would go down for the 20th straight time at Lambeau.
Four field goals later, the Lions had brought the score to 28-26, and the home fans were on the edge of their metal bleachers.
The cheeseheads ended up happy because, although the Lions had the ball in Packer territory,the defense held on and Green Bay improved to 3-1.
Final: W 28-26
MVP: Charles Woodson
Week 5 was a week the Packers wish they could forget. Five players left with injuries, including TE Jermichael Finley who later had surgery on his knee, ending his year.
Clay Matthews was also forced to remain on the sidelines as the Redskins forced overtime by scoring ten points in the 4th, and then going on to win by a field goal.
The only bright spot was when HB Brandon Jackson broke free for a 71 yard run in the 1st quarter, a large chunk of his only 100 yard game of the season
Final: L 16-13
MVP: Brandon Jackson
Without Clay Matthews, the Packers struggled on defense. Miami running backs Ronnie Brown and Ricky WIlliams combined for 137 yards and WR Brandon Marshall torched the secondary for 127 yards.
Rodgers, playing one week after his first concussion, was sacked five times, three by LB Cameron Wake. In the first quarter he was given enough time to deliver the longest TD pass of his career, 86 yards, to WR Greg Jennings.
A very late illegal formation call on 4th down allowed Miami's TE Anthony Fasano to get the go ahead TD.
The offense failed to move the ball in the second half except when Rodgers led a game-tying drive in the final minutes. The Pack converted two fouth downs and capped it off with a one yard touchdown run to send the game to overtime.
The Packers ended up losing their second OT game in a row due to a Dan Carpenter field goal.
Final: L 23-20
MVP: Greg Jennings
As soon as former Packers QB Brett Favre made his way to Minnesota, the Vikings suddenly became nearly as large of a rival as the Bears.
Green Bay and its fans were determined to defend their home turf and not let the old man come away with a magical win at his old field.
The defense did just that. Favre threw three passes to the wrong team as he constantly found himself beaten up and knocked to the grass on which he used to shine.
LB Desmond Bishop returned one of the picks for a TD as 70,000 cheeseheads cheered against the man they used to love.
The defense prevented a famous, and nationally expected, comeback by Favre and finally conquered the demons of the past.
Final: W 28-24
MVP: Brett Favre, yes good old #4, he characteristically threw interceptions and was the Packers' best friend.
9-0. No, that's not a baseball score. It's the final of the midseason contest in which the Packers found themselves as underdogs, yet they were the team that achieved the shutout.
The Packers had two interceptions and two sacks as the defense proved to be the champions on this windy day at the Meadowlands. Neither offense could get anything going making it an ugly game to watch.
Ugly, but an important win for the Pack as they improved to 5-3.
Final: W 9-0
MVP: Mason Crosby
Wade Phillips has the Packers to thank for man handling his football team in his last game as the Cowboys' coach, on Sunday Night Football none the less.
Most of America, outside of Wisconsin, probably decided to go to be early because America's team was experiencing complete domination on the Frozen Tundra.
Jerry Jones had seen enough when Clay Matthews pounded the nail in the coffin of Phillip's career in Dallas with an interception return to push the blowout to 45-7.
Rodgers had an 131.5 passer rating on a night when not much went wrong for the Pack. Nick Collins returned a fumble for a TD, and although he seemed to have been down by contact, Phillips had no timeouts left to challenge the call.
This was no surprise because of how the game was unfolding, and the Packers' cruised into their bye week.
Final: W 45-7
MVP: Aaron Rodgers, but it was the best the entire team had played thus far.
This may have been the most satisfying blowout of the season for the Pack. After sticking it to Favre and sweeping the Vikes, the team found itself at 7-3 and in prime playoff position.
It was their second blowout in two games and their second head coach fired. Brad Childress was finally axed after losing to the Packers twice.
Rodgers finally played up to his potential, throwing for over three hundred yards and 4 TDs.
Final: W 31-3
MVP: Aaron Rodgers
The Packers traveled to the Georgia Dome to take on the best team in the NFC, and played like the better team.
The defense could not bring down Falcons RB Michael Turner as he racked up over 100 yards. Rodgers threw for 344 yards, but made a crucial mistake by fumbling on a QB sneak on the goalline in the early goings.
It cost the Pack seven critical points, and they were forced to put the ball in the end zone on their final possesion as Rodgers led the offense on a 90 yard drive for a score.
Despite losing by yet another field goal in overtime, the Packers knew they could've won and would be ready if they met the Falcons in the postseason.
Final: L 20-17
MVP: Aaron Rodgers
They may not been the best looking jerseys ever worn in the Packers' nearly a century's worth of history, but the team came up with an important win in their 1929 throwbacks.
The 49ers held with the Pack for two quarters, but in the third WR Donald Driver exploded with the most amazing play of his 12 year career.
The pass was caught about twenty yards out, but DD threw off multiple defenders and carried a few 49ers into the endzone for a 61 yard TD.
Rookie HB James Starks had a solid day on the ground as well and the Packers moved to 8-4.
Final: W 31-16
MVP: Donald Driver
The path to the playoffs seemed simple. That was only if the Packers could avoid a trap game against the lowly Lions at Ford Field.
It turned out they couldn't. Aaron Rodgers left with his second concussion of the season and the offense couldn't come up with anything but a field goal.
Back up QB Matt Flynn led a promising drive into the red zone, but threw a terrible pass that was sickenly intercepted.
Along with Aaron Rodger's mind, Green Bay's playoff chances suddenly became unclear.
MVP: Unfortunately for the Pack there was none.
The Packers were coming off a crushing defeat to the Lions, and then found themselves traveling to Gilette Stadium to take on the hottest team in the NFL.
Patriots QB Tom Brady was also on fire and by the end of the night extended his streak of passes without an INT to 292. If the Packers defensive backs had been able to catch, the streak would've ended a few times during this one.
Since Rodgers was not cleared to play, Flynn was put into a tough situation. The backup QB stepped up his game and threw for 251 yards and 3 TDs. The one mistake he made, an INT returned for a touchdown, proved costly in the outcome of the game.
Although, if it weren't for allowing an offensive lineman return a kickoff 71 yards, the Pack would've probably had the victory. The playoffs were not out of reach, but it would not be walk in the park to get there.
Final: L 31-27
MVP: Matt Flynn
It was pretty much a must-win for both teams when the Packers hosted a Giants team looking for redemption after allowing a incredible comeback from Desean Jackson and the Eagles the previous week.
Surprisingly, only one team showed up to play. Rodgers returned from his concussion and showed that he was right back on track by tossing for over four hundred yards and 4 TDs.
Four players on the defense grabbed a pick a piece and the Packers forced six turnovers as the team gained crucial Wild Card position.
Final: W 45-17
MVP: Aaron Rodgers
Heading into the final week, all the Packers had to do was beat their archrival at home to secure the final seed in the NFC. Despite everything that occurred in the regular season they were one win away from a fresh start in the NFL's second season.
The big question was whether or not Bears head coach Lovie Smith would play his starters the entire game, since they were already guaranteed the 2nd seed. He did. Since the day he was given the job, Smith declared his main goal was to beat Green Bay.
Chicago was probably afraid to meet the red-hot team in the postseason, but it didn't matter.
The Pack Attack sacked Jay Cutler six times, three by LB Erik Walden who also had 16 tackles. After Green Bay's linebacker corps was depleted by injuries, Walden was signed and became a prime example of how the team managed to deal with so many setbacks.
A late touchdown pass to Donald Lee along with a Nick Collin's interception as Cutler tried to force OT sent the Packers to their second consecutive playoff berth as a wild card.
It wouldn't even be their sweetest victory over the enemy Bears in 2011.
Final: W 10-3
MVP: Erik Walden
The Packers opened the postseason in a meeting with a much different team than the one they beat in Week 1. QB Micheal Vick had become a popular vote for the NFL's MVP as he led Philly's explosive offense to the playoffs, and if the Pack hoped to win, they had to shut down him down.
James Starks sparked a dormant running game, as he became the first Packers rookie to rush for over 100 yards in the postseason.
After going up 21-10 after a Rodgers TD pass, Vick nearly led the Eagles to a win. But the Packers defense came up huge yet again, a game-ending interception by Tramon Williams kept the Pack playing.
Final: W 21-16
MVP: James Starks
Another rematch from the regular season, another perfect chance for revenge.
I was in a hospital bed and couldn't catch the game, but after watching the highlights the next day the Falcons probably would have wanted to trade places with me.
QB Aaron Rodgers shut up all doubters with his second playoff win and an incredible performance. He embarassed the Atlanta secondary, torching them for 366 yard, 3 TDs, and a 86.1 completion percentage.
CB Tramon Williams prevented a TD with one interception and ran another one back for a score at the end of the first half to help put up the most points in Packers playoff history.
Atlanta couldn't climb back into it and the Packers handedly defeated the NFC's number one seed to move to the championship game.
Final: W 48-21
MVP: Aaron Rodgers
The third time was the charm. The charm being a reservation in Super Bowl XLV. The rivilary's 182nd spectacle was perhaps the biggest, most anticipated game in its history.
It wasn't Rodgers best day, but he covered for his mistakes. I was shocked with the rest of Packer nation when #12 threw an uncharacteristic red zone interception. The football gods must have been looking down on Rodgers when he somehow tripped up Urlacher to prevent a certain return for a TD.
Rodgers had a rushing TD on the Packers first drive, on which they seemed unstoppable. However, the offense was only able to put up seven more in the remainder of the contest.
The defense took advantage of Cutler, and his two replacements after his knee injury, especially when NT B.J. Raji gobbled up a pass and rumbled into the endzone to put the Pack up seven at the end of the game.
CB Sam Shield picked off his second pass to seal the deal and the Packers punched their ticket to Dallas. The sweetest victory of the rivalry to date resulted in the greatest reward in football. The opportunity to play in the Super Bowl.
Final: W 21-14
MVPs: Sam Shields, B.J. Raji, and punter Tim Masthay, whose masterful punts pinned Devin Hester and the Bears deep all day.
Together they made it. Despite injuries, tough losses, and a rough road through the playoffs the Green Bay Packers will be playing the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl.
They are no longer underdogs. They are your 2010 NFC Champions. It wasn't easy, but the good things are worth fighting for, and that's just what they did.
They fought their way as a 6th seed to the biggest stage in the NFL. Now can they win it all?