Highlights, lowlights from Packers' 8-8-1 season

A look at some highlights and lowlights from the Packers' 8-8-1 season that ended with a 23-20 loss in an NFC wild-card game to the San Francisco 49ers.

Best Game: Close call, but the fourth-quarter rally to beat the Bears in Week 17 edges out the 37-36 comeback win over Dallas because it clinched the NFC North — in quarterback Aaron Rodgers' return from a left collarbone injury, no less.

Worst Game: A turkey of a Thanksgiving Day game with a 40-10 loss to the Lions in Detroit.

Best Play: Say the words "fourth-and-8" to a Packers fan these days and they'll know immediately what you're talking about. Rodgers hit Randall Cobb for a stunning 48-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-8 with 38 seconds left in the game to help the Packers beat the rival Bears 33-28 in the division clincher.

Worst Play: The previous play gave Rodgers some redemption against Chicago, the team that knocked him out in the worst play of the Packers' season. Rodgers rolled right on a third-and-8 from the Bears 9 before getting slammed on to his left shoulder during a sack by Shea McClellin on the opening possession of the 27-20 loss Nov. 4.

Biggest Surprise: The rejiggered offense line was a top concern heading into the season. While certainly having its share of struggles, the line overall played respectably, especially given that rookie left tackle David Bakhtiari was protecting Rodgers' blind side. Rookie running back Eddie Lacy also finished with 1,178 yards rushing, a franchise rookie record.

Biggest Disappointment: The defense fell apart for a stretch right about the time Rodgers got hurt, an unfortunate coincidence for the Packers. Stopping the run became a problem again, and linebacker Clay Matthews was hampered much of the season with a right thumb injury.

What's Next: Decisions on free agents including WR James Jones. The defense could use a jolt of speed and/or playmakers, particularly at safety and linebacker, but remember that the Packers like to build from the draft.

Top Sports Videos

Latest Sports Headlines

This Week's Circulars