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Aaron Rodgers explains Packers' late-season surge to brink of postseason: 'The power of manifestation'

The Green Bay Packers are streaking through the quad and are on the way to the gymnasium.

After a 4-8 start to the season left the Packers nearly crippled, they got off the mat, brushed off the dust and won four consecutive games to move to 8-8 and set up a win-and-in Week 18 matchup with the Detroit Lions.

"We've all seen some of the commentary on the outside as we went from 4-8 to 5-8 to 6-8 and nobody's worried about the Packers and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah," Rodgers said after Sunday's blowout win over the Minnesota Vikings. "Now, what are they going to say?"

They're going to say that the Packers finally started to play up to the preseason potential. The Green Bay defense has allowed 20 or fewer points in each of the past four games (after allowing 26.8 PPG from Weeks 5-12); the run game has come to life with Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon bowling over opponents; and Rodgers still conjures magic when needed. That was the script the Packers were always going to win with in 2022. It just took a little longer than expected to get there.

"I had faith, much like at 4-6 I think in '16," Rodgers said. "Sometimes you've got to fool yourself a little bit into believing a little bit more. But I definitely had faith I was going to go down scrapping, for sure.

"I do believe in the power of manifestation and I do believe in momentum and I believe very strongly in the force of the mind. And when you start to believe something strongly, some miraculous things can happen."

Before the turnaround, Green Bay looked like a club that could pack it in early, especially with Rodgers nursing injuries. Then the hot streak hit. Those who wrote off the Packers at Thanksgiving have to admit Green Bay is probably not a club most postseason teams want to face right now.

"It didn't look great for a while," Rodgers said. "And I was resigned to some of those realities being possible. And when I took my mind there, I had a peace about it. I had a peace about all of it. Whatever was supposed to happen, I was surrendered to that reality -- with also the resolute mindset that we could still get back in this thing. And I think that's what I'm most proud of, for myself and our team, is that there were a lot of different things that could happen, and we stuck together and we put ourselves in position to do something special."

To punch their postseason ticket, the Packers need only beat the Lions at home, avenging a Week 9 loss in which they held Detroit to just 15 points and Rodgers had three turnovers.

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