And now, despite their replacement referee-caused, asterisk-worthy last-second loss in Seattle, the Packers are right there, in position to do what they failed to do last year – win a title. The team is hoping to have outside linebacker Clay Matthews (hamstring), veteran safety Charles Woodson (collarbone), wide receiver Jordy Nelson (hamstring) and left guard T.J. Lang (ankle) back for the Bears, and if they play like themselves, another hot finish – like the one they rode to the Super Bowl XLV title in 2010 – could be in the offing.

“All of the things we’ve been going through, we just talked (as) players, it’s just preparing us for something great. That’s how we look at it,” veteran defensive tackle Ryan Pickett said. “All of the injuries we have, and we’re overcoming it. This has been a tough year for us, and we’ve just been finding ways to win. So I just think this is preparing us for something great.

“Fifteen and one is great. I wouldn’t mind being that right now. It’s been tough. We’ve had to earn everything we have this year. It’s been a learning experience.”

Listen to Jason Wilde every weekday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on “Green & Gold Today” on 540 ESPN, and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/jasonjwilde.