Jordy Nelson is still a storyline. That’s how much the Packers offense struggled this year. The fact we need to keep mentioning that Aaron Rodgers’ top receiver for the past four years who’s been out since August with a torn ACL is not a great sign for Green Bay. Five months later, and we can’t let go of Nelson’s absence — and his importance.

But that’s only because Randall Cobb has been a disappointment (but not as big a disappointment as Davante Adams). That’s because the Green Bay coaching staff hasn’t fed enough carries to running back Eddie Lacey. And that’s because every time we see a new low from the Packers offense (16 points vs. the 1-7 Lions in Week 10, 13 points vs. the Bears in Week 13, and the 21 combined points scored vs. the Cardinals and the Vikings in the final two weeks of the season), you can see the frustration etched in Rodgers’ face.

Before Sunday, there was no R-E-L-A-X-I-N-G here. Green Bay was in real trouble, especially with an offense that ranked 23rd in the NFL this season (the worst ranking since Mike Tomczak was the team’s quarterback in 1991).

But the NFL is an unpredictable beast, and though the Redskins were expected by many observers to end the Packers season on Sunday in the wild-card round of the playoffs (seriously, can you imagine reading those previous 22 words at the beginning of the season?!?), Green Bay finally found its path in the final three quarters of the game, rolling over Washington 35-17 and insuring a rematch from Week 16 vs. the Cardinals on Saturday.

Green Bay is still supposed to lose vs. Arizona — as of Monday morning, the Packers were seven-point underdogs — but the way the Packers played in the final 45 minutes vs. Washington should give Green Bay fans hope that their team can pull off another upset. Particularly since the offense finally roared to life for the first time in a month.

It had been a long time coming.

Randall Cobb, even though he’s usually positioned in the slot, was supposed to help overcome losing Nelson’s impressive production (183 total catches for 2,833 yards and 21 touchdowns from 2013-14), but in reality, Cobb’s production level dropped, making 12 fewer catches in 2015 than he did in 2014 and gaining 458 less yards and scoring six fewer touchdowns.

Even more damning is this observation: In 2014, Pro Football Focus’ analytics showed that Cobb had the highest rating among any receiver in the game when he was targeted by his quarterback (Nelson was No. 2). This year, Cobb dropped to a tie for 14th.

Meanwhile, Davante Adams, the team’s second-round draft pick in 2014, was going to improve mightily on his rookie season, but instead, he caught only 50 of his 94 targets — partially, that’s because he dropped 10 passes — and he scored only a lone touchdown. Pro Football Focus also wasn’t impressed. Based on its metrics, PFF ranked him No. 118 out of 119 receivers.

But on Sunday, Cobb and Adams each caught a touchdown pass and Green Bay also got solid contributions from Lacey (12 carries, 63 yards, one touchdown), James Starks (12 carries, 53 yards, one touchdown) and James Jones (seven catches, 81 yards).Was it an anomaly? Or something more meaningful?

“We’re a resilient bunch,” Adams, who injured his knee in the third quarter but said he should be fine for Saturday, told reporters afterward. “To be able to keep making plays and keep pushing through adversity when things aren’t going that great, it says a lot about our offense. We’re a powerhouse, and I tell everybody that and I’ll say it a million times. Once we start clicking and executing, it’s hard to stop us.”

Yet, there have been times this season when the Packers defense has had to uncharacteristically bail out its offense. Even with a miraculous last-second Hail Mary to beat the Lions in Week 13 that kept them alive for the playoffs, the defense was the true hero of that contest.

Sunday’s victory was cathartic for the offense, which will travel back to Arizona for the second time in a month trying to fare a little better than the eight points it scored vs. the Cardinals in Week 16.

Sunday’s win was also heartening for Rodgers — who finally got to use the hurry-up offense that allows him to call audibles and make adjustments at the line, tricking the defense into giving the Packers free plays and keeping the opponent discombulated and confused.

“I talked a lot the last couple weeks about being able to turn it on, and a lot of you probably thought that was lip service,” Rodgers told reporters. “But we just needed a game like this to get our mojo back and get our confidence going. I said this week that it just takes one. It just takes one performance to get us going back in the right direction and believing that we can make a run.”

A Super Bowl run is probably out of the question. The Packers simply aren’t as good as the Cardinals or Panthers. But the previously-lifeless Packers offense scored 35 points in 39 minutes on Sunday. Rodgers is confident.

The Packers might not be the most talented team. But at least nobody on Monday was talking about Jordy Nelson.

About Josh Katzowitz

Writes sports for Forbes and covers Internet culture for the Daily Dot. Formerly covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and college sports for the now-defunct Cincinnati Post. Also has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post. Has penned books about Johnny Manziel, Sid Gillman and the University of Cincinnati football program.