NFL teams are lining up and taking their best shot at Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in 2021. This isn’t a surprise to the QB. He says there’s a history-based reason his franchise always gets the opponents’ best effort.
What is slightly surprising is that, after a tumultuous offseason, the Packers are 11-3 and in first place in the NFC. This success could set up a historic rematch when the Super Bowl finally returns to Los Angeles for the first time in decades.
The Green Bay Packers have an incredible history
The Green Bay Packers are, as they say on Packers.com, “arguably the most storied franchise in the National Football League.”
Founded in 1919, the Indian Packing Co. sponsored the newly formed semipro club, giving the team its name.
A local player named Curly Lambeau was the captain of that first team. He had played for the legendary Knute Rockne at Notre Dame.
Two years later, the American Professional Football League (APFL) — which would be renamed the NFL in 1922 — awarded a franchise to the small Wisconsin town and called them the Acme Packers of Green Bay.
In the early days of the NFL, with Lambeau as head coach, the team won six NFL Championships. The legendary coach, who the Packers stadium is now named after, retired from coaching in 1949.
Lambeau’s exit led to a dry spell for the organization. Then, the Packers hired a New York Giants assistant coach named Vince Lombardi in 1959.
Lombardi won three NFL Championships and appeared in four in his first seven seasons at the helm. In 1966, Lombardi and the Packers once again were the kings of the NFL, but that’s not the important part of that famed season.
On Jan. 15, 1967, the Green Bay Packers met the champs of the AFL, the Kansas City Chiefs, in the Los Angeles Coliseum. The Packers, led by quarterback Bart Starr and his legendarily hungover wide receiver Max McGee, Green Bay won Super Bowl 1, 35-10.
Lombardi — now the namesake of the Super Bowl Trophy — won Super Bowl 2 as well.
The Hall of Fame coach retired after that, and the team experienced peaks and valleys over the next two-plus decades.
In 1992, though, the Green Bay Packers traded for a QB named Brett Favre. Since then, the team has had two (main) starting QBs with Favre and Aaron Rodgers, a 304-176-2 record, and two Super Bowl victories.
Current Packers QB Aaron Rodgers says there’s a reason every team tries to play its best against the legendary club
A Week 15 31-30 victory over the Baltimore Ravens brings the 2021 Green Bay Packers’ record to 11-3. That puts them in first place in the NFC, giving them home-field advantage throughout the playoffs if they can hold on to their spot.
This year, the Packers are in first place despite five of their last seven games being one-score contests. Nearly every team Aaron Rodgers and the Packers play this season give them a run for their money.
On his weekly visit to the Pat McAfee Show, Rodgers explained why he thinks this is:
We have the prestige of the organization that we play for. I mean, [former Packer A.J. Hawk] can probably vouch for me on this one. But I always felt like we always get everybody’s best shot. There’s not a lot of laydown games where teams just don’t show up and play. Because you’re either playing at Lambeau Field, which is iconic, or you’re hosting the f****** Green Bay Packers. That’s a big deal.Aaron Rodgers on the Green Bay Packers
Rodgers is right, of course.
There is a reason that a tiny town two hours north of Milwaukee still has an NFL team in 2021. And that reason is that, for over 100 years, the Green Bay Packers have become one, if not the most legendary organization in the league.
Regardless of how much football history they know, all NFL players understand that playing against the Packers or at Lambeau Field is just different from a game at Jacksonville’s TIAA Bank Stadium, or hosting the f****** Carolina Panthers.
NFL fans could see a rematch of the first Super Bowl on Feb. 13, 2022, in Los Angeles, California
NFL history is a running theme in 2021, as the Super Bowl will return to the Greater Los Angeles, California area for the first time in years.
The Big Game was last played in Los Angeles county in 1993 when the Dallas Cowboys beat the Buffalo Bills 52-17 to cap the 1992 season.
That was at the Rose Bowl, though, in Pasadena. The last time the game was in LA proper was Super Bowl 7. During that game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the ’72 Miami Dolphins beat Washington 14-7 to preserve the first (and still only) fully undefeated season in NFL history.
In early 2022, with two NFL teams now calling LA’s SoFi Stadium home, the league’s biggest event will once again be in the U.S.’s second-biggest city.
Heading into Week 16, both the LA Rams and LA Chargers are still in the mix, so an all-LA Super Bowl is not out of the question.
However, what’s even more interesting is that the Green Bay Packers are No. 1 in the NFC right now, and the Kansas City Chiefs have shockingly clawed their way up to the No. 1 position in the AFC.
A Super Bowl 1 rematch in the same town that first iconic game took place in would be an incredible piece of history.
If Aaron Rodgers and his team can pull off a win in a historic game like this, it would be another impressive feather in the already extraordinary cap of the “f****** Green Bay Packers.”
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference