The Packers are an NFL staple. They have the most championships in league history and have stayed in Green Bay since their inception. The only community-owned NFL team has a storied history with legends like Earl “Curly” Lambeau, Vince Lombardi, Brett Favre, and now Aaron Rodgers. But it’s been a while since the Packers have made it to the Super Bowl — the 2010 season to be exact. Are they ready to return to the big dance?
The Green Bay Packers’ past successes
Their Super Bowl victory, part of the 2010 season, and the most recent to date made history as the Packers became the first-ever sixth seed to win a championship. That season, although fraught with injury, saw the gritty Green Bay team power through the playoffs on their way to the Super Bowl. The Brett Favre era was also full of success. The team made the playoffs 11 times in Favre’s 16-year career and were Super Bowl champs in 1996.
But you can’t talk about the Packers’ success without mentioning the legendary Vince Lombardi years. When he was hired in 1959, not many fans could imagine the change he would bring to the team. The Packers became the team to beat in the ’60s and won the first-ever Super Bowl in 1966 and repeated in 1967.
The current state of the Packers
Currently, the Packers are atop the NFC North and fans are beginning to buzz about their chances of postseason glory. But is this team a contender? Many analysts don’t think so. Although they have Rodgers, the two-time NFL MVP, and Super Bowl MVP, the Packers have glaring shortfalls they might not be able to overcome to make it back to the big game.
ESPN analysts discussed these shortfalls citing their defense as one of the biggest obstacles. With several injuries to players, the Packers’ defense is relying too much on the offense to win. What’s more, they had chances to bring in players to help stop the running game, yet failed to do so. The analysts were mostly in agreement that although the team is good enough to make it into the playoffs, they aren’t Super Bowl material.
There was some argument that the Packers might be able to pull off several hard-fought victories if their injured players heal up. It’s hard to count out a top-notch quarterback like Rodgers, even if he doesn’t have all the moving pieces behind him.
What about Aaron Rodgers?
After Favre stepped down, it was hard to imagine any quarterback filling his shoes, but Rodgers did just that. In fact, he may have even surpassed them. While he’s secured all kinds of MVP awards, it’s his deadly accuracy and strength on the field that makes him an elite QB.
Rodgers can read the defense, find its holes, and then attack them. His consistency led the Packers to the Super Bowl and many successful seasons, but some analysts feel his talents are wasted. Why? Well, the poor performance of the Packers’ defense this year is allowing opponents to gather rushing yards. Their defensive downfalls won’t help them go deep into the playoffs, wasting another season of Rodgers’ prime.
Even though he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, without an arsenal of weapons behind him, the Packers will probably be left watching the Super Bowl from the comfort of their homes instead of playing in it on the field.