Critics want you to believe that the sky is falling in Green Bay. That the Packers have lost their magic and are crumbling on a consistent basis. That there is no way they can make the playoffs, much less win the Super Bowl, and that Aaron Rodgers isn’t the same without Jordy Nelson. That the offense can’t possibly run properly without Head Coach Mike McCarthy calling the plays, and that defensive coordinator Dom Capers has destroyed the Packers defense.
The truth is, in the last three games which were losses for the Packers, opposing quarterbacks threw for 880 yards, 4 TDs, and 3 interceptions against Green Bay, while Aaron Rodgers threw for 779 yards, 6 TDs, and 1 interception (which included a 77 yard, 0 TD performance against the Broncos), and those numbers have left him on pace to end the season with 4,035 yards, 38 TDs and 5 interceptions. Not bad for a guy who has lost his magic, eh?
Also, at 6-3, the Packers are still tied for the 7th best record in the NFL, 4th in the NFC, and would make the playoffs if the season ended right now.
So is it Capers fault then? Possibly, but the Packers record with him at DC is a fairly solid, 64-31-1 over his 6 and a half year tenure. Fans seem to misunderstand the concept of his attacking, bend but don’t break blitzing scheme. It is always going to give up a ton of yards, we are going to be involved in a ton of close games, and right when you least expect it we will make that big play that ends the game. It’s success comes from letting the other team make the final mistake.
The NFL isn’t a game of inches anymore. It is a game of explosive offenses, and chunks of yards at a time. The Packers front office deserves credit for bringing in a guy who was way ahead of his time in revolutionizing the way defense is played, and sticking with him despite constant criticism from the fans.
To further prove my point. The team has won their division, The NFC North, in all but the first two seasons of his six year tenure. They’ve made the playoffs all six times, and have even won a Super Bowl Ring under his direction.
So if it isn’t the offense or the defense, the front office, the D-Coordinator or the Head Coach causing the problem, what could possibly be wrong with this team? I would say they have just been too damn good for too long. After having just 2 losing seasons in the last 22 years, lovers and haters of the Green and Gold have become delusional in their expectations for what was, is, and will always be the most feared team to step on the field. An incomplete pass on offense is a meltdown, a completed pass on defense is blown coverage, and a team loss is the end of the world. Anything less than perfect on every play, of any game, is completely inexcusable and unacceptable.
It’s not Aaron Rodger’s, Ted Thompson, or Mike McMarthy’s fault that the Packers are favorites to win the Super Bowl every year. Or that in every game, during every season, every team plays us like it’s their Super Bowl. Or that fans of other teams get more excited when the Packers lose then when their own team wins.
That’s what happens when you have the greatest tradition, and are the BEST FRANCHISE EVER to lace up cleats and step onto a football field. People are going to cheer against you. Why? Because they hate you? No, because they desperately WANT what you have.
Back to this season. Should we be afraid? Is it time for a fullout panic? Well, the last time we had a mile long injury list, no running game to speak of, and no-name, back up, pass catchers filling in for our star receivers, we snuck into the playoffs as a wild card team, and won the Championship on the backs of a ton of big plays by Dom Capers defense.
A regular roller coaster ride is just part of the excitement and glory of being a Packer fan, and no one appreciates it more than a kid who grew up three hours from Lambeau. When other people tell me it is just not fair, because the Packers winning tradition makes it easy to be a fan of the Green and Gold, I just bundle up in boots, two pairs of socks, thermals, a pair of jeans a tee-shirt, a hoodie covered by my A.J. Hawk jersey, coveralls, hand warmers inside my gloves, a face mask, cuddle in next to strangers in Lambeau field and think about how I didn’t pick this team. I was CHOSEN!
So am I a bit nervous about the next game coming up, and even what the rest of the season may hold? Oh, Hell Yeah!
But that’s just business as usual in Green Bay. And when your heart bleeds Green and Gold, win, lose or draw, You can hold your head up high knowing, its Packers til I die.