Opening Statement– there’s no pretty way to slice it, the Packers were outcoached, out-prepared, outplayed, outmanned, outgunned, etc. in every aspect of the NFC Championship game. I decided to attend the game while making a trip to visit family that lived nearby Atlanta, and somehow it looked more competitive on TV than in-person.
Review – I’m not going to blame this on any one player, coach, side of the ball, this was the epitome of a Team Loss. However, it wasn’t surprising to see Atlanta march down the field on the opening drive for a TD, it was disappointing to see the offense come up empty on the Packers’ opening possession. Who knows if an opening game TD changes the outcome of the game, keeping the pressure on Atlanta. Either way, it didn’t matter and the Falcons pounded the Packers by letting league-MVP, Matt Ryan, sit in the pocket with virtually zero pressure pick apart the inferior secondary. I’ve been saying for a while now, as have others, how Clay Matthews is not only underperforming, but actually just down right bad. For a player making $17-20M per year, your expected to generate consistent pass rush and make game-changing plays (see Von Miller, JJ Watt, etc.). I believe there may be value for keeping #52, but at a much-reduced contract. The defense has always been an issue in the playoffs, however unlike years passed (2015 playoff loss @ Arizona or 2014 playoff loss @ Seattle) the defense never game the offense an opportunity to take the lead since the coin toss.
It’s not worth looking at the ProFootballFocus ratings because only 1 player achieved a rating of 80+ (Mike Daniels). That’s just how bad it was, and as stated above, there’s no 1 person to blame…just an overall organization failure. Packer fans need to realize this is far too common for a proud franchise and fan base to keep experiencing.
Season in Review – to begin the season the Packers were in the top 3 (per Vegas) to hoist the Lombardi trophy at season’s end and came up short yet again. This is the 6th consecutive year of failure in “Titletown.” It’s to the point where it’s embarrassing to call it that and to say this organization is “close to the Patriots” or “2nd to only New England in success.” The Packers’ consecutive playoff appearances remind me of the 1990’s Atlanta Braves. Just a ton of talent that always dominated their division/regular season until the postseason rolled around and always choked.
Since QB is the focal point of football and its importance, credit (or blame) is just or not, I’m of the belief that perception is reality and for as much credit as QBs receive, they deserve as much blame for failure. Knowing that the Packers have had Hall of Fame QB play since 1992, the Packers are one of 6 organizations to win the Super Bowl. Again, this is not to associate blame towards Favre or Rodgers for not winning more, ‘nor to point fingers at Ron Wolf or Ted Thompson for not getting more talent to win, but to point out that the Packers really aren’t as successful as many of their fans believe. Let’s take a look at the other teams that have had as much, if not more, success than Green Bay since ’92.
Patriots – 4
Cowboys – 3
Broncos – 3
Giants – 2
Steelers – 2
Ravens – 2
Packers – 2
So the Packers are 1 of 7 teams to have won two or more Super Bowls since 1992 (Favre’s arrival), otherwise known as having a “realistic shot” at winning. That’s roughly about the top 20% of the league. Hardly “highly successful.” Especially since the expectations should to be the BEST. This fan base, likely like many others (but that’s their issue, I’m here to bring attention to Packer nation) justifies failure like I’ve never seen.
You can’t expect to win every year.
Cleveland would sure kill to ‘fail’ like us.
The Patriots are an anomaly.
The excuses go on and on. Why can’t we expect the Packers to win every year? Why can’t we expect them to win the most of anyone else? In business, life, it’s hard to succeed however that shouldn’t mean that you justify failure. If you don’t perform at your job, or if you fail to meet your goals, you’ll likely be placed on review and ultimately fired/let go. If your goal is to Not Get Fired, or Do Just Enough then this won’t resonate with you and we’ll likely not come to agree on much.
So on this Super Bowl Sunday, many will root against Tom Brady and the Pats and they’ll give the reason for doing so because they can’t stand them winning or that they cheat, etc. I believe that those people just can’t handle that Tom Brady is the best ever (and it’s not close) along with Belicheck and what they’re doing can’t be “expected” and it’s just luck, blah blah blah. I hope they win and am rooting for them because it’s amazing what an organization can do when the players all buy into the system and the system is consistently improving by any means necessary, while mostly building through the draft and developing those players – while bringing in outside help to augment areas of need in order to win. The Falcons have a fast and fun team to watch, but on the flip side of the coin, there’s something about watching a consistent choker in the postseason have a ring….this may start up controversy and arguments (that is if anyone is still reading), but many may say I’m talking about Matt Ryan.