A Little Perspective on the Green Bay Packers

keep calm trust ted

If you guys don’t mind, I’m going to climb up here and look down upon you from my high horse.  From this high horse, I’m going to plead with you, beg you, emplore you to stop complaining about Ted Thompson until after the draft.  Does he make mistakes? Of course he does.  Not addressing the safety or ILB position before last season was a clear error.  I’m certainly not always right either.  I’m right far less often than Thompson is.  I had high hopes for ILB prospect Terrell Manning and S prospect Jerron McMillian.  He’s certainly not perfect.

With that said, the facts are the facts.  What the facts say is that the Green Bay Packers are among the most successful teams in the league during Ted Thompson’s career, despite consistently dealing with more injuries than other franchises.  The Packers are the only team in the NFC to have qualified for the playoffs in each of the last 5 seasons.  The mighty New England Patriots can match that record in the AFC, not exceed it.

The Patriots play in a very weak division with QB play that has ranged from Thaddeus Lewis to Mark Sanchez, and from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Geno Smith.  Only the decidedly average Ryan Tannehill gives anyone hope in that division, and that isn’t saying much.  The Packers on the other hand, over the last 5 years have had to deal with the league’s premier running back, Adrian Peterson, it’s premier wide receiver, Calvin Johnson and up until last season Brian Urlacher and the Bears defense.  The NFC North is a superior division to the AFC East and the Packers have ruled it.

Can this credit be steered towards Aaron Rodgers? Sure.  But Ted Thompson drafted Aaron Rodgers and Ted Thompson provided Aaron Rodgers with weapons and continues to do so.  Against the Packers’ rivals, the teams whose fans you have to deal with on a daily basis, Rodgers has been spectacular.  10-3 against the Bears, 9-4 against the Vikings, 9-1 against the Lions (Rodgers sat out the Matt Flynn 6 TD game and the Thanksgiving game this past season).  If you think it’s frustrating being a Packers fan, imagine what it has to be like to be a Lions fan and watch the GMs and coaches go through there and waste the Jerry-Rice-level talent that is Calvin Johnson.  Imagine being a Vikings fan and being just certain that Adrian Peterson is the greatest athlete in the history of all athletic contests ever in all times and watching their organization, 7 seasons into his career (and 2 seasons from his forthcoming drop-off in productivity) having only one playoff win that Brett Favre (a Packer) and his 4 TD passes against Dallas got for him.  Imagine being a fan of Chicago and being titillated by big acquisitions like Jay Cutler, Julius Peppers, Brandon Marshall, and Martellus Bennett and being told that your team has found the “missing piece” only to lose to Rodgers and the Packers again and again and again!

We as a fan base are spoiled.  We believe that we have the best player in football and that he plays the most important position and therefore we should win titles.  That just flat out isn’t always the case.  The last three truly great QBs: Brady, Manning and Favre, for all their greatness and all of their 49 combined seasons of NFL service only have 5 Super Bowl titles between them.  It is hard.  There are 31 other NFL teams chasing the exact same prize that the Packers are every season.  I understand that it is scary that Sam Shields might sign with another team, and that Jermichael Finley might sign with another team and that there is a universe in which JC Tretter is this team’s opening day center, but everything is going to be OK.

I’m not asking to embrace mediocrity, I’m not, but what I am asking everyone to do is to appreciate the three straight division titles and remember that those three straight division titles were immediately preceded by a Super Bowl Championship.  Realize that not only have the Packers been arguably the NFL’s most successful franchise since Aaron Rodgers became the starter they are also going to be $35 million under the 2014 salary cap and because of the front-loading done on Rodgers’ contract (paying him $40 million last season) they figure to be in prime position for the cap increases in 2015 and 2016 as well. Remember that of the other three teams in our division there is as many Super Bowl Championships period, as the Packers have won in the last 5 seasons and thank God you were born a Packer fan.

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Ross Uglem is a writer at PackersTalk.com. You can follow Ross on twitter at RossUglem

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  • Dave

    Awesome!!! <- Enough Said

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    • Ross Uglem

      Thanks Dave I appreciate the kind words!

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  • ATS

    This is all factual.
    Just wish they would stop getting pounded in the playoffs so early.

    If they were winning playoff games I think everyone would have more perspective. The fact that they have now become an habitual “one and done” participant (that win over the queens doesn’t count) is disheartening.

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    • Ross Uglem

      The win over Minnesota does count. That’s what you get when you are the #3 seed you open up at home against the worst playoff qualifier. That’s what the Vikings were that year and the Packers took care of business. Other than that the Packers lost a game to the Cardinals that ended with our QB being dragged down by the face mask, losses to Super Bowl participants San Francisco (12) and New York (11) and this season lost on a last second field goal to the 2nd best team in the league (San Francisco) despite playing without Clay Matthews (OLB) or Casey Hayward (slot CB), who in my opinion are among the best 5 players at their position. This team has been absolutely snakebitten by injuries over the past 5 seasons with the exception of 2011 (15-1) and their ability to overcome that should be celebrated not ridiculed.

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      • ATS

        Joe.
        Webb.

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        • Ross Uglem

          The Vikings didn’t have a good quarterback on the team. Yes Christian Ponder played the game of his life and beat the Packers in the Metrodome the week prior, but I was more nervous when I found out he was out. Webb gave them the best chance to win that game because of the read option possibilities and they showed that on their first drive. Fortunately for our Packers, the Vikings coaching staff didn’t recognize the problems that the Webb/Peterson read option presented our defense and continued with traditional play calling until the Packers had taken too commanding a lead.

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  • Chris Carnall

    Nice dose of perspective, Ross – thank you! I need something to calm me at this time of year.

    I’d make a dreadful GM – I can’t part with any of the guys. Heck, I’d still be paying William Henderson! 😉

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    • Ross Uglem

      Thank you Chris. I think that is one of the reason why Ted Thompson gets such a hard time from the fans. Ron Wolf really seemed to care about his players, especially when they were on their way out. I don’t think that Ted Thompson provides the same courtesy. Thompson views the team as strictly business and releasing a player isn’t a big deal to him.

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