Evaluating the Favre-Rodgers Era:
On Monday night, The Green Bay Packers saw their dream of winning a Super Bowl officially come to an end. The Packers loss to the Panthers along with the Falcons win against the Buccaneers eliminated the Packers from playoff contention for the first time since 2008. When you are a franchise that has had a stable long-standing run of success, your course of action generally is not to overreact and make irrational decisions. However, it is appropriate to reevaluate the body of work that the leaders of the franchise have put forth.
The Packers have had one of the most successful runs in the NFL since 2009, no one can dispute that. Many franchises are envious of the seamless transition from Favre to Rodgers and the two Superbowl championships and three Superbowl appearances that the franchise has seen during both of their eras. Still, there is a group within Packer Nation, and I’m sure, even within the organization itself, that believes that the Packers should have had more success during the years of these two extraordinary eras of quarterback play. I have to confess, that I myself believe that the Packers should have won more Super Bowls during both the Favre and Rodgers eras.
Has the Favre-Rodgers Era Been Successful Enough?
Your opinion on this contested subject depends on what you consider a successful season. Have the Packers defied the odds of a small market? Yes, Have the Packers put together a sustainable run of consecutive playoff appearances during both eras? Yes.
If the answers to this blueprint of being a successful franchise are a resounding “yes” then why am I of the opinion that the Packers have not gotten the most out of the Favre and Rodgers eras?
The answer to that question is simple. When you have two of the arguably, five greatest quarterbacks in NFL history play for your franchise, over what could be a thirty year span, and you will have spent almost twenty-five of those years in the playoffs, it is not unfair to believe that you should have won more than just two Super Bowls during that time. To use a cross-sports analogy, the Packers under Favre and Rodgers, are like the Atlanta Braves (who won only one world series with an all-time great pitching staff), and the New England Patriots are like the Yankee dynasty of the late 1990’s (who won four championships in five years). History remembers the Braves not for their one world series championship, but for all of their postseason failure. (Does that story have a familiar ring?)
Aside: I am sorry to all of my friends who are Jets fans, but to be fair, the Jets have never had two quarterbacks of the same caliber as Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers.
Reasons for Not Being Satisfied:
So what reasons do I have for not being completely satisfied with two Superbowl championships during the Favre-Rodgers era, and more recently, just one Superbowl championship during the Rodgers era?
First, both eras have proven time and time again that the Packers consistently find ways to lose close games in January. Second, during both eras, there was always another team that held the Packers back from winning multiple championships. In recent years, however, I feel as though the Packers often times were the team standing in their own way.
The Fan Perspective:
As a fan, it is hard to be ok with losing year after year with substandard defenses or because the team and coaching staff became tense in crucial playoff situations. As Packer fans there is always one glaring weakness in the team that we feel, should have been addressed in the offseason. This year, the glaring weakness was the way in which we were consistently dominated up front on both sides of the ball, and our inconsistent play by key members of the secondary.
I think that when the Packers won the Superbowl in 1997 and in 2011, we as fans thought that the future was bright and that this was only the beginning of more super bowl wins to come. One thing that we have learned as Packer fans are that Super Bowl wins are hard to come by and we must cherish and enjoy each one. Hopefully, that elusive Super Bowl win comes next season. Thank you, Packer Nation for allowing me to vent.
P.S. I would like to hear from you the fans; let me know if you are satisfied with the success of the Favre-Rodgers era, or if like me you believe that we should have won more Super Bowls?——————
David Michalski is a recent college graduate from Princeton New Jersey who has been a life long Green Bay Packers fan. Like the great Vince Lombardi, he values God, family, and the Green Bay Packers in that order. You can follow him on twitter at @kilbas27dave