It’s Super Bowl week. The biggest game of the year. Even though it is another year without the Packers playing in it, you know you will be tuning in. As I reflect on yet another year without the Packers getting to the Super Bowl with one of the league’s premier quarterbacks, I have realized that there have been 2 years since 2010 that the Packers should have gotten to the Super Bowl. I believe those seasons to be 2011, which was mentioned in the NFL.com’s article, Ten Super Bowl match-ups that should have been (but weren’t), and 2014.
Let’s first take a look at 2011. Coming off their victory in Super Bowl XLV, the Green Bay Packers opened the 2011 season at 7-1 Super Bowl odds, second only to the New England Patriots. The Packers were heavy favorites to win the NFC and repeat as Super Bowl champions. As the season progressed, everything was going according to plan.
Our future hall of fame quarter, Aaron Rodgers, was putting up career numbers that earned him his first MVP award and the Packers cruised to a 15-1 record. Which was good enough for the NFC’s number 1 seed. There were able to rest starters in week 17 and feature their backup quarterback Matt Flynn. Did McCarthy ever feature him. Flynn through for 6 touchdown passes that day against the Detroit Lions.
That season came to an abrupt halt with a loss to the eventual Super Bowl Champion, New York Giants in the divisional round at Lambeau. This was the year that we would have seen Aaron Rodgers vs Tom Brady. The NFL has been dreaming of this match-up for years, and they still are. Rodgers and Brady have only linked up once to date, in a stellar late-season game at Lambeau Field in 2014. This would have been the perfect opportunity for the 2 future hall of famers to meet up in the leagues biggest game.
The 2014 season was the other season that I feel the Packers had a legitimate shot at getting to the Super Bowl. I am of the opinion, that team was one of the best teams in Rodgers career. They had a league best 12-4 record with 4 other teams and won the NFC North Division for a fourth consecutive year, and went undefeated at Lambeau for the first time since 2011. Aaron Rodgers was named MVP of the league again after guiding to offense to a league high 486 points, which was the most in franchise history. The 2014 season was the first season since 2009 that they had a 4,000 yard passer, two 1,000 yard receivers, and a 1,000 yard rusher.
This would have been another opportunity that the fans and league would have got their dream match-up of Rodgers vs Brady in the Super Bowl. The NFC Championship game was all but over and the Green Bay Packers were sure bets to go to Super Bowl XLIX. With 5:13 left in the game and the Packers leading 19-7, Morgan Burnett had picked off Rodgers for a fourth time that game. Little did we know that was the beginning of the nightmare finish, and would go down as one of the biggest collapses in team history. A team that had it all that season and was 5 minutes away from making it to the Super Bowl, blew another opportunity to cash in with Rodgers at the helm.
By my calculations, with Ted Thompson as GM, Mike McCarthy as Coach, and Aaron Rodgers as quarterback, the Packers should been to 3 Super Bowls. This would have been their era look better than it currently does. The NFL would have gotten two match-ups in their biggest game of the year that they have always been dreaming about, New England vs Green Bay, Brady vs Rodgers. No matter what, Green Bay-New England would’ve been a match-up made in NFL legends heaven. With time running out, there is still a little time left for us to get that dream match-up on Super Bowl Sunday. Maybe that will happen next year. No matter what happens in the future, we were robbed of seeing the Packers-Patriots in the 2 Super Bowls.
Anthony Haag is a writer for PackersTalk.com. He has been a Packers fan since the day he was born and truly bleeds green and gold. He makes annual visits to Lambeau Field and has attended his fair share of games. You can follow Anthony on Twitter at @anthony_haag