As everyone knows, the Green Bay Packers failed to reach the postseason last year after making it for eight consecutive seasons. Green Bay fell one short of tying the Cowboys, Colts and now the Patriots, which all have the NFL record with nine straight playoff berths. New England will likely move past Dallas and Indianapolis into sole possession of that record following the 2018 regular season.
Yes, it would be nice to win multiple Super Bowls in that time period, but those things are hard to win. And eight consecutive playoff berths are something to be proud of. Going into the year, the Patriots and Packers were tied with eight straight playoff appearances. Coincidentally, New England’s last season missing the playoffs was 2008, when Tom Brady had to miss the final 15 games due to a torn ACL suffered in the opener against Kansas City. And now, Green Bay’s playoff streak came to an end because of an injury to Aaron Rodgers. If Brady does not get hurt, the Patriots likely would have made the playoffs 15 consecutive years. Insane.
It is tough to compare any team to the Patriots, because you will always fall short. From 2009-16 when both teams made the playoffs every year, New England made the AFC Championship six times, while Green Bay only made the NFC Championship three times. The Patriots also reached the Super Bowl three times, winning two of them. The Packers, on the other hand, made it to the Super Bowl once, winning it over Pittsburgh.
Compared to every other team in the NFL, though, the Packers were at the top of the class. For instance, even a team like Pittsburgh “only” made the playoffs six times, with two conference championship appearances and the one berth in the Super Bowl. The Steelers are one of only three teams (Seahawks, Bengals) that made the playoffs six times in that period (along with Green Bay and New England, of course.
Amazingly, outside of Green Bay in the NFC, only Seattle made the playoffs more than four times in those eight years. And just Atlanta and New Orleans made it four times from 2009-2016. That just goes to show you how much parity there has been in the NFL, and especially in the NFC. Only three teams failed to make the playoffs at least twice from the NFC. The only team that made the Super Bowl more than once from the NFC in that period was Seattle.
Looking at the NFC, it even makes the run the Packers went on that much more impressive. Only San Francisco had as many appearances in the NFC Championship game. In this day and age, to have a run like the Packers did is remarkable, and makes you respect what Bill Belichick and Co. have done in the Northeast even more.
The AFC, however, has had significantly less parity, as a whopping eight teams made the playoffs at least four times. Four AFC teams also failed to make the playoffs a single time. Denver and New England combined to go to five of the eight Super Bowls. Since the 2009 season, either Brady or Peyton Manning appeared in the Super Bowl six of the eight seasons.
Yes, Green Bay has had its warts, including losing in its opening game three times in those eight seasons and having just a 3-2 home record. However, in this day and age of parity, eight straight years to the playoffs is darn impressive. I know some will complain about just the one Super Bowl win, but those things are hard to get to and even harder to win. Even with that, I am still convinced Rodgers has another Super Bowl win in him. It’s time to start another playoff streak, starting in 2018.——————
Jonathon Zenk is a writer for PackersTalk.com. He is a huge Packers fan, and a graduate of The University of Wisconsin - Green Bay. You can follow Jonathon on Twitter at @jzenk42