No – The Packers Shouldn’t Tank

Aaron Rodgers

After the dreadful Vikings loss on Sunday night, there has been much discussion on social media as to whether the Packers should tank or not.  Its seems to be about 50/50.

This can be summed up by the results of this poll by Zach Kruse

That is misguided and silly for several reasons.

They have a legitimate chance to make the playoffs still

Is it likely?  No.  And those people who are pounding there chest saying, “there is a zero percent chance,” will probably be able to pound their chest even more in the coming weeks.  But consider this:  They have five games remaining, and if the games were held this weekend, they would be favorites in four of them, and the fifth is against a team that they beat, in the Bears.  Three of the games they would be fairly significant favorites as well.

The Bears game seems to be the key.  They are a prohibitive favorite against the Cardinals, with implied odds to win of 90%+, while they will be a modest favorite next week, against Atlanta.  The Bears will be the deserved favorite, the week after that, but they have only lost there once in the Rodgers era, and things like key injuries for the Bears could always happen as well.

According to most simulations, they have about a 15% chance to win out and if they win out, they have about an 85% chance to make the playoffs.  Brandon Carwille, outlines what needs to happen here, but the bottom line is, if they win out they will likely be in the playoffs.

By comparison, they had a 7% chance of making the playoffs in 2016.  Many fans, have said, “this year feels different.”  The only thing different about this year is that people don’t remember what it was like in 2016.  Prior to the famous “run the table,” quote by Rodgers they had lost four in a row.  They lost the prior to games, by a combined score of 89-49.  The house was burning as rapidly as it is now.

And also, this team has blown many games, but they aren’t that far of.  Their last four losses have been to good teams, all on the road, and they were in good position in the 2nd half in all of those games.  And this all while Rodgers continues to play poorly for his standards.  If he elevates his level of play to a top five level, like he is capable of, the Packers could easily flip their fortunes.

Its not necessarily helpful

Getting the higher pick is better, all other things equal.  But all other things aren’t equal.  Winning is a culture, and a learned skill/behavior.  The Packers have quality young players, such as Jaire Alexander, Marques Valdes Scantling and Kenny Clark amongst others.  Winning helps with their mentality and will help them be leaders which will be necessary going forward.

The Packers have a couple of years of precedent.  In 2000, they were 5-7 before winning their final four games and barely missing the playoffs.  The following year, they went 12-4.  In 2006, the won there final two games to go 8-8.  The following year they went 13-3, and were favored by eight points in the NFC Championship Game.

Why are we even fans?

We wait all year to watch and cheer on, our beloved Packers.  We all want them to win the Super Bowl every year, but its more than that.  Its about sharing in times together, with our blood family, or our Packers family.  This is especially meaningful around the holidays, when families gather.  Its a bit more meaningful to discuss, the upcoming game, rather than who they should target in the draft with their top 12 pick, 1/2 year away, who of course is no guarantee to make a significant impact.  Look no further than the last time they had a top five pick.  They selected A.J. Hawk who was nothing more than reliable, but late in the same round, you had the likes of Tamba Hali being drafted, who is a game changer.

This is why we are fans.  It’s about rooting for them to win, and go as far as they possibly can.

The Packer Ranter puts it best.

Originally from Glidden Wisconsin, Jason Straetz is a lifelong Packers\' fan, who has lived in Maine for over 30 years. He is a writer for packerstalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter: @jsnstz
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