What an incredible turnaround 2019 was for the Green Bay Packers. They finished with a 13-3 record, won the division, have the number 2 seed and a first-round bye in the playoffs. The Pack is Back!
After watching from the outside for two seasons, the Packers are back in the playoffs. No matter what anybody says, a 13-3 record is nothing to complain about. It is extremely hard to win 13 games in the NFL and make the playoffs. Anything can happen, any given Sunday.
2019 kicked off with General Manager Brian Gutekunst hiring Matt LaFluer to be the new Green Bay Packers head coach. He then did something that Packers fans have been asking for but hasn’t happened in Green Bay in a long time, he signed free agents. He didn’t just sign any free agents to fill out the roster, he signed impact free agents and boy, did this guys make a difference. He signed Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith, Adrian Amos and Billy Turner. All four of these guys not only started all 16 games, but made an impact all season long.
A worthy stat on how good it was this season, in 2019, the Packers won 13 games, in 2017 and 2018 they combined to win 13 games. What a turned around it’s been. Sure the offense has looked elite all season long, but the defense has been dominant all season. Like Rodgers said after their week one victory over the Bears, “We have a defense”. Defenses travel in the playoffs and this one has but pressure on the quarterbacks and created turnovers, keeping the team in every game and giving Rodgers and the offense time to get going.
Not every championship season is going to be easy and with the team looking like a champion every game. They are going to have up and downs throughout the year. But we as fans need to enjoy the ride as seasons like this do not come around every year. The past two years the team wasn’t very good and did not make the playoffs for a lot of reasons. To be able to turn around the culture, the talent on this team, win 13 games, the division, and get a first-round bye in the playoffs, is quite a remarkable turnaround.
The NFC playoff field is wide open and the Packers have as good of an opportunity to be the NFC’s representative in the Super Bowl as any other team. Every week this team was in close games, they know how to win close games. Plus, any time that you have Aaron Rodgers as your quarterback you have a chance. Sure he hasn’t been as crisp or looked like an MVP quarterback, but things can turn around for him in a hurry. All of a sudden some of those dropped passes or misses turn into a completions and he is red-hot and this offense looks totally different.
For 20 NFL teams, their season ended this past Sunday, with players cleaning out their lockers and some of them to never return. Some teams have already fired their hired coach and started searching for their next leader. There are only 12 teams remaining and the Packers are one of them. By the team the Packers play their divisional round game, there will only be 5 teams remaining that could win the Super Bowl, according to Andy Herman. Just take a moment and let that sink in.
Relish in this season that was and enjoy the playoffs. No matter what happens, this was a season to remember. There is no better way to end a year and decade than with a division title and first-round bye in the playoffs. Hopefully the new year and decade start off just as good for this franchise. Go Pack Go!
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