If someone told you 12 months ago that Green Bay would have a winning record at the end of the 2019 season, you would take it.
If they said the Packers made the playoffs, you’d be happy.
If they said the team would secure an NFC North title, a first-round bye, the number two overall seed, and a trip to the NFC North Championship, you probably wouldn’t have believed them.
It isn’t over yet, but this season has been a profound success for the Green Bay Packers.
At the beginning of 2019, the Packers had just hired head coach Matt LaFleur. A guy who had never been a head coach before and only spent one season as an NFL play-caller. All things considered, most would agree that LaFleur hit a home run this year.
The 2019 season has delivered so much more than what any Green Bay fan could have imagined. While Aaron Rodgers delivered a vintage performance in Sunday’s Divisional Round, the team hasn’t lived and died by him this season. In fact, running-back Aaron Jones makes a strong case to be the team’s offensive MVP. Jones’ potential has been well-documented since he entered the league, but leading the NFL in rushing touchdowns exceeded all expectations.
A similar argument can be made for the signings by the front office during the offseason. Without them, Green Bay is finishing nowhere close to 13-3. If Brian Gutekunst isn’t in the conversation for Executive of the Year, then the entire meaning of the award will be in question.
For starters, his “least significant” free-agent signing provided a vast improvement from 2018. Offensive guard Billy Turner lived up to his $28 contract by being a consistent performer and night and day compared to Byron Bell.
The most underrated signing goes to safety Adrian Amos. While he isn’t not a ‘flashy’ player, Amos was a rock in the Packers’ secondary, rarely making mistakes on his way to a team-second 81 tackles and two interceptions.
Then there’s the Smiths. It goes without saying the acquisitions of Preston Smith and Za’Darius are two of the best signings in franchise history to occur in the same offseason. The two combined for 25.5 sacks and 60 quarterback hits. Props to Gutekunst for going out and getting his guys.
Of course, while the individual performances were great, what this team has accomplished the last five months extends much further than one player or even a few. The 2019 Green Bay Packers are a team of destiny, and even though the season isn’t over, it’s been a hell of a ride.
___________________Brandon Carwile was a Cheesehead at birth. His dad grew up attending games at Lambeau and passed on the legacy. Brandon graduated from Longwood University in 2016 with a degree in mass media. He has covered the Packers for over two years and currently works with packerstalk.com. Find him on twitter at @PackerScribe.