It’s the one game most Packers fans don’t think exists. In fact most Packers fans would put the loss in Seattle in the NFC championship game over this because it was over 20 years ago. It’s one of the biggest what if questions that come to mind for me as a Packers fan. What if the Packers win Super Bowl XXXII against the Broncos?
To set this up the Packers were riding high as the defending champions as they had won Super Bowl XXXI the previous season. They had the same record as the year before at 13-3 and Brett Favre had just won his 3rd MVP award.
The Broncos came into the game 12-4 and were 11 point underdogs going into the game. They were only the 5th Wild Card team to make it to the Super Bowl.
Furthermore they had lost their previous 4 Super Bowl appearances and the NFC had won the previous 13 matchups against the AFC in the Super Bowl.
The Packers went on to lose the Super Bowl against the Broncos and wouldn’t make another Super Bowl appearance until 2010.
But if the Packers win Super Bowl XXXII they would’ve become the first team to win back to back Super Bowls since the 1992-1993 Cowboys. They would’ve had 4 Lombardi trophies back then which would be 5 right now.
But what about the future?
1998 was the last season for Mike Holmgren. But if they had won Super Bowl XXXII, would Holmgren have stayed in Green bay for a couple more years?
Possibly, but remember that he left after the Packers had an above average season for the Packers and wanted more of a general manager/coaching role, which he got when he got to Seattle.
1998 was also the last season for Reggie White but if the Packers won Super Bowl XXXII would White retire after the win and ride off into the sunset?
Yes, you could tell that White was still able to play but he was in his 13th year and age was getting to him. Remember also the Packers traded up from the 29th spot to the 19th spot in the 1998 NFL draft and drafted defensive end Vonnie Holiday. So the Packers already knew White was close to retirement. White ultimately decided to play one more season before retiring.
The 1997 Packers were a team looking to make history and create a dynasty.
Instead the loss to the Broncos not only denied that dream but it sent the team into a downward spiral for the next couple of seasons.
From 1998-2001 the Packers went through 2 head coaches (Ray Rhodes and Mike Sherman).
The Packers would only make the playoffs once in 1998 after an 11-5 season that saw the Packers lose twice to the Minnesota Vikings and Brett Favre throw more than 23 interceptions.
They would go on to lose to the San Francisco 49ers in the first round of the playoffs and wouldn’t make another appearance until the 2001 season.——————
Hau Khuong has been a Packers fan since 1996. He currently works as a video editor in Green Bay and writes for PackersTalk.com and you can follow him on twitter at @HauKhuongSports.
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