14

January

Are the Green Bay Packers Still Elite?


Packers
Are the Packers still elite?

Remember when the Green Bay Packers were legitimately thought of as elite and the next NFL dynasty? All the ingredients were there: A great quarterback. Talented receivers. Young defenders on the rise. A Super Bowl win. Playoff chops. A smart coaching staff and front office.

Then the Giants and 49ers manhandled the Packers in playoff losses and all that dynasty talk seems like so long ago.

Forget dynasty. Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press Gazette says the Packers are no longer even an elite team.

Vandermause gets a little carried away early in the column when he says that Colin Kapernick is now a more feared player than Aaron Rodgers (ridiculous). But for the most part, I see where Vandermause is going. He thinks the 49ers have a lot more talent than the Packers. After watching these two teams play each other twice this season, it’s hard to argue with him.

Can a team fall from potential dynasty to less-than-elite in about one year? Sure, these last two playoff losses sting, but do they really mean the Packers are no longer elite? I can see both sides of the argument:

Packers are no longer elite

  • Did you watch the game on Saturday? There is no way to use the words “elite” and “Packers” in the same sentence after that ass whooping.
  • That’s two straight playoff losses where the Packers were dominated by a bigger, stronger and more physical team. Elite teams don’t get pushed around like that.
  • The Packers struggled against other good to great teams this season. The 49ers, Seahawks, Giants, Vikings and Colts all beat Green Bay. Houston, and maybe one of the Chicago games, were their only signature types of wins.
  • The Packers lack toughness and are not able to match other team’s physically. Teams with offensive lines that are big and mean and feature defenders that are able to tackle the Packers’ receivers can contain Rodgers and push the Packers’ defense around.
  • The scoreboard and the standings don’t lie. A team that fails to reach its conference championship game two straight seasons cannot be considered elite.

The Packers are still elite

  • Aaron Rodgers is the Packers quarterback. Enough said.