Packers look to come up short again
Dear Packers fans:
It may be obvious to you at this point, but in case it hasn’t sunk in yet, here is my message to you.
I think your favorite team is wasting Aaron Rodgers’ career.
During Rodgers’ tenure as starting quarterback, your amazingly accurate field general has led the Packers to the playoffs several times, including two of the last three NFC Championship games.
However, he only has one Super Bowl title to show for it thanks to some poor coaching decisions, terrible defensive lapses and the fumbling of an onside kick.
It’s like Green Bay is trying to out-Lion the Detroit Lions, who squandered the careers of not one, but two legends in Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson.
Last year, the Pack easily dispatched the mediocre Giants before Rodgers saved the day against the Cowboys, scrambling to throw a 36-yard pass on 3rd-and-20 with 3 seconds left to set up Mason Crosby’s game-winning field goal.
Thanks to those heroics, the Packers again weaved their way into a conference title game that they probably didn’t belong in.
So what do the Packers have in store for you this year? Unfortunately, probably another dose of what happened last season.
Defensive coordinator Dom Capers is back again, despite his defense being 31st out of 32 teams in passing yards allowed and having more holes than the foam cheese on your heads.
Remember how the Falcons steamrolled through the first half of the NFC Championship game last year? With Capers back, that type of performance could happen again, so start mentally preparing for that now.
Also, your running-back situation has somehow gotten worse even though Eddie Lacy is gone. Ty Montgomery is typically a wide receiver and he was your leading rusher, finishing with 457 yards. Behind him are three rookies in Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones and Devante Mays, so this isn’t a good situation.
However, all is not lost. You still have Rodgers, so there’s a guaranteed eight wins right there. Jordy Nelson is still a reliable receiver, Martellus Bennett is a great pick-up at tight end and your offensive line is one of the best in the league — if it stays healthy.
Schedule-wise, the year starts off rough with today’s home game against Lacy and the Seahawks and road matches with Atlanta and Dallas, all in the first five weeks.
However, the road smooths out nicely after that as the only potentially difficult game is with Pittsburgh in late November. Not only that, the Packers play in the very “meh” NFC North where their biggest threat is the Lions. Although Matthew Stafford has emerged as a very good quarterback, he isn’t Rodgers, so Green Bay should win another North title.
From that point on, the season is a question mark. Rodgers is the best quarterback in the league, but as we all saw last year in the game against Atlanta, he can’t play every position.
Thanks to a bad secondary and an almost nonexistent running game, the Packers will come up short of the Super Bowl again.
Seeing as the Super Bowl is in my hometown of Minneapolis, though, this would make me very happy.
Ryan Stieg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.