Packers XLV

Appreciating the Greatest 12 Months in Packers History

Posted December 14th, 2011 @ 05:12pm

With apologies to the Lambeau and Lombardi eras, we are living through the greatest stretch in Packer history. Since the team is unlikely to play an important, meaningful game until mid-January,  it feels right to step back for a moment to appreciate and soak in what we have witnessed since the Packers hosted the Giants last December 26th.

Things were oh so different a year ago at this time, when the team was in playoff mode with two games to go in the regular season. After dismantling the Giants and knocking off the Bears, they entered the postseason as the #6 seed and became road warriors. We all know what happened next.

The Packers became the first NFC sixth seed to win the Lombardi trophy and in the process, Aaron Rodgers became a superstar. His playoff performance in Atlanta was one of the greatest by a quarterback in NFL history. That night in the Georgia Dome, against the NFC's top seed elevated him to within arm's reach of the Mannings, Bradys and Brees's of the world. Of course, after playing at a similar level against the Bears and Steelers, and becoming the Super Bowl MVP, he was suddenly mentioned in the same breath with those three.

And after a historic parade through Titletown, the Packers had to soak up the adulation quickly, because soon after the league went dark and the lockout shut everything down for the next six months or so. But not even that could slow the Pack's momentum.

That brings us to the 2011 season, where the Packers have been unbeatable and are now seen as the model organization in the NFL. Without being dragged down by a number of crippling injuries, the team has plowed through the schedule, never trailing in the fourth quarter and only being tested for 60 minutes one time: at the Giants a couple weeks back.

19-0 is being talked about because of one player: Aaron Rodgers. He is in the midst of the greatest season a quarterback has ever had, displaying remarkable decision making, accuracy and leadership week in and week out. His receiving corps is called the best and deepest in the league, though none of them were drafted in the first round.

We got to watch Brett Favre for 16 years as he quickly developed into the league's best and toughest player and was the poster child for the NFL for years. Now Rodgers is prepared to take that title and has elevated the play at that position in his first four years as a starter. Still in his 20s, Rodgers could own most Packer passing records before he's through, except for two: the starting streak and the interception record.

The Packers are six wins away from perfection. Six wins away from becoming the greatest team in NFL history. We're so close we can taste it. But much can happen between now and then. For now, let's just drink in these last 12 months: the greatest and most exciting we've ever witnessed.

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Comments (38):

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on August 30th, 2013 at 03:48am

Great article Dave! As far as MVP aside from Rodgers, I would nominate Crosby who is having an awesome season & kicked a game winner against the Giants to avoid overtime. Although OSSG, you make a good case for Sir Charles Woodson who has a knack for making a big play to turn the tide of the game in the Packers favor. All the other guys you mentioned are also worthy especially Jordy Nelson who has turned in to a real threat at Wide Receiver. As long as we can keep the REAL MVP Aaron Rodgers healthy we can look forward to more great times with the Packers. Go Pack!

on December 14th, 2011 at 03:11pm

Great column Davy!!! I think your question of who is the most valuable Packer player after Aaron Rodgers is a very interesting and thought provoking one. There are great choices: Jennings, Wells, Mathews, Nelson, Newhouse, and others. But I believe that with all of the injuries on defense and lack of a quality pass rush Charles Woodson is an easy choice. In a defense that at least statistically gives up mega yards ...the big play has saved us and there is no bigger time player than Sir Charles( sorry Mr. Barkley). His multiple looks on defense and leadership is a proven commodity even though his physical skills may be past his prime. He is a sure Hall of Famer. GO PACK GO !!!

on December 14th, 2011 at 12:50pm

If the Pack can get by the next 3 games without a loss I think they have a legitimate chance of running the table in the playoffs. I have my fingers crossed of course, but as The Head Cheese says " much can happen between now and then. " I think karma and history is on the Packers side and those two things should bring another Title to Title town and besides it's my birthday!

on December 15th, 2011 at 09:23pm

Hey Rob from Brooklyn Center good to see another Brooklyn Center packer fan!

on December 15th, 2011 at 09:27pm

on December 15th, 2011 at 10:51am

Oops, just wanted to say the two key player and reason we are winning is AR and Woodson. Their ability is part of it but I've never understood until last year how much leadership can mean to a team. These two lead on the field and MM and Capers lead off the field. These 4 Packers are why this team plays as well as it does each week, but lets not forget TT, he's the reason they've become the NFL's dominant team.

on December 15th, 2011 at 10:56am

We've seen Orton this year already. Now he's going to try us with new receivers. I think the defense gets another two picks this week. Kc 13, Packers Offense 34, Packers Defense 7. No, I wouldn't think the Offense would score that high, but I'm betting turn overs are going to give us great field position. Can't wait to see Flynn practice his victory formation. I hope I'm not getting too cocky, but has there ever bee a better time?

on December 16th, 2011 at 09:13pm

Thanks Danldog, glad I'm not the only Packer Fan who lives in Brooklyn Center!

on December 16th, 2011 at 10:14am

Good Points Paul from Eau Claire, without those 4 guys & Ted Thompson the Packers would have reverted back to the misery of the 1970s & 1980s. Go Pack!

on December 16th, 2011 at 10:17am

hey guys, just read the vikes tried to steal gurley from the pack's practice squad. he is staying with us instead of playing on there roster now. we did pay him more money to stay, so what. so glad we kept him. on your ? davey, i think we all are forgetting newhouse, he stepped in and after a shakey start he is been a blessing. we all thought sherrod would be there, but he may have to play guard. i have him as my mvp, cause u expect 12 and 21 to do there thing now. this week is scary. they have great corners and we don't have jennings. we need to run the ball with grant. i think it will be close for 3 qtrs. then we win 31-20. remember orton is starting not palko. go world champs.

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