Another crushing playoff exit for the Green Bay Packers. Another off season full of questions.
How did we get here and why did this year end without another Lombardi Trophy?
It’s funny because I would argue that everything that transpired in the post-season was exactly what we already knew in the off season. Remember the infamous rant of “They are who we thought they were?!?!” Yep, that is the 2020-2021 Packers. All the talking points from the summer are the exact same talking points six months later as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sent them packing last Sunday night…
We KNEW the Packers would win the NFC North. We already knew that before the season. Think about it. The Packers had no real challengers. The Lions suck big time and are perennial losers. Nobody in their right mind had them doing jack this season, so that crossed them off the list. The Vikings are always ‘so close’ to making some noise but fall short when it matters most. Close but no cigar kind of team in the regular season. That left the Chicago Bears, who did in fact make the post-season but just barely and only by percentage points. Basically, by default. Many other teams sucked so much more that they got in. Yay? Bottom line: Packers were always going to win the division this season, and that is exactly what happened.
Next up is Aaron Rodgers playing Aaron Rodgers football. We KNEW he was going to put up big numbers. Just what he does. The man is usually there, usually reliable, usually healthy and usually a big time star for the National Football League. No real shocker there and guess what happened? He put up big time numbers, threw a million touchdown passes, led his team toa division title and is the likely MVP of the NFL. We already KNEW this going in.
As for the supporting cast, what was really learned? Each yeah, there are some breakout stars. On every team really but especially for a contender like the Packers who tend to have a NEW breakout star every season. Aaron Jones led the charge this year. Finally some running back action to compliment Rodgers chucking the ball 50 times a game. Makes sense. Then there was Robert Tonyan, being an absolutely stud. Star right there ladies and gentlemen. Again, we KNEW this going – new guys would break out of their shells and contribute. Very cool to see.
We KNEW that would lead to an easy first round victory for the Packers. We knew that. For the Pack, it was actually a second round matchup as they had a bye week entering the playoffs due to their #1 spot in the NFC. Their opponent was the Rams. Ho hum. Meh, whatever, It was always going to be a cakewalk for them, no matter who was on the other side of the field. Poor Rams. Never stood a chance. Either way, Green Bay would roll on with ease.
Here is where the Packers ran into trouble…and yes, we already KNEW this fact going into the season: Bucs would cause issues. We saw them building a super team in the off season. You had to figure them or the Saints or whoever would be waiting in the NFC Championship Game. You could feel it all season long. Packers were going to eventually have to beat a legitimate contender in the post-season. Here it was and unfortunately, Wisconsin sports fans know all too well how the story goes. Another horrible performance when it matters most and another home field advantage gone to waste. Unreal, yet very real at the same time.
This led to what we already KNEW was going to be a big thing after the 2020-2021 season: Aaron Rodgers’ future. We heard the post-game press conference. We know how the fourth quarter of the game went. We know the coaching controversy and all that jazz. Now add that on top of him being in his late 30’s, how the entire Brett Favre saga unfolded and of course, the team drafting quarterback Jordan Love in the 2020 NFL Draft – all that put together was always going to create a fun discussion about Rodgers’ future. Well, guess what? Here we are! Again, all of that noise was made before the season…and here it is playing out after the season.
Yes, it sucks. Yes, it will sting for awhile. However, the Packers proved that they were exactly who we thought they were.
For video form, here is me ranting about the Green Bay Packers blowing yet another golden opportunity to reach the Super Bowl. Ugh…