From 2010 through 2014, the Green Bay Packers won either seven or all eight of their home games in four of those five years. They ran the table in 2011 and as recently as 2014.
How rapidly things have changed. In 2015, Green Bay not only lost three of eight at home, but they lost at home to the Lions, Bears, and Vikings – all three of their divisional rivals. As if that weren’t bad enough, the regular season finale loss to Minnesota also cost the Packers the division title and the right to have their first playoff game played at Lambeau Field.
The inability to win games at home has quickly gone from an aberration to a trend. With their loss to the Colts in week 9, the Packers fell to 3-2 at home. Over their last 13 home games, they have only an 8-5 record.
Everything seemed to favor the Packers going into the Colts’ game. They had 10 days to rest and recover after a Thursday night game. The Colts had won only three games, and had only won one game away from home on the year. Then, as the game got underway, the word came out that the Vikings had been upset by Detroit – so a win would have tied the Packers for the lead in the NFC North. Even that news failed to motivate this once-proud team.
Unlike the Colts, the three teams remaining on the home schedule for the Packers are the Texans, Seahawks, and Vikings. Each of these teams are at least two games over .500. The hill to climb keeps getting steeper.
If the Packers fail to make the playoff this year – a greater than 50/50 proposition after the loss to the Colts – there will be a groundswell of demand for a new head coach. Mike McCarthy’s failure to preserve the home field advantage will be, and should be, a major part of that conversation.