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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like 2010

The feeling is in the air – just like six years ago, when the Green Bay Packers last treated us to such a glorious and unexpected run of wins. Let’s reminisce and compare.

October 17, 2010. In their sixth game of the year, the Packers lost at home to the Miami Dolphins, 23-20. It was their second consecutive three-point overtime loss, putting the team in great jeopardy of not making the playoffs.

November 21. The Packers reel off their fourth straight win, made all the better because the first and last of these were over the Minnesota Vikings – that last one a 31-3 drubbing.

December 12. With injuries mounting, the Packers drop three of the next four, leaving them with a tenuous 8-6 record (sound familiar?). Even so, the last of these, a narrow loss in New England to the powerhouse Patriots, 31-27, was probably Green Bay’s best game of the year – enough to rekindle some hope in its fans.

December 26. A 45-17 spanking of the New York Giants at Lambeau Field has the team at 9-6, but it will require another win in the New Year for the Packers to keep playing.

January 2, 2011. The pesky Chicago Bears roll into Lambeau determined to squelch the home team’s hopes. In a low-scoring, slug-it-out contest, the Packers finally get into the end zone with 13 minutes to go on a 1-yard pass from Aaron Rodgers to Donald Lee.

Then, with just under four minutes left, QB Jay Cutler leads the Bears on a colossal 15-play drive toward a tying score. With the game clock down to 20 seconds, Cutler’s pass to Devin Hester is picked off by Nick Collins.

Tens wins, six losses – enough to secure a wild card berth in the postseason.

The rest is part of Packers’ lore: three victories on the road over the Eagles, Falcons, and Bears, followed on February 6 by a 31-25 Super Bowl victory at Cowboys Stadium over the Steelers.

Déjà Vu in 2017 for the Packers?

As we head into the New Year, Green Bay is once again at nine wins and six losses, and again must overcome a divisional rival to reach the 10-6 mark.

The current situation, though, is actually more favorable than in 2010: if the Packers win against the Lions, they become division champs, rather than a wild card playoff participant – thereby reaping important benefits.

That game in mid-January would be in the very friendly confines of Lambeau Field, where the Packers went 6-2 this year, and where they’ve gone 32-7-1 in the previous five years. The Packers of course have a good history in cold-weather games – they’ve just prevailed three times in the last three weeks in such climates.

But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. Detroit has the identical incentive to win on January 2 as does Green Bay.

Five weeks ago, statistics would have suggested that the teams’ quarterbacks were also nearly identical. That has changed greatly, however, since Aaron Rodgers issued his “run-the-table” prophecy. Aaron is now ranked in the league’s top five in passer rating, completion percentage, and passing yardage; Detroit’s Matthew Stafford is 10th, ninth, and 14th in these categories.

It should be a tight game, where every advantage will count. One such edge: Green Bay has eight days to rest and prepare for the game. Detroit, who plays the Cowboys on Monday night, will only have six.

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Rob Born

Smart drafters don’t select the best available players, they fill a team’s positions of greatest need.

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19 Comments

  1. MMK December 26, 2016

    Whatever happens is gravy, my friends. But nick Collins and Charles Woodson are not walking through that tunnel in 2017. That to me is the biggest difference.

    1. MR December 26, 2016

      Agreed MMK – I never saw Collins pull a HaHa and tackle Woodson allowing a WR to stroll untouched into the endzone…the “keystone cops” DB corps will be the demise of the 2016 Packers.

      1. PF4L December 26, 2016

        I’m assuming you are talking about the untouched 71 yard td catch by Theilen, when Dix ran into Rollins and laid him out?

        I was watching that thinking…are you fucking kidding me.

        1. Empacador December 26, 2016

          Funny, because that’s exactly what I exclaimed when it happened. Didn’t notice it was Dix until the replay, but as someone here posted previously, Dix takes some bad angles, and that was one glaringly bad example.

          1. Killer December 26, 2016

            It is still a shock that Clinton-Dix made the pro bowl. I don’t think he would even make the Vikings roster.

            You look around and there are very few good safeties out there. Quick, name 5 who deserve to be in the pro bowl. Most can’t and, if you do, others will argue several of your choices — especially if you foolishly named Clinton-Dix.

            This is why you see teams grabbing safeties so early, that they get selected earlier than anticipated. Kenny Vacarro of the Saints drafted in the teens? The 49ers trade up to take… Reid? 3rd round talent Clinton-Dix taken in round 1!??!

            Any year you can look at the average prognosticated draft position for safeties in rounds 1 and 2 and they will actually be drafted much earlier. Supply and demand. Very little supply. Fast players with safety size are made into cornerbacks. Or wide receivers. Less fast but strong and athletic? Running backs. Safety gets the dregs. Dregs like Clinton-Dix.

            Which makes it all the more painfully insane that the Packers got a hold of a great safety in round one… and then made him into a cornerback! You fools! Poor Demarious Randall betrayed by the organization.

            O-line is a little similar with shocking things like the Titans trading up to take Conklin #8 overall when many expected him to go in the 20’s in round 1. Or Decker taken by the Lions mid-1st when most saw him going end of round 1. (I’m not saying Conklin or Decker are bad players or a bad picks, just that they were selected much earlier than anyone projected.) With the o-line it is not so much that there is little supply as it is there is big demand. Every team needs o-line help (except maybe the Cowboys) and there are about 3 decent right tackles among the 32 teams. (Yes, Bulaga is one of those three.) So we see o-line going earlier than projected generally also.

          2. PF4L December 26, 2016

            Hey Nancy, i can’t respond to your novel as i didn’t read it, but that wouldn’t be shocking news to you.

            But listen….Did you happen to see Rodgers 7 yard touchdown run where he juked Rhodes right out of his cleats? Rhodes didn’t touch Rodgers, but he did tackle a whole lot of air.

            If you choose not to respond, i understand as i’m sure your deep depression has firmly set in. Being a viking fan in 2003, and 2016 can’t be easy after 2 epic season meltdowns.. Or any other time i guess.

  2. Howard December 26, 2016

    The way Rodgers and the offense is playing I have few concerns in playing very good defenses in the playoffs. I would be concerned with the Packer defense matching up against a team with good to very good QBs and offensive lines.

    The good thing is the teams that have the later, Falcons, Redskins, and lions have almost as bad of defensive backfields as the Packers. The Cowboys have the best O-line. We will see about a rookie QB and a not terrible, but not great defense. The Giants and Seattle with good defenses have suspect O-lines that the Packers can take advantage. It will take some balls bouncing just right, and turnovers in the Packers favour to win out, unless there is a miracle and the Packer defensive backfield changes there consistent bad play.

    1. Packers fan December 26, 2016

      Howard I think that’s where the season might end. Dallas in the NFC Championship. The Falcons are not good on defense so the Packers can win 38-31. This years team has a average defense unlike 2010.

  3. PF4L December 26, 2016

    Although i appreciate the spin Rob is trying to put on this story. The only common trait is the offense (which is almost always great). And potentially the same record. If you remember back to the end of last season, people posted in here we had the same record as the 2010 Packers. Where i then pointed out there was a big difference between those 10-6 teams. So…here we are again 10-6, if we assume the Packers beat the Lions.

    The difference is the same as last season, but even worse.
    The 2010 defense didn’t allow hack QB’s to perform like future Hall of Famers
    The 2010 defense had far more picks and sacks.
    The 2010 defense gave up 15 ppg. The 2016 defense is giving up 24 ppg.
    The 2010 defense allowed only two teams to score over 25 or more points, 31 points by the Patriots, 26 points by the Lions.
    The 2016 team allowed 8 games of 25 or more. 27,30,33,31,47,42,27,25.

    So i’ll cheer and ride this team as far as it goes and maybe it can pull off a miracle. But history, knowledge, and common sense say’s it isn’t likely. But 1st we have to get by Detroit, or slide in as a wild card.

    1. MJ December 26, 2016

      Yeah, this defense has been shredded by the run (when NOT facing 18th stringers and bad O-lines) and by the pass (run-of-the-mill QBs suddenly looking like Joe Montana, WRs getting career days). So far, our D is looking like a serious liability that playoff teams will be eager to expose.
      So, we will have to score on every drive, burn time to both reduce the total number of possessions and keep our defense off the field.

    2. Packers fan December 26, 2016

      PF4L that is exactly the only difference between this year and 2010. But another difference is the Packers would be division champions. The Packers offense this year is like 2010 though.

      But however the defense has 12 takeaways though in the last 5 games. This year has a average defense.

      And this is not 2015 where the Pack went in the playoffs with no momentum. This year if we make it we will be one of the most hottest teams this year despite a average defense.

  4. gort December 26, 2016

    Defense is the key. They need to bring their “A+” game to avoid an early exit. Make the other guys beat you with spectacular plays – make them earn every yard.

    Get your popcorn ready – it’s gonna be fun.

    1. PF4L December 26, 2016

      I haven’t had a bit of fun watching a game where the Packers got eliminated from the playoffs the last 5 years.

    2. Packers fan December 26, 2016

      GORT the problem is the Packers will be lucky to make the NFC championship game in spite of this defense and McCarthy.

  5. Robster December 26, 2016

    Correction, Rodgers ranks 10th in completion percentage. However, using season-long statistics for Rodgers this year is misleading in any event. Over the past six games, his completion percentage is 69.8, and in two of these games against highly-rated defenses that Rodgers shredded (Seahawks and Vikings), Aaron is at 75.4%. Going into Detroit’s Monday night game, the Lions are 18th in passing yards given up per game, whereas Seattle is currently 8th and Minnesota is 4th.

  6. Zwoeger December 26, 2016

    Lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice.

  7. Empacador December 26, 2016

    I’m sticking with what I said before, this isn’t 2010. Maybe they surprise us, and I’ll be the first to admit I was wrong. Agree with MMK, no Collins and no Woodson means the defense is suspect and doesn’t really instill a sense of being able to take over a game if needed, let alone knowing which part of the defense decides to show up.

    If the defense decides to take another week off, their only hope is winning a shootout, and seems to me the Packers haven’t fared too well in shootouts even when Rodgers plays his ass off. The way the last 2 seasons have ended in overtime has made me really think twice about getting my hopes up when it comes to a McCarthy coached team. Watching Rodgers standing on the sideline helpless as the opponent moves down the field practically uncontested yet again is pretty tough to swallow.

  8. Packers fan December 26, 2016

    This years team is a little similar to 2010 but the only different between this year and 2010 is that this years team has a average defense. 2010 was better defensively. And they had good corners. This year has Daniels, Dix (who is good but sometimes inconsistent), Peppers (who is still making good plays), and sometimes Matthews (when he is like his old self). That’s the only difference. Not to mention this year the corners stink and this year the defense has allowed a lot of points. 2010 didn’t. But on the bright side the defense has 12 takeaways. This years defense as I said is average. 2010 wasn’t.

    The Packers offense this year is like 2010. 2010 didn’t have a run game either. And this year doesn’t. This years offensive talent is Bakh, Lang, Buluga, Adams, Nelson, Montgomery, and Cook. And Aaron Rodgers is playing well. That is what 2010 also had but except they had different players.

    Even 2010 also had a weak NFC playoff picture too.

    I think this years team is more like the 2008 Cardinals more than the 2010 team honestly. Does anyone remember the 2008 Cardinals?

    I can see the Packers probably making the NFC Championship and lose in the hands of the Cowboys since they have the best Oline in football.

    1. PF4L December 27, 2016

      Almost everyone of your post states the Packers having an average defense. Are you trying to repeat it a lot so someone believes it?

      The Packers are ranked 12th in allowing the most points per game.