While the Packers have the best fans in the NFL, 2020 was a strangely trying year for what we have come to call the Packer faithful.
I’m guessing that the coronavirus is a big factor in the pessimism that seems to have seeped into all our lives, and caused so many followers to doubt, fret, and worry about the team’s abilities and prospects. Here at Total Packers, as elsewhere, commenters have been unusually, and I think unreasonably, negative and hesitant to embrace our merry group of over-achievers.
On January 8, it will be two years since Mark Murphy’s announcement that Matt LaFleur would be the team’s new head coach. I’ve never had a trust problem with the young football genius. Though I recall most Packers fans responding with cautious optimism, many of the national pundits and sages panned the selection – maybe I’ll go back and dig up some of their quotes. They blew it.
In a post of 1/12/19 titled “Relax Fans, Those Who Know LaFleur Best Sing His Praises,” I said this:
“Oh my, have you seen how many of the Packers faithful, egged on by some skeptics in the mainstream media, are on edge over the Matt LaFleur hiring? Is the guy ready? Should we have picked someone with prior head coaching experience? Will Rodgers respect a guy who’s only four year older than himself?
Well, for all of the risk-adverse crowd out there, my advice is to relax: the Packers not only made the right choice, but they were damn lucky that such a rising talent as LaFleur was available.
. . .(After relating the high praise from Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay) So, even if you are less than confident about the Packers’ current management triumvirate, you can take the glowing words of Shanahan and McVay to heart. They are currently among the smartest – and most successful – offensive minds in pro football. The two are intimately aware of [LaFleur’s] abilities, and they flat out love the guy!”
You’d think going from seasons of 7-9 and 6-9-1 to 13-3 in 2019 would have won over the LaFleur doubters. However, I still don’t feel our coach is getting his proper due. I suspect that he’s just too self-effacing and team-oriented to go preening and prancing around like a rooster. Among his many virtues, the man is modest to a fault.
Though the Pack opened the current year with four wins, they were then clobbered by Tampa Bay and Tom Brady, by a 38 to 10 score, and there went much of the fan base’s budding confidence. With the 6-point loss to the Vikings on November 1, the team fell to 5-2. The team rang up a third defeat on November 22, though they gave good effort and would have prevailed over a sound Colts team except for four uncharacteristic turnovers. Many thought at this point, and with a 7-3 record, that the sky was falling down.
Since that time, it’s been all joy, as LaFleur’s charges have run off six straight wins, mostly by comfortable margins, to close out the regular season.
One indication that the team has greatly improved, despite having an identical record to the 2019 group, is the differences between points scored and points allowed. In 2019, the team scored 376 points (15th best), while giving up 313 (9th best), for a net positive difference of 63 points; this season, the team scored 509 points (tops in the NFL), while giving up 369 (13th best), for a positive margin of 140 points. Per game, that averages out to an 8.75 average winning margin, versus just a 3.94 point margin in 2019.
If I didn’t miss anyone, here’s how the six top teams line up in what I’ll call the “point spread” statistics: Saints 145; Packers 140; Buccaneers 137; Bills 126, Chiefs 111; Steelers 104. This statistic is informative in that it takes into account both a team’s offensive might and its defensive prowess. I had expected the Chiefs to be out in front, and the Saints to be about number four.
So, Packer fans, embrace the moment. Enjoy it. Revel in it. Your team is (now) a top-notch outfit, from the front office down through the equipment managers. They’ve produced a prime contender for the Lombardi Trophy – and it’s only been two years since the franchise was reeling in confusion, ineptitude, and mediocrity. Also, they are peaking at the right time.
The last thing fans and commentators should be doing right now is making comparisons with the team’s postseason results since they won it all after the 2010 season. We have different players, a different general manager, a different head coach, and an almost entirely different coaching staff –The McCarthy-Thompson years have no bearing whatsoever on the prospects of this LaFleur-Gutekunst organization.
By the way, it was LaFleur who selected all those assistant coaches and coordinators, and they seem to be doing a remarkable job at getting the most out of both the team’s stars as well as the role players. It’s just another example of how the head coach’s actions trickle down through the organization.
The second-last thing fans should try not to do is to draw comparisons to the 2019 squad. The current group is deeper, has more top talent, and is more experienced. I trust that they’ve also learned some lessons in those two defeats by the 49ers last season. This group is eminently better offensively, and is notably better defensively – two out of three ain’t bad.
What does have bearing is that the team’s leader, Matt LaFleur, has an .8125 win percentage as a head coach – and he’s learning more and getting better with each game. His players believe in him, and they’ve fully embraced his team-oriented approach, his game plans, his strategic thinking, and even his calm but confident demeanor. LaFleur soaks up information and observations like a sponge.
Yes, the makeup of the roster is every bit as critical as is the coach’s ability. But the two are closely related: Coach Matt is getting the most out of his players – he and his assistants have made any number of their players better than they ever would have been under the previous leadership. I’ll soon compile a list Green Bay players who have flourished, beyond all predictions, in the second year of Matt LaFleur’s reign.
Since we’ve got two weeks before the Packers next take to the field (Lambeau Field!), there’s plenty of time to speculate whether, twenty years from now, LaFleur will have built up a lengthy history of continued excellence with this franchise, along the lines of: Bill Belichick (21 years at New England), Mike Tomlin (19 years at Pittsburgh), Sean Payton (15 years at New Orleans), Pete Carroll (11 years at Seattle), and Andy Reid (8 years at Kansas City).
It took Belichick nine seasons as a head coach, five with Cleveland, before he got to a cumulative record of more wins than losses. Tomlin had 12 losses by the time he won his 26th game. Sean Payton didn’t get his 26th win until early in his fourth season, by which time he had 23 losses. Pete Carroll didn’t get above .500 to stay until his seventh season and with his third team. Like Payton, Andy Reid also had lost 23 games by the time he notched his 26th win.
With his 26-6 start as a head coach, it’s hardly wild speculation that Matt LaFleur will one day be acknowledged to be in the ranks of the above group of outstanding NFL coaches. Let’s all hope that Matt and Green Bay have a successful and long-lasting relationship.
One thing is undeniable – this head coach has sure gotten off to a blazing start!
Have we ever heard from the O Line coach? He must be doing a helluva job.
Someone correct me if I’m wrong on this, but, the quote that LafLeur hand picking his own assistants and coordinators is not entirely true. If I remember correctly, Gute made it clear he wanted Pettine to stay on as DC. All the other choices were LaFleurs’!
I always like to say it was Murphy’s decision not Gutes, because at the time, we were told by Murphy, that any decision made, he has to stamp his approval. He said…he’ll be making ALL final decisions.
Until i hear different, that’s how i see it.
Yes, it was reported that Pettine would be staying on and the new coach needed to be on board with that.
But then again, it was also reported by Murphy in the GM search, that the GM would have final say, that nothing in regards to that was changing. Then a week later after Gute was hired, that was no longer true.
Welcome to the front office of “These Are The Days Of Mark Murphy.”
You are absolutely correct as usual. It was Murphy’s decision. Below is from an article by Silverstein after the hiring of LaFleur. To me the entire article was not enthusiastic regarding Murphy and Ball. The article also gets into the special teams coordinator hiring process.
“Once he was up and running as head coach, LaFleur had to build a coaching staff. He was supposed to have complete control over the hiring of his staff. Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine was not forced on LaFleur, but the new coach was strongly encouraged to keep him.”
The strong suggestion to me came from Murphy.
Here is the entire article. Murphy did not like the article. Murphy responded to the article at a later date and took some shots at Silverstein in the process.
I’ll read that…but i don’t even have to, to know what it said, and the dysfunction involved. I may have already read it back when, idk.
But i usually talk about things like that, way before they make it in an article. The same as some of you also.
Yea…i read it back when, but i read it all again anyway.
Howard, i could sit down at a table with others and discuss all that for hours, and hours, and hours,
The Title: “…Packers management structure say it could lead to dysfunction.”
Here’s the thing, but it already led to dysfunction far before this article was written.
Starting with McCarthy not wanting Ball as GM in early 2018.
Murphy saying one thing, and then doing a 180 saying something else. Which was a necessity because of McCarthy’s involvement. So Murphy had to rewrite the new rules so to speak.
Because Murphy didn’t hire Ball as GM. In consolation, he gave Ball more job titles, and more money. To appease Ball, he also put him 2nd in charge basically.
I don’t think it’s out of line to think that Ball had everything to do with Murphy getting rid of McCarthy. As a matter of fact….I’d wager that, that was the very reason they gave him the “secret” extra year on his contract, Because they knew they were going to let him go.
In my mind…..the dysfunction (and lies) started as soon as Murphy opened his mouth announcing Thompson’s “new job title” and what led to it in early 2018.
I could discuss this all day, into tomorrow.
Like i’ve said before….If someone from the inside, ever wrote a book that told the tales of life inside 1265 Lombardi Ave…i would pay an obscene amount of money for it. In a heartbeat.
When Bob Harlan hired Ron Wolf. Wolf demanded one thing, full power, or he didn’t want the job.
What did Harlan have to do, he had to rewrite the Packer bylaws in order to give the GM complete control.
What did Mark Murphy have to do to restructure the bylaws to where he could yield full power over football operations? He had to have the Packers by-laws re-written.
Bob Harlan giveth, Mark Murphy taketh.
What’s the difference between Bob Harlan and Mark Murphy?
Bob Harlan knew he wasn’t qualified to run football operations.
The dysfunction started long before this article cam out.
I think a big part of the reason why Wolf wanted full control was because the Executive Committee had a reputation as being meddling. Also, Parins had offered the GM job to Wolf in 1987, but Wolf claimed that when he asked who was in charge, Parins said, I am, and Wolf decided to decline.
Wolf wanted full control because the BOD’s picked the head coach to be hired. The hiring standard being that he has past ties with the Packers.
Judge Robert Parins didn’t have experience, or the first clue about football (his own words). You find it odd that Wolf would decline?
The Packers were 43-61-2 under Parins. But here is the shocking part….he was inducted into the Packers HOF in 1998.
Obviously the standard was pretty low back then, when it was the good ol boys club.
In closing…the reason Wolf wanted full control, is because he wanted to win. The Board at that time didn’t just “meddle”. They made major football operation hiring decisions. Their record speaks to the success of that structure.
If you’re a Packer fan and you haven’t read this book, it’s a must read.
One indication that the team has greatly improved, as authored, points scored, points given up, etc.
Points given up shows no improvement, can we just be honest about that?
Points scored improved to epic proportions.
So what was done here, is taking the positive offensive improvement, and lumping it together with the regression of defensive scoring. To show improvement overall.
In essence…The offense success, is again covering for the defensive negative. Something seasoned Packer fans have been watching for years.
So..to be more accurate. The offense improved by leaps and bounds…The defense…no so much.
Further proof….This team will go as far as Aaron Rodgers arm can take them.
“So, Packer fans, embrace the moment. Enjoy it. Revel in it. Your team is (now) a top-notch outfit…..”
I don’t want to speak out of hand, but……
Wouldn’t that quote be much better suited after the Packers, let’s say…..win the NFCCG and head to the Super Bowl?
Like…ya know…somewhat, proving it?
I’m going to agree with a number of great HOF NFL players. Going into the playoffs, the regular season means nothing, it’s over.
Until you’ve had success in the playoffs, you haven’t done…anything. See the 15-1 2011 Green Bay Packer team.
I can get on board with Rob’s take on LaFleur.
I didn’t disparage the pick from the start if my memory serves, but i reserved judgement with slanted eyes because of who selected him.
As it seams so far…it was a great selection. Which i have given Murphy credit for more than once.
I don’t know how LaFleur will be without Rodgers, trying to develop the next franchise QB…but so far, job….done damn well.
Coach la fleur manned up today and put pettine on notice. Soft coverage isn’t gonna fly in the playoffs.
Let’s see if pettine listens.
I think that was Monday’s news conference. It is not the first time LaFleur has brought up defensive issues such as poor tackling, gap control, swarming to the ball, and soft coverage. I think the players and Pettine have upped their game on the first three with more work needed on consistent good tackling. The soft coverage in certain situations is still an issue.
If things don’t go well in the playoffs, and even if they do, I think LaFleur has earned the right to put the type of defense and coordinator he wants in place. That goes for ST’s coordinator also.
I did it again, clicked out of a message window before i sent it…This time twice…smh :)
I was discussing who was more qualified and has more football operational experience to be qualified to make decisions on coaches and coordinators. Murphy, or LaFleur? What’s scary….is the fact were still discussing this two years later. Murphy should have showed more faith in his head coach by now…publicly.
When it was “insinuated” that Murphy has been asleep at the wheel, and someone had to “suggest” to him that he remove Thompson.
Murphy… took it WAY to far to show he was in charge, to tell everyone, he is the Boss, and that he has the last word on everything. It’s like we haven’t heard from him since.
His ego has possibly been a handicap to the team, and certainly an insult to those right under him in my eyes..
So, I read into this a little differently than Howard did. Basically, I think Kevin King was being called out. It has been previously stated that the packers defenders have a certain amount of latitude on defense to do different things based on situations, reads, ect. Jaire Alexander has played off the ball as well, it’s worth noting, at times in 3rd and short situations. He also is a very twitchy player that can close very quickly close and either make a tackle, or make a play on the ball. King on the other hand, does not possess those traits. Long lanky corners rarely do. I do think at times that King maybe gets more shit than he deserves, because let’s face it. Alexander is so good that QBs don’t bother throwing his direction and as a result, King and the other corners are going to see a lot more targets. King has mostly been ok in coverage. He gives up completions, is a terrible tackler and is a negative in the run game. All stuff we already knew. I am curious as to why they continue to play him if he is doing things they don’t like. I thought the Iowa guy was ok in his playing time, and while he was starting actually ranked toward the top of NFL corners in yards given up per coverage snap. He is a bit grabby at the top of routes which can lead to penalties, but he showed to be a better, more willing tackler than King.
I will always be critical of Gutekunst’s decision to give up a 1st and 4th for a QB when contractual commitments locked them into ARod for a minimum of 2, but likely 3 years. The benefits of a rookie QB contract will be squandered.
He did make the right call on Bulaga, as he only played 5 full games this year- which is $2M/game- not worth it. I hope he takes the same approach to King, unless the deal is extremely favorable let him take his hamstrings and shoulders elsewhere.
Not only are the benefits squandered, that’s secondary.
The real damage done is he picked 3 players and lost a 4th, that didn’t help you this season. That was just from this last draft.
Before you throw your laptop across the room…i said….this season. Dillon may turn out well, but i said this season.
“This season”……is the only one that matters right now. Not next season, not the 2022 season.
This season is not over yet. Maybe Dillon can contribute in a playoff game(s) on the frozen tundra. Let’s wait until the season is over for GB before we decide that Dillon did not help this season.
I think he could have contributed on a bunch of short yardage situations lately, and during the season.
You’re correct, he could still help out. The trick is, getting him in there if Jones and Williams are healthy.
Put Dillon and Jones in at the same time. I believe I read somewhere that Dillon played 3 snaps last week, all with Jones. Two of the three were passes to Jones and the other was a Dillon run.
Washington DC = embarrassing
Biden is denouncing the acts of the protest in DC, acting very Presidential. That’s respectable in it’s right.
But tell me this….where was Biden during the months of protest over the summer, the killing of police, the burning of buildings, the looting of business’s. Where was he during the violence and destruction that turned city streets into war ruins? Where was he calling for peace?
I mean…besides Biden telling us during the protest…that he understands their frustrations?
Was that somehow less important?
Because it didn’t fit his agenda to denounce the BLM “protests.” I’m not going into detail about all the ass-backwards bullshit or despicable acts that have gone on this year. One thing is obvious though… this is not about equality, safety, or anybody’s good health. It’s all about control. Like Mark Murphy times infinity.
Much like the Packers front office, there is more than meets the eye.
He did say over the summer?
Good article Rob. I have listened to 670-score a little this week driving home from work — always fun after beating the bears.( If only they had a favre/rogers over the last 30 years.) Puts things in perspective concerning the current packers organization.
Its bye week so I’m looking ahead to next years (2021) possible starting lineup assuming that in 2021 Gute:
1) does not resign any current UFAs because of cap reasons (jones, king, lewis, linsley, williams)
2) only selects draft picks that will help us in 2025 and beyond
3) fails to pick up any starting caliber free agents from other teams or un-drafted rookies
4) signs key RFAs (like toyan, ..)
Offense: Rogers, Adams, Lazard, MVS, Dillon, Tonyan, Turner, Runyan, Jenkins, Patrick, Wagner
Defense: Alexander, Jackson, Sullivan, Amos, Savage, Barnes, Gary, Z Smith, P Smith, Clark, Lowry
Wow, I bet the bears would trade in a heartbeat.
Can anyone imagine…the Packers winning the Super Bowl?
If you think about it. Besides the #1 seed in the AFC, the Packers earned the right to have the easiest path to the Super Bowl. A first round bye, coupled with homefield advantage (the cat birds seat).
Do i see it happening?….absolutely not
Is it possible?…..absolutely.
After the draft…people had as much confidence in the Packers winning the Super Bowl, as they had in the confidence of the NFL getting a full season in.
If the Packers did win the SB….who deserves the credit? I’m going 5% for Murphy (hiring LaFleur). I’m going 5% for Gute (providing depth).
Then i’m going 90% to LaFleur and the coaches, and the players.I lump them all together because to me….that is THEE team.
Because…i know the difference between dysfunction, and team.
If the Packers won the SB, i will probably be laughed at, ridiculed, mocked, and i wouldn’t GAF about any that.
Because……Rodgers would win his 2nd Super Bowl, his 3rd MVP, and quite possibly his 2nd SB MVP.
I would call that vindication for Rodgers, and i don’t know anyone…who would be more happy to see that happen, than myself.
I would be ecstatic for him.
But……to believe it, i have to see it. There are 3 steps in this process. Let’s start by winning our 1st playoff game after the wildcard weekend shakes out.
Now, in regards to the Packers this post season. They have as good of a shot as anyone. Nobody in the NFC is a world-beater. I know people on this board have referred to the Packers record against good teams. As it stands, they are 4-2 against playoff teams, with two of those wins against the bears obviously. The saints are 3-2, Seahawks 2-2, bucs 1-5…… You get the idea. Btw the Packers defense ranks 5th in EPA since the Vikings loss.
If people want to be pessimistic, that’s their right. I really don’t understand why anyone would take the energy to be the fan of a team only constantly complain about them. I am just glad they are playing football at this point given what is going on in the world, and if they win it all, that’s just gravy. They have the team to do it. They have a lot of great players and they have been playing good team football the last six weeks
Ummm…ok, your speech is complete. If they have the team to “do it”. Then…they’ll “do it”.
The only thing missing is….the actual “doing it” part. When they “do it”. Everyone will give them credit.
Some people don’t understand why some people want to be the fans of a team (that they look at realistically).
Maybe…. they were born a Packer fan and they’ll die a Packer fan.
Nobody…..gives a F who you, or anyone else thinks, should, or shouldn’t be a Packer fan.
One thing i’ve never said…Rodgers has lost it….or, Rodgers needs to be benched…..or,lets give Hundley a shot…..or, maybe we should trade Rodgers……
Who was complaining about that player? I know it wasn’t me.
Who said if McCarthy got fired he could have his pick of any job he wanted in the NFL. I sure as F know…..it wasn’t me.
Maybe the NFL will come out with a trophy, for the best team that “could’ve done it”. They can put it right next to a Banner.
Also, imagine the fact that Bakhtiari is a HOF caliber LT and there have been several other pro bowl caliber offensive linemen in Rodgers tenure, which is a lot more than a lot of QBs get. Bahk has made five straight all pro teams lmao. Linsley has been a top center for years. Davante is first team all pro. Yeah Rodgers carries this team. Holy fucking shit. Playoff wins are a team stat sport
He had another HOF caliber LT back in the 2011 season….who was that guy….Marshall something?
You’re correct, Rodgers has some Pro Bowlers around him. A rarity around the league.
Linsley’s having a great year with a PFF grade of 89.9…no doubt. A huge improvement from last year at 69.8.
But then again, last year it was tough finding receivers open. The ball is coming out a lot quicker this season.
Think that has any bearing on a lineman’s grade?
Damn. Imagine thinking that because only 1 in 32 teams in a given year win it all, and that isn’t worth being optimistic about a teams chance. I mean, there is a big difference in being confident your team’s chances and chugging koolaid and guaranteeing victory. Imagine after every win, pointing out all the negatives, even if a player made a single bad play out of a largely positive body of work. Imagine saying “I forgot Snacks was even there and I didn’t hear his name” when clearly his role is strictly run downs so he will probably play 20% of snaps, and if someone actually paid attention, he was a force in the run game. He did his job in eating up blockers and disrupting the play, allowing the backline to come up and make the tackle. That is, if you paid attention. Imagine thinking that Rodgers “carried” the team, and that he didn’t play poorly in 2018-2019. Ah, but that TD/INT ratio is the end all be all of QB play. The Packers won games this decade because they had a solid team around a great QB. Look no further than the Texans this year with Watson. That is a team without talent and a great QB. He had a qb rating only 20 points higher than Rodgers in 2018 and 2019
Maybe you should go buy Watson’s jersey, i mean, when your complaining about Rodgers all the time after jumping off the Rodgers bandwagon you’ll have something to wear.
I see your back on the Rodgers bandwagon this season. Are you comfortable, is the seat ok?
The Packers won more games with one established receiver because……..
PF4L January 8, 2021
I think the difference between 9-7 and 13-3 is the offense, is fairly plain and simple. I mean that isn’t hard to figure out.
2019 points scored = 376
2020 points scored = 509
But you are correct…Rodgers 2018 and 2019 years weren’t as good as this year. Maybe……we should let Rodgers know that because his rating isn’t clearly above 100. That you have a problem with that.
If he can’t be great every season, Kato isn’t having it!!
“Above average” QB play doesn’t fly in Kato’s world!!
What does carry a team mean to you? If you don’t think Rodgers carries this team, you’ve got rocks in your head. Everyone and their Grandmother knows what this team is without Rodgers, except you apparently.
Imagine if Rodgers…is only playing “above average”, and a Green Bay Packer fan wants him benched, wants Hundley in, claims Rodgers hast lost it, wants to trade him, etc. You know any fans like that Kato?
That’s not complaining?
Favre had a career passer rating about 86, the same as Cutler. If Rodgers has a few years in the 90’s, all you do is bitch.
What the F is wrong with you?
Rodgers is at 121 passer rating now with one established receiver…is that good enough for you, does that meet your acceptance standard?
I think it does, your back on the Rodgers bandwagon.
Tell us more how McCarthy made Rodgers. Tell us more how McCarthy would have his pick of NFL jobs if the Packers got rid of him.
Tell us more why a QB who throws 31TD’s and 8 picks in the NFL, is clearly sub par and unacceptable.
Because it’s not 40TD’s and 5 picks?
Stick to what you do best….eat a D
Oh here you go again talking about passing statistics from different eras. Everyone that knows anything at all about the evolution of the passing game and the rules changes that has made that a lot easier knows that comparing passers pre 2007 to post 2007 is dumb. Prime example, speaking of Favre. Was Favre in 2009 season with the queens a better player than he was in say, 1996? I mean, he set personal bests for passer rating a completion percentage. I mean, Kirk Cousins probably has a better career QB rating than Favre does. Better completion percentage, ect. Rodgers in some of those down years was in the bottom half of the league on categories like completion percentage and QB rating. Look at QBR which is probably a better metric to use for how well a QB is playing. Rankings between 14-20 for some of those down years.
Go ahead and toggle between those seasons. I am sure PFF grades would probably tell a similar story. I am glad Rodgers is playing better, and has been pointed out, year two in the offense probably helps. It’s also worth pointing out that last year in the off-season, I said if Rodgers wants to continue to be an effective QB from here on out, he will have to play from the pocket and within the structure of the play a lot more than he has been, and get rid of the ball quicker. He has done all of those things. His scrambles are at an all time low, he is getting rid of the ball faster than he ever has, even in the years where be had all time receiver talent around him.
What Watson did this year despite an atrocious team, is nothing short of outstanding. His QBR is a bit low, ranking 12th in the league, and he was penalized heavily for sacks. That team would likely be 0-16 if Watson wasn’t there. I would daresay the Packers, if Rodgers was replaced by a league average QB would probably still have won 8-9 games pretty easily
Such a simpleton….
Read my comparison between Rodgers and Favre …again. Look at pass attempts.
The differences are not due solely to a couple rule changes.
The difference’s are due because Favre was careless with the ball and he didn’t put enough time in the study room (his own words).
Stop acting like a naïve child. This is like trying to teach algebra to a special needs student..
A couple of things. The Packers had a pretty easy schedule this year. The NFC North was weak. I am still not sold on this team. The offense is better because Rodgers knows the offense better, seems to have bought in, and it’s a balanced offense, but I still think the Packers will struggle against teams with a tough defenses like the Bucs and Rams, who are very similar to last year’s 49ers team, a team that knows everything the Packers are going to do.
At the beginning of the season, the schedule looked more daunting. After all, the Titans, Vikes, Texans, Niners, Saints and Eagles were all playoff teams. With the Vikes slow start, and the Eagles, Texans and Niners falling off the map; it made life a little easier for the Pack. The defense has been playing better but, I’d like to see them play solid ball against teams like the Bucs, Rams and Seahawks. Just as important, I’d like to see the STs’ get it’s act together.
Yeah, the special teams is the one big worry of mine. Unfortunately, one bad play by them could very well be the difference between super bowl and going home
Mick has it right, most all of us saw a tougher schedule this season, but some teams fell off the map.
Just goes to show how quick things can change in year to year, for teams without a franchise QB. Or teams like the Texans who seem clueless.
Pretty sure the Saints are still a strong playoff team, even though they had a lot of adversity this season.