The Green Bay Packers' 2011 season will ultimately go down as a failure, but there are plenty of positives to take away. While the Packers came up short of winning the Super Bowl and bringing back-to-back Lombardi Trophies to Green Bay, they had a magical year that happened to end too soon.
When the pain from the Packers one-and-done playoff appearance subsides, the fanbase will be able to look back at the 2011 season and remember all the positives, and great moments, that occurred during the great run.
Best of all, the Packers have a great opportunity to return to prominence in 2012, and will surely be one of the favorites to win Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans.
In 2011, Aaron Rodgers was spectacular, unbelievable and downright nasty. He abused opposing defenses in a way that had never been done before in the NFL. Finishing the year with a record-setting 122.5 quarterback rating, Rodgers played perhaps one of the best seasons the quarterback position has ever seen.
Rodgers was the rightful MVP, gaining a near unanimous decision, but settled for 48 of the 50 total votes. Although it didn't end in a Super Bowl appearance and a Lombardi Trophy, Rodgers' 2011 season will be remembered for quite some time.
The best part of Rodgers' success in '11? Rodgers is in his prime, and there is no telling what the quarterback is capable of doing in 2012, and beyond. With Rodgers playing at the level he is, the Packers will continue to contend for titles in the foreseeable future.
The 2011 Packers may have failed at their quest to bring back-to-back Lombardi Trophies to Green Bay, but they took down plenty of franchise and league records on their way.
Some of the franchise records that the Packers set in 2011 are:
- Points scored in a season (560)
- Total wins in a season (15)
- Total yards in a season (6482)
- Longest field goal (58 yards—Mason Crosby)
- Single game passing yards (480—Matt Flynn)
- Single game touchdowns (6—Flynn)
- Passing yards in a season (4643—Aaron Rodgers)
- TD passes in a season (45—Rodgers)
- Completion percentage (68.3—Rodgers)
Some of the NFL records include:
- Single season passer rating (122.5—Rodgers)
- Longest kickoff return for TD (108 yards—Randall Cobb)
With two lethal weapons in Greg Jennings and Jermichael Finley, the Packers were better off than most teams in the league. Add in role players like James Jones, Donald Driver and Randall Cobb and it starts to get unfair.
Oh, and then there's Jordy Nelson. As if the Packers needed another star, Nelson burst onto the national scene with a near Pro Bowl season, catching 68 passes for 1,263 yards and a remarkable 15 touchdowns.
Nelson scorched defenses all season long and will look to build on his success going forward, alongside Jennings, and hopefully Finley as well.
Dating back to the 2010 season, the Packers extended their winning streak all the way to 19, before losing to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 15. The streak is the second longest in the history of the NFL, trailing only the New England Patriots' 21 straight wins in 2003-04.
While it didn't come in one full season, the Packers' winning streak matched what would be the "perfect season" with 19 wins. If a team were to complete the feat, they would have to go a perfect 16-0 in the regular season, before winning three playoff games, including the Super Bowl.
During the streak, the Packers went 15-0 in the regular season and won four playoff games, all away from Lambeau Field, and won a Super Bowl during the streak. While it wasn't the traditional "perfect season," the Packers went over 350 days without losing a game.
The greatest positive coming out the 2011 season is the potential that the Packers have in the next couple years. With the best quarterback in the game, a dominating offense surrounding him and a defense with the potential to be a top defense again, the sky is the limit for the Packers, who could have a dynasty in the waiting.
With most of the pieces already in place, the Packers will benefit from adding a couple of pieces on the defensive side of the ball, bringing back free agents Jermichael Finley and Scott Wells and another offseason for young players to develop, the Packers are in prime position for more hardware.