Why the Green Bay Packers' Super Bowl Window Has Closed
It takes an NFL team more than just being good to put together a Super Bowl-winning season.
You also need a little bit of luck.
Green Bay Packers fans should already be familiar with this concept. Had James Starks not blossomed at the exact right time in the 2010 playoffs, there would likely still only be three Lombardi trophies belonging to Title Town.
So far this year, luck certainly hasn’t been on Green Bay’s side.
Between Greg Jennings’ continuing groin problems, the insanity of the Monday night game at Seattle, constant phantom pass-interference calls on the secondary and Mason Crosby’s worst career field0goal attempt coming in his most important moment of the season, Green Bay can’t seem to catch a break this year.
Some teams are able to overcome unfortunate circumstances. The 2012 Green Bay Packers do not appear to be one of those teams.
They should never have put themselves in a position for the Inaccurate Reception to be a possibility.
And although the Packers probably would have won Sunday if Crosby made both his field goals, it still doesn’t excuse giving up a 21-3 halftime lead to a rookie quarterback on a team that went 2-14 a year ago, especially when the Packers went 15-1 in that same year.
Before Sunday, a rookie quarterback that was chosen No. 1 overall in the draft had never beaten an opposing quarterback that was the reigning MVP of the league.
If you’re going to put together a strong postseason run, you simply cannot afford to give away games when luck is already not in your favor.
And it’s not going to get any easier to pick up wins.
Next week, the Packers travel to Houston to play one of the two remaining undefeated teams in the league.
Then they finish their three-game road trip by traveling to St. Louis to face a Rams team that suddenly looks pretty legit.
After facing a Jacksonville Jaguars at home, the schedule gets very tough. The Packers have to face the Detroit Lions and the Vikings twice, the Arizona Cardinals and both the New York Giants and the Bears on the road.
The only “gimme” game in the second half of the season is against the Tennessee Titans, but really, no game in the NFL is a “gimme” anymore.
What looked like one of the league’s easiest schedules prior to the season suddenly seems more like murderer’s row than a walk in the park.
Everyone thought the Packers would be a surefire playoff team, but now, it appears they’ll have to fight and claw their way back just to get to eight or nine wins.
The offense isn’t near the level it was last year.
The defense seemed to be fixed for two games, but showed its true colors once it no longer faced Jay Cutler on an off day or a rookie quarterback not named Andrew Luck.
The special teams has been the lone bright spot, barley keeping the Packers alive in their two victories with trick plays.
In a 16-game schedule, a two-game swing is too much to overcome, especially when you’re not clicking the way you should be.
The end of the 2010 regular season through Week 14 of the 2011 regular season was the Packers’ time at the top of the mountain. Everything worked perfectly, and nothing could stop them.
Since then, it’s almost like the universe is trying to make up for their continued success. Green Bay has 4-5 record in that time period (including the playoffs) and the struggles don’t appear to have an end in sight.
It’s time to start planning for 2013, because 2012 is clearly not the Packers’ year.
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