As all who care are aware, the Green Bay Packers enjoy their scheduled bye this weekend after a tough victory over the formidable Los Angeles Rams last Sunday. They are currently well positioned in the NFC playoff seeding, trailing only the Arizona Cardinals (whom they have already beaten) by a game in the loss column and maintaining a one game lead over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While a higher playoff seed is clearly relatively better than a lower seed, a team’s playoff fortunes are sometimes not all that much a product of its seeding; as the Packer faithful are aware, there have been years in the Favre-Rodgers Eras in which the Green and Gold have enjoyed high seeds and faltered in Lambeau Field, while the team’s last Super Bowl victory, Aaron Rodgers’ only championship, occurred when the team barely squeezed into the playoffs and then rode what had become an outstanding defense through a series of road playoff victories.
What might provide the Green Bay Nation with reason for optimism is the possibility, as noted by former Dallas Cowboys Quarterback and Fox Sports Color Analyst Troy Aikman at the end of the Packer-Ram game, that the Packers, despite their enviable standing, aren’t yet playing their best football. Notwithstanding yeoman performances by what at times has been a somewhat makeshift offensive line, the team needs to give Mr. Rodgers better pass protection. Likewise, its defensive pass rush has been intermittent – for which the team has thus far been able to sufficiently compensate through the stellar play of its secondary. Finally, after years of outstanding performance by Placekicker Mason Crosby, Mr. Crosby has lately been, at best, inconsistent. I would venture that if the Packers suffer no more serious injuries to key contributors, four primary contributors – Offensive Tackle David Bakhtiari, Cornerback Jaire Alexander, Linebacker Za’Darius Smith, and Running Back Aaron Jones – return at close to full strength for their stretch run (Mr. Jones played against the Rams despite a recent knee injury, but except for one run on what for him were limited touches, didn’t look like his normal self), and Mr. Crosby can get his groove back 😉 , Green Bay has a legitimate shot at a Super Bowl berth, and perhaps a championship.
Those are, granted, a lot of ifs. Even so, we Packer faithful should enjoy the ride, since this feels mighty like it could be the last year in Green Bay for Mr. Rodgers, and, unless Mr. Crosby improves his consistency, perhaps his last year with the team as well. If so, judging by what we saw of Currently Heir Apparent Quarterback Jordan Love a few weeks ago, the football talk in Wisconsin at this time next year could center on how the team might best use what could be a high upcoming first round draft pick to begin rebuilding its fortunes in 2023.