Aaron Rodgers pushes back against perception of Packers mediocrity

AP

There’s a prevailing narrative in some circles that the Packers routinely underachieve, and that they have no problem with it. Their quarterback recently addressed that perception.

“I get asked about it, I got asked about it last week — this idea that the Packers embrace mediocrity,” Aaron Rodgers told Peter King of TheMMQB.com. “I think what we’ve done the last eight years, making the playoffs [every year], there’s only a couple other teams that have ever done that. New England, actually, currently is on the same streak as us, making the playoff for eight straight years. That’s tough to do, especially with the parity of this league and how they pair up division champions each year to play each other in the same conference. We’ve sustained success, we just haven’t sustained it on the top level. We haven’t won more than one Super Bowl. We’ve also been to three NFC championship games and none of them home. So that’s how we look at it. We’ve got to get one of those at home, because we are tough to beat at home.”

They’re not as tough to beat as home as they should be when it counts. During Rodgers’ career, the Packers are only 3-2 at home in the postseason. It started in 2011, when the Packers chased a 15-1 season with a stunning loss to the Giants in the divisional round. It continued two years later, with a wild-card loss to the 49ers under conditions that should have been too cold for San Franciscans to fully function.

Still, it’s always better to play at home in the playoffs. The Packers haven’t been able to pile up the record necessary to force the road to the Lombardi Trophy through the place where Lombardi coached, even though they haven’t been facing a murderer’s row of opposition in the NFC North. With Rodgers insisting he plans to play up to 10 more years, they’ll have more chances to do that.

“I don’t feel like our window is closing here,” Rodgers said. “I feel like this window is going to be open for a while. And in order for some of that stuff to go away, the outside noise, we’re going to have to win another Super Bowl. It would be disappointing if we were only able to win one in my time here. Hopefully we can get one of those done.”

Frankly, it’s already disappointing that they’ve won only one. And the outside noise has been earned, especially with the G.M. stubbornly refusing to sign free agents (that may be changing), the head coach stubbornly defending a consistently-embattled defensive coordinator, and the quarterback last year taking subtle shots at the head coach for not ensuring that the team has the right energy level on the sidelines or instilling a healthy fear that jobs can and will be lost.

Regardless of whether they win another Super Bowl, the Packers are hardly mediocre. But maybe it would be better to be mediocre than to be close and close and close and close but never quire where they need to be.

64 responses to “Aaron Rodgers pushes back against perception of Packers mediocrity

  1. What do you mean “not a murderers row” in the NFCN” The Packers annually face the 57 time defending summer-time World champion Vikings.

  2. The last two seasons they barely made the playoffs and without help from the Refs and hail mary prayers, would not have been in….they ARE mediocre, good offense with bad defense. I will admit the window isn’t locked yet, but it is definitely closing and will be locked once Erin is gone.

  3. I’m not going to say that they underachieve. It’s just that we all know that QB is the most important position in sports. Green Bay has one of the all time greats playing right. He does things that other QB’S just can’t do. And GB only has one ring to show for it. Everyone knows that it’s hard to win a SB but when Eli has 2, it’s hard to grasp how Rodgers has just 1. It pains me to say it, but I’m guessing Rodgers finishes with 2 or 3.

  4. It’s not that the packers embrace mediocrity as much as they tolerate under performance. When the broncos fired John fox I thought they were insane to fire a coach who led them to a SB birth and 3 straight playoff appearances, however sometimes coaching or other factors are holding the team back from their true potential. The drafting in GB has been bad but ted Thompson is one of the safest GM’s in the league. Mccarthy may be a good coach but after choking in Seattle, getting humiliated in Atlanta, getting destroyed by the 49ers two years in a row, and a poor performance in Arizona (while a great game the packers needed 2 Hail Marys to even be in the game) can you honestly say they haven’t underachieved?

  5. Will this be the year they miss the playoffs? Possibly, but Viking, Lions, and Bears on paper don’t look like world beaters either. Ask me after 4 regular season games.

    Rogers has the ability to get close calls, much like Brady (and Jordan did in the NBA). To say that the Pack has been helped in the past few years by some questionable calls is the understatement of the millennium. Just watch a Pack game and tell me they don’t get away with holding or how Rogers ALWAYS gets a free play for offsides (the plays are always blown dead for the Clevelands of the world).

  6. allight59 says:
    August 7, 2017 at 9:58 am
    The last two seasons they barely made the playoffs and without help from the Refs and hail mary prayers, would not have been in….they ARE mediocre, good offense with bad defense. I will admit the window isn’t locked yet, but it is definitely closing and will be locked once Erin is gone.

    ////////////////

    I bet you also blame the refs for Walsh’s missed kick.

  7. Overachieving is the word everyone is looking for. They would be 4-12 without “Look at me” Erin Rodgers. They get exposed by balanced teams in the playoffs and need phantom PI calls and Hail Marys just to get there.

  8. Haven’t had a top ten defense since 2010. Even when they were 15-1, their defense gave up the most yardage in the league. Rodgers carries the franchise on his arm, but that only goes so far. When you’re not well-rounded, that get exposed against good teams.

  9. 8 straight playoff years, 3 NFC championship games and a SB win. 30 other teams would be more than happy to have attained that level of “mediocrity” no matter how much they jealously whine and take childish shots here.

  10. The last two seasons, they’ve sandwiched two 6-0 stretches around 8-12. That sounds like a mediocre team that has the capacity to get hot sometimes. That means they’ll make the playoffs most of the time but will only win a Super Bowl if they have a hot stretch where they’re playing over their heads during the playoffs. That’s what happened in 2010, but it’s hard to do because you’ll usually run into a really good team in the playoffs.

    As much as Packer fans rip Viking fans for being optimistic about their team, no fanbase is more delusional than them when they think they’re a Super Bowl favorite every year.

  11. They’re a 10-win football team.

    The defense is average at best, and could be a bottom 1/3 unit if the young guys don’t show up.

    The coaching staff is subpar. Capers is a complete joke. McCarthy is predicable and is often outcoached, even in victory.

    They will go as far as Aaron Rodgers carries them.

    Same story since 2010.

  12. “The drafting in GB has been bad” in Green Bay. That right there tells me you don’t know what you’re talking about. GB has had great depth on the roster, despite routinely picking in the bottom 5 in each round. GB has a top 5 offensive line and only the RT is a first rounder. Picking one of the better LTs in the league in the 4th round is great drafting. Picking a center in the 5th round who started and played top notch ball as a rookie is not bad drafting. Finding an UDFA to step in after they let go a pro bowl guard without it being noticeable indicates they can pick talent.

    The biggest issue with underperformance (other then the NFC Title game snafu in 2014) is injuries. In 2015 they had almost no healthy WRs. Last year they lost their best CB for the season, the #2 and 3 were playing injured, their OLBs were both one-armed by playoff time (Matthews with a bad shoulder and Perry with a club on one hand), and they lost #1 and #2 RBs and were starting a converted WR at RB.

    GB has drafted two of the better safeties in the league, a guy who was second in voting for the DPOY, two WRs who were #1 and #2 in scoring in last year. Oh, and Thompson picked the franchise QB the rest of the league let slip all the way towards the end of the first round (the Vikes had 2 chances to pick him).

    Are there draft busts in GB? Sure, but there is everywhere, even the hallowed N.E. In the last decade Belichick has had some terrible draft picks, particularly in the secondary. They just cut a recent first rounder this year. GB is much better at drafting than most of the league.

  13. It’s not that the packers embrace mediocrity as much as they tolerate under performance.
    =====

    There is a pretty clear divide among the fanbase right now.

    I’m 40, I didn’t suffer through the 70s and 80s the way the older Packer fans did. I understand why those fans are happy with 10-win seasons, Division titles, and Playoff appearences.

    Myself, I’m not sure I’ll be able to bear Rodgers winning only 1 Title the way #4 did.

    Its not easy to win Super Bowls, I’m not suggesting it is. But to have a player as exceptional as Rodgers… and to only get 1??…. Unacceptable in this fans eyes.

  14. The last two seasons, they’ve sandwiched two 6-0 stretches around 8-12. That sounds like a mediocre team that has the capacity to get hot sometimes. That means they’ll make the playoffs most of the time but will only win a Super Bowl if they have a hot stretch where they’re playing over their heads during the playoffs. That’s what happened in 2010, but it’s hard to do because you’ll usually run into a really good team in the playoffs.
    =====

    Is it a coincidence, the only season Rodgers has had a top 5 defense, he won a Super Bowl?

  15. “The drafting in GB has been bad” in Green Bay. That right there tells me you don’t know what you’re talking about. GB has had great depth on the roster, despite routinely picking in the bottom 5 in each round.
    =====

    Compare this roster against 2010. Its not close, on either side of the ball.

    6 consecutive top picks spent on D. HHC-D is the only guy we know for a certainty is a player.

    The defense has been average or worse for FAR too long. Either the coaches don’t develop talent, or the personnel dept isn’t getting good enough players.

  16. Oh, and Thompson picked the franchise QB the rest of the league let slip all the way towards the end of the first round (the Vikes had 2 chances to pick him).

    And for those who live in an alternate universe and conveniently forget… the Vikings had a nearly 5,000 yard passes and potential NFL MVP in the prime of his career in 2004 who later suffered a career altering injury. Under no circumstance would they have taken a QB.

  17. As a life long Packer fan

    Dom Capers Defense & Aaron Rodgers NFCC game performances are the definition of Mediocrity.

    Love #12 but he doesn’t play well in late season Playoff games.

    Dom Capers has been asleep in the booth since 2011. By far the most overrated defensive coach in the NFL.

  18. I hardly call the Packers mediocre. As a Viking fan, I don’t like them, but making the playoffs for the last umpteen years in a row like they have, mediocre teams don’t do that.

  19. Why is Rodgers bragging about NOT winning super bowls?

    I mean, GB fans constantly tout the 75 year old line of “13 world titles”, and immediately criticize ANY fan of any team when they speak positiviely.

    There is not ONE Vikings fan bragging about offseason championships. Its packer fans who brag about preseason super bowls.

    Yet, when their OWN QB brags about NOT winning super bowls, that’s perfectly fine with packer fans.

    Break a leg Aaron. Good luck at competing again in 2017-18. Your fans are used to bragging about competing and then losing in the playoffs, all while they judge all other fans based on winning super bowls….I mean 75 year old championships.

  20. Aaron Rodgers will leave GB for the New England job in 3 years if the mediocrity continues.
    ======

    If he plays his contract out and wants to leave, my $$$ is on Denver.

  21. Love #12 but he doesn’t play well in late season Playoff games.
    =====

    What have you been watching?

    His Playoff QB rating is 3rd highest among active QBs.

    He’s 10 whole points ahead of Tom Brady.

  22. Look at all the Viking, Lion and Bear jealousy. Ok, it’s mostly Viking fans.. but still.

    What does that say about your team that all you can do is rip on a team that has annually kicked your tail for 25 years?

  23. aarons444 says:
    August 7, 2017 at 11:38 am
    Love #12 but he doesn’t play well in late season Playoff games.
    =====

    What have you been watching?

    His Playoff QB rating is 3rd highest among active QBs.
    ——————————————–

    Rodgers has completed less than 60% of his passes in three NFC championship games (Pack is 1-2 in those games), and has 4 TDs against 5 ints in those games.

    Maybe that is what the original poster was watching.

  24. To me the Packers under Ted T have been excercising “cheap ball” tactics for years.
    They let pro bowlers leave to save a buck and try and replace them with 4th 5th round draft picks to save money. When Jenkins was let go Mathews game went to hell becaue Jenkins chased QB’s into this arms. Pass rush has been absent since them.
    They lost a very good db to injury and let two go to free agency and replaced them with nobodys. That is mediocre football.

  25. bhuettl says:
    August 7, 2017 at 10:56 am
    If the Packers are so “mediocre”, what does that make the Bears, Lions and Vikings?

    ************************************************************************************

    That’s the whole point, isn’t it? The Packers are in a bad division and their record reflects that. Once they get into the play-offs with the other quality teams in the NFC, they get exposed for that they are: the best team in a bad division.

  26. thegreatjimbrown says:
    August 7, 2017 at 10:57 am

    GB has had great depth on the roster, despite routinely picking in the bottom 5 in each round.

    The biggest issue with underperformance (other then the NFC Title game snafu in 2014) is injuries.
    _______

    So they have great depth but can’t overcome injuries. Got it.

  27. AR has had a top 10 defense 2 times in his career.

    Brady – 6 times, Manning 5 times, Big Ben has had it 9 times!

    As for AR sucks in the playoffs – he’s NEVER, not ONCE ever scored less than 20 points in a playoff game.

    Brady’s done that NINE times, P. Manning did it 11 times. Aaron – ZERO, he’s always put up at least 20 points in every playoff game he’s been in and considering they’ve gone 8 years in a row – that’s a heck of a run.

  28. I see Inconsistency not Mediocrity in Green Bay.
    Sometimes overachieving, sometimes underachieving.
    But it’s been years since we saw A-A-Ron play consistently at his high level for the whole year.

  29. As a Packers fan, I think they do seem satisfied with just getting to the playoffs. If they wanted to get over the hump they’d fire Dom “It’s 3rd and 16 lets send everybody into a soft zone 20 yards back and let them gain 18” Capers.

  30. teal379 says:

    August 7, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    AR has had a top 10 defense 2 times in his career.
    ————-
    That’s a lot of excuses you just wrote, for a QB that shouldn’t need any. Like Aaron said himself, maybe they should win more games in the regular season so they can play at home. Of course, they’re only 3-2 in the playoffs at home with Aaron, so that shouldn’t matter either.

  31. AHAHAH Packers #3! Give me a break! The Packers are a one man show and all these packer fans crying about it’s their defense, special teams that cost them the chances. Here’s a quick one for you. It takes a team to win. Just ask how the Patriots! Sharon Rodgers had a few Hail Mary’s, that’s it. Pressure him, force him out as he’s aging. It’s over.

    Why is it, you can’t say anything negative towards Packer fans that is the truth without them imploding?

  32. zerotrophiessince1961 says:

    August 7, 2017 at 11:45 am

    Look at all the Viking, Lion and Bear jealousy. Ok, it’s mostly Viking fans.. but still.

    What does that say about your team that all you can do is rip on a team that has annually kicked your tail for 25 years?
    ——————-
    First of all, the article wasn’t written by any Vikings fans, and it declared AR and company have underachieved and embrace mediocrity.

    Second of all, why cherry pick 25 years? Since the Vikings have been in existence, they have won the division 20 times to Green Bay’s 15. Yes, The Vikings have not won the SB. But, to say GB is kicking the Vikings tails, or “own” them, as many like to say, simply is not true.

  33. There is not ONE Vikings fan bragging about offseason championships. Its packer fans who brag about preseason super bowls.
    Yet, when their OWN QB brags about NOT winning super bowls, that’s perfectly fine with packer fans.
    ——-
    Don’t forget their cheers for their CEO talking about a Super Bowl in the preseason or their bragging about being 3rd in a preseason power rankings.

  34. AR has had a top 10 defense 2 times in his career.

    Brady – 6 times, Manning 5 times, Big Ben has had it 9 times!
    =====

    The Patriots have had a top 10 scoring D 12 of Bradys 15 years as a starter.
    Top 5 6x
    #2 twice
    #1 twice, both years they won the SB.

  35. As a Packers fan, I think they do seem satisfied with just getting to the playoffs. If they wanted to get over the hump they’d fire Dom “It’s 3rd and 16 lets send everybody into a soft zone 20 yards back and let them gain 18” Capers.
    =====

    I like Dom “hey lets run a blitz that hasn’t surprised anybody in 20 years” Capers

  36. The are middle of the road with a fantastic talent at QB. If he had any support on defense or an offensive line he probably would fare better.

  37. If you pair Rodgers with any random NFL team with random NFL coaches, he would likely go 10-6 and least get you to the wild card. Doing better than that is up to the GM and coaches. By that standard, the Packers organization has been average with a HOF QB carrying them.

  38. Any number of at least twenty five other teams would love to have this “problem.”

  39. The oddsmakers in Las Vegas don’t list mediocre teams near the top their lists to make it to the superbowl every year. Does that mean those teams near the top of the list are sure bets every year…no. BUT it does say that those teams have an above average chance to be make it. Mediocre teams are not regularly listed as such. I would be willing to bet that GB is near the tops of those lists over the 20(?) years. I can think of only a few teams that regularly occupy those rankings. I’ll also bet your team in not one of them (unless your the Patriots, Steelers and the such). Does Green Bay have short comings? Hell yes. Who doesn’t (that includes the Patriots, Steelers and the such)? And just because the Packers reside in a crappy division doesn’t qualify their successes as mediocre. If your team is better, come and get you some.

  40. CallingYouOut says:
    August 7, 2017 at 11:55 am
    bhuettl says:
    August 7, 2017 at 10:56 am
    If the Packers are so “mediocre”, what does that make the Bears, Lions and Vikings?

    ************************************************************************************

    That’s the whole point, isn’t it? The Packers are in a bad division and their record reflects that. Once they get into the play-offs with the other quality teams in the NFC, they get exposed for that they are: the best team in a bad division.
    ___________________
    In Rodgers career as a starter, The NFCN has sent 2 teams to the playoffs all but 2 years. That means they played “other quality teams in the NFC” nearly every season before entering the playoffs.

  41. An average team with a great QB! Most teams in the league wish they had that problem. If Rodgers ever gets hurt, then we’ll all see exactly what they are.

  42. Good thing Mendenhall sucked so bad at holding on to the ball or a-rodg wouldn’t even have 1 SB.

  43. Good to see a team having faith in itself going forward rather than players and fans patting themselves on the back for a “nice 5-0 run.”

  44. crownofthehelmet says:
    August 7, 2017 at 5:27 pm
    Good thing Mendenhall sucked so bad at holding on to the ball or a-rodg wouldn’t even have 1 SB.
    ///////////////////////////////

    Do you mean the SuperBowl in which Rodgers moonwalked all over the Steelers with a smile on his face? That one?

  45. conormacleod says:
    August 7, 2017 at 12:29 pm
    teal379 says:

    August 7, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    AR has had a top 10 defense 2 times in his career.
    ————-
    That’s a lot of excuses you just wrote, for a QB that shouldn’t need any. Like Aaron said himself, maybe they should win more games in the regular season so they can play at home. Of course, they’re only 3-2 in the playoffs at home with Aaron, so that shouldn’t matter either.
    —————-

    Yeah, it’s pure coincidence that 95% of all Super Bowl winning teams have had a top 10 defense, including the 2010 Packers and every Brady-led Patriots team. Apparently Rodgers has to do something Brady has never accomplished in order to be considered in the same league as him.

    Oddly, I believe Peyton Manning was one of the few QBs to win a Super Bowl without a top ten defense. Just throwing that out there.

  46. >pshark5 says:
    >August 7, 2017 at 4:50 pm
    >
    >An average team with a great QB! Most teams in the league wish they had that >problem. If Rodgers ever gets hurt, then we’ll all see exactly what they are.

    We have already seen it. In 2013 the Packers were 5-2 and leading Chicago 3-0 when Rodgers went out. They lost that game and were 7-7-1 by the time he came back. The two wins were vs Atl (4-12) and Dal (8-8) (both had losing records when they played GB) and the tie was vs Min (perennial losers and 5-10-1 that year). They were 2-5-1 w/o Rodgers and only played one winning team in that stretch – Philly. The combined final record of the teams they played during the 2-5-1 stretch was 57-70-1

  47. The Packers have been in 16 playoff games with Rodgers at QB, have always scored at least 20 pts, and avg 28.6 in those games. Rodgers is the best, no question.

  48. Good thing Mendenhall sucked so bad at holding on to the ball or a-rodg wouldn’t even have 1 SB.
    =====

    I’m more amazed how inept your coverage was.

    The Packers wideouts left a couple tds on the field with their drops.

    And Polamalu sure didn’t look like a HOFr that night!

  49. “even though they haven’t been facing a murderer’s row of opposition in the NFC North”

    The NFC North has sent a wild card team to the playoffs in ’10 (Packers SB) ’11 (Lions) ’12 (Vikings) ’14 (Lions) ’15 (Packers) ’16 (Lions). That is 6 out of 7 years since the Super Bowl run. Do some research, Florio.

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