Cory's Corner: Packers Are Clearly On Top

I am usually skeptical at what ESPN does. 

But I really liked the concept behind the NFC North All Decade Team

The best part about that team is that the Packers' dominance truly stares you in the face. Aaron Rodgers was easily voted the best player of the decade by a whopping 51 percent of the vote, followed by Adrian Peterson (25 percent), Calvin Johnson (18 percent) and Matt Forte (6 percent). Only Rodgers and Peterson are future Hall of Famers. 

It continues to coaching. Mike McCarthy had a winning percentage of 62 percent in Green Bay. He led the Packers to eight-straight playoff appearances, including a Super Bowl title. How good was McCarthy? He had more career playoff wins than Vince Lombardi and Mike Holmgren. 

That just tells you that the Packers were just playing a different game. They were exceptional at mining hidden gems and then coaching them into something special. 

And that's not even listing the entire team, which the Packers had eight on the roster — six on offense, three on defense and one kicker. 

The Packers were light years ahead of everyone else in the division in the past 10 years. 

And in Matt LaFleur's first season, not just as the Packers head coach but an NFL head coach, he won 13 regular season games and a playoff game. There's a reason that doesn't happen with a lot of other teams because the NFL is a week-to-week league and it's very very difficult. 

There's no reason to think that the Packers will not continue that arc of success. I think that the Vikings are getting closer, because that roster 1-53 is very solid. However, Minnesota took some liberties with their quarterback — the most important position in all of sports. Detroit has the second-best quarterback in the division, but has failed time and again of complementing him. And Chicago, well, the Bears just continue to trip over themselves when it comes to finding roster depth. 

A lot of people like to pick apart what the Packers have built because they have only won one Super Bowl. Why not look at it the other way and just come to the realization that winning a Lombardi Trophy is really hard. 

That's not to say that the Packers haven't made mistakes. Derek Sherrod, Jimmy Graham and Martellus Bennett were huge mistakes.

However, you are ultimately judged by how you sidestep problems and issues and the Packers have been able to that with remarkable success. 

The question will be, if this regime can swallow and hide mistakes just like the previous regime did. 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (30)

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arthurl's picture

June 20, 2020 at 07:12 am

There should be more tribute to the guy who built this team during that time. Ted Thompson deserves lot of credit and the organization was smart in his hiring. Other than the Patriots I don’t think there was another team as successful during the decade

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Leatherhead's picture

June 20, 2020 at 12:43 pm

Thank you. I’ve been a fan since the 60s and the Thompson-McCarthy era is a golden age in our history. A Lombardi Trophy. 4 Championship games, including a win in Chicago. A 15-1 season.

The entire organization makes a multitude of good choices and that’s why we’re not Cleveland or Detroit. Time will tell what Gutekunst-Lafleur can do with their turn.

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fordguy's picture

June 20, 2020 at 02:07 pm

So you're fine with participation trophies? How is that the players understand and say that anything other than the Super Bowl is a failure. Making the playoffs and losing only means that you're drafting late every draft. It's Super Bowls or bust, period.

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13TimeChamps's picture

June 20, 2020 at 03:32 pm

So going 13-3, sweeping your division while winning the NFC North is a "participation" trophy in your mind? You obviously have no clue how hard it is to win a Super bowl.

The Packers have been around for 100 years and have won 13 championships. So, by your way of thinking, the other 87 years were just failures.

One of my biggest frustrations over the past 15 years or so, has been the total lack of appreciation for McCarthy. The disrespectful name calling regarding his weight was really hard to hear. There are still posters on here that need to continue trashing him. I'll never understand it.

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murf7777's picture

June 20, 2020 at 05:07 pm

Agreed, many of the harsh criticism will eat their words when MM does well with the cowboys. Wish he went to the AFC so I could root for him!

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splitpea1's picture

June 20, 2020 at 07:32 pm

I posted a while back that McCarthy might be the first coach to win Super Bowls with two different teams. He definitely has the offensive talent and the Cowboys addressed defensive needs through free agency and the draft. And the Eagles are the only other team they need to worry about in their division, at least for now.

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Leatherhead's picture

June 21, 2020 at 09:11 am

What a bunch of nonsense. I’ve watched over 50 seasons and you’re telling me that 46 of them were failures.

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NickPerry's picture

June 20, 2020 at 08:19 am

As much as I've shown my dislike for Ted Thompson at times on this site, I DO have to give him credit for the earlier years as GM in GB. I've said more than once Thompsons career in GB can be split into 2 periods...His earlier years in GB like from 2005 through 2011 or 2013 even even were unbelievable.

If Ted took a WR in the 2nd or 3rd round he was going to a solid if not great GBP. Need a STUD offensive linemen? Ted will find one in the 4th or 5th round almost every time. Need a guy with the vision AND the sack it took to draft Aaron Rodgers with his first pick? Ted was your man. Just look at the front office he put together as well. I understand most worked under Ron Wolf as well but they learned A LOT from Thompson as well and are still contributing to NFL teams.

Where I had/have the biggest problem with Ted was his stubbornness to use Free Agency. A few players here or there on a few of those teams and we might be talking about 3 or 4 SB titles under Thompsons watch. I honestly believe that. I also don't blame Thompson quite as much for those last few drafts he had as GM. I think Mark Murphy who was around Thompson should have seem his right hand man was sick, not himself. At the end of the day, Thompson deserves much of the credit for any player put on one of these lists. He drafted them all.

Lets hope Gute hits on as many picks early in his career as Ted did. If so I'd imagine the Packers will lead the division the next time a writer puts together one of these lists during the slow time before the season starts.

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CheesyTex's picture

June 20, 2020 at 08:23 am

Interesting that 2 of the 2 "mistakes" you noted (and they clearly were mistakes) were tight ends. Compounding the Bennett mistake, which IMO was the worst, is the fact that they let a more productive Jared Cook (who had #12's trust) leave for less $ than they paid Bennett.

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jannes bjornson's picture

June 20, 2020 at 05:21 pm

A testament to a declining personnel dept.

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PatrickGB's picture

June 20, 2020 at 08:26 am

Thanks, that’s a very encouraging article. I see a lot of other teams swing up and down in the standings. GB has been rock solid for decades. We may not have won as many SB’s as I wish but we have, quite often, been in the mix. Very few teams can say that.

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ricky's picture

June 20, 2020 at 09:07 am

Comparing the W-L records of Lombardi and McCarthy is disingenuous. MM had four more games per season, and a longer post season than Lombardi. And Lombardi won three championships and the first two Super Bowls (which weren't SB's until later). Holmgren also took the Packers to two SB's. MM managed one appearance in the big game. And as far as Thompson goes, he was a very good GM until he had his health crisis.

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splitpea1's picture

June 20, 2020 at 11:07 am

Thompson's decline as a GM was also probably due to Schneider and Dorsey leaving.

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Johnblood27's picture

June 20, 2020 at 09:38 am

Derek Sherrod was NOT a mistake!

The guy had his leg shattered with nerve damage because of a missed block on the other side of the line by Marshall Newhouse whose man came flying around the corner, dove at the QB and barreled into the back of Sherrods legs, who was adequately blocking his man.

Take that back Corey, I demand a retraction, or list all injured players, such as Terrance Murphy and Jonathan Franklin as mistakes as well.
http://archive.jsonline.com/sports/packers/former-packers-adjust-to-life...

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jannes bjornson's picture

June 20, 2020 at 05:23 pm

I agree on Derrick, but he was a future RT, not a LT.

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Since'61's picture

June 20, 2020 at 10:06 am

Really, the NFC North All Decade Team?!?!? Yes, now I feel much better about not winning a Super Bowl since 2010.

Is there a more insignificant award that can be earned than a made up award by a network desperately seeking viewers when nothing else is happening.

We know that we’ve been the best team in the NFC North but we’ve stopped there. I’m not minimizing winning the division but the goal and focus must always remain on winning the Super Bowl, not on glorifying coming up short. “There is no substitute for victory.
Thanks, Since ‘61

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jannes bjornson's picture

June 20, 2020 at 05:24 pm

Thank you.

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Tarynfor12's picture

June 20, 2020 at 10:47 am

"A lot of people like to pick apart what the Packers have built because they have only won one Super Bowl. Why not look at it the other way and just come to the realization that winning a Lombardi Trophy is really hard."

When you have the QB that was claimed to be the GOAT after winning one SB while another had just won 3 SB's before Rodgers, and 3 more since Rodgers became a starter, and likely a better chance to win another in TB, claiming the latter of the above statement falls on deaf ears, especially when lesser win because the FO does what was needed for them to win.

We can all look at film and come up with reasons for failing, but coming up with that many reasons (yearly) says more about FO, and their inability or reluctance to remove and replace players quicker due to the 'family mentality' in a winning is everything business. Embracing less talented players because their good guys makes you the champion of the 'Nice Guys Finish Last' motto, and 2nd place is no better than last place and even Vince Lombardi agreed with that.

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fordguy's picture

June 20, 2020 at 02:15 pm

Bingo.

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hobowilly's picture

June 25, 2020 at 12:02 am

I've shared before several times, GB should have gone to the SB in 2015, one of MM's biggest downfalls was his lack of situational awareness/game mgmt late in important games, and, of course NFCCG's. The fiasco with Seattle is on MM, AR would have had his second SB appearance. Go pack go, so glad to have MFL and Gutey.

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splitpea1's picture

June 20, 2020 at 11:38 am

Sure, winning a Super Bowl is hard, but the way I look at it, you're only competing against 24 or 25 teams; with some franchises, winning is not the top priority, and others are managed too incompetently to ever have a shot.

And while the collection of division titles and wild-card berths we've accumulated over the years is impressive, the NFC North has not historically been the strongest division in the league. To use a baseball analogy, it's not like we're in the same division as the Yankees or Red Sox. Or in football, it's not the NFC East of the early 1990's--there are no such behemoths in our division. So we really should be setting our sights on being the best team in the conference and not be assuaged by playoff appearances that fall short of the ultimate goal.

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Ferrari-Driver's picture

June 20, 2020 at 11:46 am

Perhaps if we had picked Sean Payton instead of Mike McCarthy we would have picked up another Super Bowl or two. I liked both at the time and I realize this is just a Monday morning quarterback comment.

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splitpea1's picture

June 20, 2020 at 12:20 pm

Payton was the "hot" candidate at the time and he definitely wanted the job. I don't know why he was passed over; maybe someone else here knows.

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jannes bjornson's picture

June 20, 2020 at 05:26 pm

" we like our guys"

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splitpea1's picture

June 20, 2020 at 05:57 pm

McCarthy won the tiebreaker over Payton because he worked for the Packers before in 1999. That was easy to find--should've done my research before posting.

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13TimeChamps's picture

June 20, 2020 at 03:39 pm

Because Sean Payton has won more Super Bowls with his 1st ballot HOF QB than McCarthy did with his. Oh wait....

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Duneslick's picture

June 20, 2020 at 12:26 pm

I think Calvin Johnson should have been higher. I am a GB fan but Calvin in my opinion was the best receiver of all time.

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13TimeChamps's picture

June 20, 2020 at 03:45 pm

It must be really frustrating for Lions fans, having arguably the best running back of all time, and one of the best receivers at different times in their relatively recent past...and have absolutely nothing to show for it. In fact, both retired early due to their frustrations with Detroit's dysfunctional front office.

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marpag1's picture

June 20, 2020 at 05:02 pm

"The Packers had eight on the roster — six on offense, three on defense and one kicker."

LOL. Classic.

Ain't nobody heer fur countin' n stuff........

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

June 21, 2020 at 03:20 am

Kyle Long had 3 good, not great years. Lang had 3 years when he was much better and was others when he was also as good or better. Essentially, Lang was better and for a longer time period.

Robbie Gould was better than Crosby. Chicago has a lousy field, and it too is cold and windy.

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