The Green Bay Packers have been a model of consistency

Would more Super Bowl appearances over the last 20-plus years have been nice? Yes, but the Packers have consistently been in the mix, a feat that should be appreciated. 

The New England Patriots' dynastic run with head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady, which resulted in six Lombardi Trophies and nine Super Bowl appearances, distorted fans’ reality of how difficult it is to win a Super Bowl. NFL fans, including those that rock the green and gold every Sunday during the NFL season, consistently point out how much of a travesty it is that the Packers only won two Super Bowl titles, with three total Super Bowl appearances, in roughly 30 years with two Hall of Fame quarterbacks. I think a lot of fanbases, especially those of the Packers’ NFC North rivals, would take that success. 

Is it frustrating that the franchise could not have hoisted the Lombardi Trophy at least once more over the last 30 years, or even made a second trip to the Super Bowl with Aaron Rodgers under center? Yes. However, I cannot stress enough how difficult it is to make it to the Super Bowl, let alone to win the Big Game. 

Consistency from season to season is underrated within the NFL discourse. And the Packers have been one of the most consistent teams over the last 20-plus years. Each season, minus a few here and there, the Packers have had a legitimate shot to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. 

Case in point, they have the third-most regular season wins (231) in the NFL since the turn of the century, trailing only the Pittsburgh Steelers (235) and the Patriots (262). Moreover, Green Bay is tied with the Seattle Seahawks for the fifth-most playoff wins (14) since 2000. 

Since 2000, the franchise has won 12 NFC North crowns, including three separate stretches of winning at least three-consecutive division titles (2002-04, 2011-14, 2019-2021), and posted a winning record 17 times. The Minnesota Vikings have won six division titles over that span; Chicago Bears have won five; and the Detroit Lions have won zero. 

Since the turn of the century, the Packers have also made six appearances in the NFC Championship game, tied for second with the San Francisco 49ers. The Philadelphia Eagles are first with seven appearances. The rest of the NFC North has combined for five appearances. 

To put things into proper perspective, the Packers registered one playoff victory from 1968 until 1992. During that same stretch, they won one NFC Central crown (1972), with only six seasons ending with a winning record. In the 1980s specifically, the Packers were 65-84-3. 

The future in Green Bay is unknown, perhaps even cloudy, if for no other reason than it is undetermined how well quarterback Jordan Love will play. The Packers might enjoy the same type of success going forward as the franchise did during the 1980s. They might join a whole host of NFL teams in coming to grips with the fact that it is not easy finding and developing a star NFL quarterback, leaving them as a fringe playoff team without any threat of making noise during the most important stretch of the season. Alternatively, Jordan Love might turn out to be a top-ten quarterback, if not better, for the next ten or so seasons, and as a result, the Packers will continue to be a model team in terms of producing consistent results on the field. 

Who knows, at the end of the day. But I do know that being in the mix year after year, season after season, should not be ho-hummed. 

__________________________

Rex is a lifelong Packers fan but was sick of the cold, so he moved to the heart of Cowboys country. Follow him on Twitter (@Sheild92) and Instagram (@rex.sheild). 

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5 points
 

Comments (20)

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Coldworld's picture

June 23, 2023 at 12:27 pm

I suppose it depends on one’s definition of success. It’s certainly been better to be a fan of the Packers than anyone else in our division for a quarter century.

That said though, in the modern NFL world, the object is not to survive but to win in my opinion. The league now funds the teams primarily through shared revenue, not local fans in seats or sponsors. The Packers foundation is now sitting on enough assets (outside of local property) to ensure a healthy future as long as the league doesn’t kill the media interest.

Given that, being good enough to maintain fan interest isn’t critical. That means that teams can afford to take risks. Did we? Is it ok to be also rans in the playoffs most years behind Favre and then Rodgers? I don’t think so.

Coming off Harlen/Wolf, I expected better. Coming off 2014, I still thought we had a platform. Sadly both were not to be for various reasons to do with the front office. On the whole, looking back, I think we’ve mostly squandered opportunities to achieve what I define as success far more than we’ve seized them. Yes that’s better than the rest of the division, better than our preceding quarter century, but ultimately an opportunity and talent wasted.

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Leatherhead's picture

June 23, 2023 at 01:14 pm

I think the crux of it all is right here:

"" That means that teams can afford to take risks. Did we?"""

If you substitute the world "people" for "teams", then you can decide that for yourself. Do I take risks? Absolutely. Calculated risks. I don't take stupid risks, like walking into oncoming traffic, but every day, in many ways, I take risks. I invest, and have for 30 years. I carry insurance to protect my assets. I'm sure most of us do. This is different.

This is running a corporation that's making north of $500 million a year. The livelihoods of many, many people depend on you not screwing things up. Your own considerable salary depends on not screwing things up.

Statistically, you win the division once every four years and we're double that. You'd win a Super Bowl once every 32 years, and we're double that. Statistically, you'd be in the Championship game once every 8 years, and we're way above that. You'd also win half of them, and that's where we've faltered.

But still, this is a very successful franchise by any measure you'd want to put on it. It has a good brand, it puts competitive teams on the field, we win more games than any other team. That's success, my friend. That's sitting by the pool, checking out the tans, and drinking some good beer. Maybe it's not

We've certainly squandered some opportunities. 2014 really sticks out, and 2020 and 2021. No doubt. But if you're implying that we should have been more aggressive in getting free agents in or something, I'm not really in agreement with that.

Even if you want to be a short-term kind of guy, and only look back over 5-10 seasons, I think you'll see the Packers are consistently one of the better teams in the league. That's success, not failure.

If you'd want my opinion about squandered opportunities, I'd just say that our best players didn't play their best that day. And you can run that all the way back to 2001 and see that's it's true. 2003, 2007, 2011, 2014, 2020, and 2021. Our best players didn't play their best in those losses.

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TarynsEyes's picture

June 23, 2023 at 02:01 pm

" I'd just say that our best players didn't play their best that day. And you can run that all the way back to 2001 and see that's it's true. 2003, 2007, 2011, 2014, 2020, and 2021. Our best players didn't play their best in those losses."

Why is it, that our Best Players consistently play their worst when we need their best?

You have to just adore 'consistency'. It's so, satisfying.

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Leatherhead's picture

June 23, 2023 at 02:30 pm

I didn't say they played the worst; I said they didn't play their best. Sometimes they were terrible....the 6 interceptions in one game, the 55.4 passer rating in 2004 when we lost to the freakin' Vikings, the 2007 Championship.....Rodgers had 350 yards and 3 TDs against Tampa.....and a costly turnover, and two very bad series at the goal line.

The point is that the organization consistently puts teams on the field that have a chance. But the main dogs don't get us to the top of the hill.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

June 23, 2023 at 02:25 pm

I suspect that it would be hard to mess up financially in the NFL at least in the medium future. Possible, but fairly difficult. I suppose the team could invest a ton of money in a white elephant project. It could mess up the stadium, renovating when replacement was necessary, or not getting public backing when it becomes necessary. Long term at some point Lambeau Field will get too old. And keeping up local revenue in a small market area requires some good teams. This is my concern moving on from Favre and Rodgers. I think that's why the Packers always seemed to keep one eye firmly on the future instead of being totally win-now.

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Leatherhead's picture

June 23, 2023 at 02:50 pm

You're probably right about that.

But we could be bad on the field. That's happened before, and it's happening to teams all over the NFL. How would you like to be a fan of a team that just....never....wins. Detroit. Cleveland. Minnesota.??

I'm just saying it's not about "let's take a chance". It's about the the costs and the effects of that chance. I think you win by making solid moves, not taking daring leaps.

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Oppy's picture

June 24, 2023 at 04:52 am

A minor complaint:

You don't statistically win the division every four years or statistically win the the superbowl every 32 years. You're confusing probabilities with statistics, and on top of that, those statistical probabilities would only be valid if all factors with all teams were always equal every season.

It's not a roll of the dice or random draw of numbers.

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croatpackfan's picture

June 23, 2023 at 12:29 pm

It ia always nice when your team become champion, winning it all. In any sport it is hard to replicate final success so many times and there are rare occasions when one team are able to take several titles in the row.

Also, there is the fact that talking about winning the title before season even started very often produce hard disappointment when things fails down.

So, I'm more for looking first to have winning record at each season, then to improve that record to win the division, then look to win NFCCG and then we can talk about possibility how to win the ultimate title.

Taking that in the account, any team/organization which is able to be more or less in contention almost every year should be respected and respected highly.

Go Pack Go.

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splitpea1's picture

June 23, 2023 at 01:20 pm

Been there and done this before ad nauseam with the "model of consistency" perspective....

All the division crowns and NFCCG appearances should be appreciated, but they all play second fiddle to hoisting the Trophy and declaring yourself king of the NFL.

You have to take advantage of opportunities when you have them, and the Packers largely did not over the past decade. Whether it was continuing to watch the special teams deteriorate, ignoring free agency, hiring passive coaches, and not adding potential difference-makers with quirky personalities late in the season that would have come cheaply, the Packers just sat on their hands and relied on "draft and develop" to push them over the top. And it never happened.

In 1996, Wolf added Beebe, E. Robinson, Dotson, and D. Howard when we already had a solid team, and managed to add Andre Rison when injuries struck. Now THAT's going all in and giving your team what it needs to get over the hump.

As we rebuild/retool to establish that solid team again, I hope we will complete the process this time by adding useful veterans when the time arises.

We also really need to get out of this mindset where we're almost begging that Love be as accomplished as our previous two QBS. If you build a strong defense, special teams, and running game (and one that can convert short yardage regularly), then there's not as much burden on the quarterback to produce spectacular results; Mahomes and Brady didn't win every time, you know.

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Leatherhead's picture

June 23, 2023 at 01:43 pm

I think that Free Agency was different in 1996 than it is today, and teams hadn't learned out how to manage the cap as well, and there were better deals available in free agency.

We don't need Love to be as accomplished as our two previous QBs; we just need him to play well enough for us to win.......something neither of the other two really did.

If you have the time and/or inclination, go back to our playoff losses to 2001, and tabulate up what our QBs did in those losses. I think you're going to see it isn't very good at all. Rodgers did have some good performances in some of our losses, like 2009 against the Cards, but most of time he was ....less than awesome. Both times against SF. A lot of yards but 0-6 in the redzone against Tampa. The Seattle loss we didn't do much with all those takeaways. He had an uncharacteristic two turnovers against the Giants in 2011.

Just saying, I don't think we need an HOFer at QB as much as we need a guy who plays well in these games.

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TarynsEyes's picture

June 23, 2023 at 02:34 pm

"I think that Free Agency was different in 1996 than it is today,"

Agreed. The difference is back then the players wanted to get paid but also wanted to win, today it seems the player only wants to win the contract negotiation, regardless of where it comes from. They can always cry about not winning after getting the deal.

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Leatherhead's picture

June 23, 2023 at 05:04 pm

Everybody wants to win. Winning is fun. Getting stomped by other teams isn't. You don't want to look like you don't belong on the field with your opponent. Pride still matters to some people, and it matters more than money.

The Packers are trying as hard as they can, and so is everybody else. But what I see in the Packers, that I don't in some other organizations, is the way they approach big decisions now versus before Wolf. It's more organized. They like to develop from within. They take a longer-term view than the average fan. They're cautious.

I'm looking at a 30 year record that's been pretty successful, and there have been some blown opportunities, but I think the Packers Model is a better path than the way they do things in Chicago and Minnesota and Detroit.

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Oppy's picture

June 24, 2023 at 05:03 am

The overwhelming majority of players value the stability of the long term contract over the blockbuster-I'll-play-for-anyone-who-pays-me-the-most types.

Only the big splash shocker contracts that move players around are widely reported on, or at least, paid attention to. People talk about Bob Smith becoming a free agent and going to Atlanta on a blockbuster deal. Nobody is at the water cooler talking about Bob Smith quietly being extended another 3 years in a team friendly deal.

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TarynsEyes's picture

June 23, 2023 at 01:38 pm

The Patriots with Belichick and Brady figured out how to create a dynasty, and one that will likely never be seen again, even the Chiefs with Mahomes will be hard-pressed to equal.

The Packers have in a way achieved a dynasty, albeit different from that of the Patriots. GB has mastered the art of being in the wedding party as either a Bridesmaid., or obnoxious guest that knows how to get invited, but is quickly ousted.

This Org seems to be disconnected from wanting to be sitting at the head table with all eyes admiring them. The FO, as like many fans/commentors here at CHTV, appear to be satisfied with their place, like celebrity admirers screaming how awesome it is to have a ticket to see them walk the red carpet.

I understand that consistency is a form of success, but consistency can, and often, leads to passivity not positivity, no matter the angle one takes to view it to create the illusion level necessary.

Having so many SB qualified teams over the last 13 seasons, and watching the FO make inconsequential moves to keep the finish line further, expecting more the previous status mentioned seems daunting, at the moment.

Go Pack Go will always be my mantra, even if they don't.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

June 23, 2023 at 02:29 pm

I don't like the message in this article. Sigh, yes, being good is better than being bad.

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TXCHEESE's picture

June 23, 2023 at 04:48 pm

Deleted

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GregC's picture

June 23, 2023 at 05:16 pm

They probably should've won at least another championship or two with those two great QBs. It's hard for me to complain, though. How many fan bases have had better experiences than Packer fans in the last 30 years? Only one. Patriots fans. Steelers and Broncos fans are about equal.

And something that isn't mentioned enough is that it took some smarts and some guts to acquire both of those QBs and develop them. Neither QB was an obvious choice. The Packers did not luck into them. People may say in hindsight that they lucked into Rodgers, but they didn't need another QB at the time, and the Rodgers pick was widely panned.

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Leatherhead's picture

June 23, 2023 at 05:59 pm

''''The Packers did not luck into them.''''''

No kidding. I'm astounded sometimes that people think this stuff just magically happens, and every decision is the right decision, and every gamble pays off, and you never have bad luck but sometimes you have good luck and you get a miracle QB......

Sheeesh. The simplest, most honest thing would be to say "The Packers organization is pretty good. Not perfect, but better than most."

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Since'61's picture

June 23, 2023 at 10:03 pm

The Packers are a non-profit organization. As a result their definition of success is different than the privately owned teams in the league.

The Packers first priority as a non-profit is maintain a sufficient revenue stream to sustain the organization. This has been mostly accomplished thanks to the league revenue sharing, salary cap and a sold out stadium for the next 20+ seasons.
Second priority as a non-profit is to protect their brand from a major scandal which would damage the brand's good will and reputation in the public eye. To date the Packers have managed to avoid any such brand damaging scandal.
Third for the Packers is to field a competitive team which sustains the Packers national fanship and TV ratings in prime time games.

As long as the Packers are in contention they achieve their 3 priorities for the organization. Making the playoffs sustains the fans interest even with the disappoint that comes with not reaching the Super Bowl. If the Packers get a few lucky bounces or a few calls in their favor during the playoffs and win the Super Bowl its great for the players and the fans but the goals of the Board and the organization have been achieved before the team gets that far.

I'm not saying that the Packers don't wan to win the SB they just don't have the same sense of urgency that a private owner may have. It shows on the field. Except for a few games each season the Packers rarely play with a sense of urgency that lasts for the full 60 minutes of a game.

Maybe that changes with this new era. Maybe not. Besides retirement what is driving Murphy for the next 2 seasons? Fans seem to be satisfied as they continue to fill Lambeau. Rodgers is gone. So what's left to do? Build for the future. Except the Packers have been building for the future since 2011 and apparently they are considered a successful organization. So it's all good and "Onward towards glory we go!"

Appreciation for the Packers consistency is fine but how long is the current level of consistency (making the playoffs) acceptable?
"In this business you are either first or you are last." Coach Vince Lombardi. I seriously wonder if anyone at 1265 still believes that. Thanks, Since '61

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bottlefliper's picture

June 24, 2023 at 01:26 pm

Success on the field its not the same like off it. The Cowboys are really bad since 1995 but are the francise who is woth the most. So they made a lot of money and way more than New England ever had.
The Packers just right the way they are and Im pretty sure a dumb, greedy owner makes way more misstakes than the Packers and MM.
But hey, lets blame everyone else, just like AR always did. The NFL, the FO, the coach, the system, the modern times, the universe.......
AR was the main reason we have to admid that

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