Where are the Green Bay Packers headed? As of today, they are tied for 11th at the FanDuel Sportsbook (+2800) for reaching the Super Bowl in 2023. That seems more and more like a pipe dream.
Aaron Rodgers has been one of the NFL's most unique individuals during his time in the league. He speaks his mind, which sometimes seems to be a bit scrambled, and that refreshing approach has endeared him to some fans while alienating him from others.
That's where we are in society today. We should all strive to be honest, but most of us are afraid of the blowback. Rodgers doesn't seem to care about the response to his openness.
Don't get me wrong. Rodgers isn't complete unique, but he is rare. When I try to think of other players like him, the list starts and ends with Bill Walton in his NBA days as a player, and even to this day as an analyst.
But this article isn't an effort to psychoanalyze Rodgers. Instead, let's just thank him for his body of work in Green Bay and wish him well in New York with the Jets.
Rodgers did all he could in his 15 years as the starting quarterback in Titletown
He has a career completion percentage of 65.3 percent, and thrown for 59,055 yards with 475 touchdowns and just 105 interceptions for a career passer rating of 103.6. He trails Brett Favre by a mere 2,600 yards as the top player in franchise history in passing yards, has 33 more TD's and a whopping 181 fewer interceptions.
Rodgers won a Super Bowl and 4 NFL MVP awards. Favre won a Super Bowl ad 3 MVP's. Now, they appear to have something else in common - leaving Green Bay for the New York Jets.
It can reasonably be said that Favre had a better supporting cast, while it has often seemed like management expected Rodgers to do it all by himself. They failed to retain top receiver Davante Adams after he hauled in 123 catches for 11,553 yards in 2021, and spent several years as Rodgers' top target.
Allan Lazzard helped to fill that role in 2021, but Lazzard is also off to the Jets.
Even with Adams, Lazzard and Rodgers, the Packers have been just a so-so offensive team in recent years while simultaneously fielding a mediocre defense.
So the question has to be asked, where are the Packers going?
Jordan Love will take the reins in 2023. Will he have the lasting durability of Favre and Rodgers, or does this begin a cycle reminiscent of the 70's and 80's when Green Bay's revolving door list of quarterbacks included John Hadl, David Whitehurst, Lynn Dickey, Randy Wright and Don Majkowski?
From 1968 to 1992, Green Bay went through a prolonged drought of making just two NFL playoff appearances while suffering through 14 losing seasons. One of those playoff appearances came in the strike-shortened season of 1982.
In the Super Bowl era, the Packers are one of just six teams with 4 or more Super Bowl titles. Two of Green Bay's came in the first two years of that era in 1967 and 1968. The last came in 2011. They are more realistically going to be caught by Kansas City (3) before Green Bay wins a fifth.
The city's moniker of Titletown is becoming less accurate and based solely on bygone memories. But let's see what the near-term future holds as Green Bay transitions to a new era. If the Packers get back on top soon, "Titletown" can stick around.
We are about to be find out if objects are further than they appear in that rear view mirror?