Has the Packers’ window of opportunity closed?

Oct 7, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby (2) reacts to missing a game tying field goal with 8 seconds to go in the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis defeated Green Bay 30-27. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

By Jerry Bulone

As I watched Sunday’s game against the Colts, I couldn’t help but think … Is this it? What happened to the NFL’s next dynasty? Not to long ago we were 13-0 and the only question was will the undefeated, defending World Champions run the table and cement their place as one of the best teams ever?

Sure the “D” gave up a ton of yards, but they created turnovers, and part of the reason was that our offense forced other teams to air it out just to be competitive. And trying to win a shootout against Aaron Rodgers last year would be like trying to win one against Billy the Kid in the Old Wild West.

However, on Dec. 18, 2011, that all changed.

An interim coach welcomed the Packers’ high powered offense to Kansas City. I remember watching this game from my basement, playing with my kids, not really paying attention at first. After all, I was too busy dreaming of a 14-0 Packers team playing the next week at Chicago on Christmas Eve, while 19-0 looked more and more realistic.

As the game went on I will never forget the faces on those Packers players that day. Almost like they were thinking the same thing I was. They couldn’t believe that someone was actually stopping them. They basically caught a stout uppercut to the chin from a little known challenger and much like Mike Tyson after that infamous night in Tokyo, the undefeated world champion Packers were never the same again.

Oct 7, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) is sacked by Indianapolis Colts nose tackle Martin Tevaseu (68) at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis defeated Green Bay 30-27. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Fast forward to this year and things have gone from bad to worse. Sure, we are only five games in but the same issues keep surfacing. Rodgers is getting pressured more, receivers are creating less separation, running backs are finding even less space. The defense that was supposed to be much improved because of the vast influx of young talent, may actually be worse.

What you seem to have is a coach, a team, and a fan base looking for answers.

The answer may just be that the Packers caught lightning in a bottle during those 19 wonderful games. Or that other teams have simply figured them out. Maybe the constant reshuffling of our front office and coaching staff has finally affected the product on the field.

Either way, the big question remains – is this the end? Has our window of opportunity officially closed? Or is this just a bunch of fans over reacting to a slow start?

No one really knows. However, what i do know is that I was not the only Packers fan watching that game thinking, what has happened to our mighty Packers?

Whether you agree or disagree, there is one thing we can all agree on –  it isn’t going to get any easier.  Next week as we have to travel to Houston to play the undefeated Texans … get your popcorn ready.

Topics: Green Bay Packers, NFL

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