The current struggles of the 2012 Green Bay Packers have caused many members of the media to question the legitimacy of the 2010 Super bowl champion Green Bay Packers.
The fact that many of the same players are on this year’s club, has caused some to view the 2010 Packers as just a good team that got hot at the right time. Quite frankly this is incorrect, and insulting to those who played so hard to become champions of the National Football League.
While it was an incredible run, make no mistake they were the best team in football that year, and I can prove it.
First, the Packers suffered through an injury bug like no other that year when 16 players ended up on season ending injured reserve. These were not just regular players either, but players like Nick Barnett, Ryan Grant, and Jermicheal Finley, all of whom were expected to make major contributions to the success of the Green Bay Packers.
Just as amazing, the Packers at no point in their 20 games that year trailed by more than 7 points. To put this in perspective, no team had done this since 1962. Just take a second and think of all the great teams, Lombardi’s Packers, Walsh’s 49er’s, the undefeated 72’ Dolphin’s, or the 85 Bears – none of them can say that.
The Packers lost last week to the Giants by 28 points, the 2010 Packers lost all 6 of their games by a combined 20 points. Of those losses, two of them were in overtime, two of them were without their star, (the real MVP of the NFL that year) Aaron Rodgers, and none of the loses were by more than 4 points.
Also there is a common belief that Aaron Rodgers went on an incredible run during the playoffs in 2010. While his play was phenomenal, his passer rating during that 4 game stretch was only 8 points higher (109.8) than his rating for the entire season (101.2).
The Packers offense was ranked fifth in passing that year, and was in the top five in every passing category there is. The offensive line gave up 38 sacks, but got much better as the season went on. While their running game was a weakness for most of the season, they did score 11 touchdowns and got much better when Starks got healthy. Starks even led the NFL in rushing during the post season with 315 yards (which was 85 yards better than anyone else).
The Packers defense that year was ranked fifth overall. They were second in the NFL in sacks (trailing only Pittsburgh by one) and second in interceptions (trialing only New England by one). They also held opposing quarterbacks to a 67.2 rating, which was tops in the NFL by almost six full points. Finally and maybe most important, they were second in the NFL in points allowed, giving up only 15 points per game.
Fittingly enough even in their biggest game of the year, Superbowl XLV, the Packers had to meet adversity head on, losing almost their entire secondary to injury, including their captain, Charles Woodson, and star receiver Donald Driver. They would once again overcome the injuries and left Dallas that night victorious.
So the 2010 Packers were champions of the world, and raised the Lombardi trophy. As you can clearly see it was not by accident, or by catching lightning in a bottle. They were a very talented team, that could do everything well, played hard all the time and persevered in even the most difficult situations.
Now that my friends is the stuff from which true champions are made.