A trip down memory lane
Need I remind you of how last season went through 10 games?
The Packers have gotten off to slow starts for just about every year since 2013 (the exception is 2015, when they started 6-0). They have still been able to win the NFC North five of the last six seasons, and make the playoff for seven straight years.
As I said on Twitter on Sunday night during the waning moments of the game, us Packers fans have been witnesses to this type of heavy defeat. Strangely enough, it has happened on Sunday Night Football quite frequently.
However, as stated earlier, the Packers have often picked up the pace after slow starts. Here are just a few examples of those Packers teams that started off slow, and picked things up late in the year.
2012: Packers start 2-3
One of these losses was to Seattle, in the infamous “Fail Mary” game. The Packers also fell short against the 49ers and Colts, with an ineffective defense and an offense almost completely void of a running game. Their starting tailback was Cedric Benson, who was quite obviously past his prime.
Green Bay ended up turning things around, and finished the regular season 11-5. They won a playoff game against the Vikings, but came up short in a tough divisional round game to the 49ers. This was the first of two playoff games where Colin Kaepernick broke the hearts of Packers fans.
2013: Packers start 1-2
Losses to the Bengals and 49ers were actually not quite as bad as they looked. The Packers came up just short of a win against two playoff teams. The Pack went on a roll after their second loss, and reeled off four straight wins. This team may have been capable of a deep postseason run, but Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone, and backup Matt Flynn was only able to keep the Packers near .500.
Rodgers returned in Week 17 against the Bears to help the Packers improbably win the NFC North with a record of 8-7-1. If Rodgers hadn’t gotten injured early in the season, the team probably would have gotten an easier playoff matchup than against Kaepernick and the 49ers.
2014: Packers start 1-2
This is the year Rodgers uttered the infamous phrase telling Cheeseheads to relax. He was correct in doing so. The Packers won the NFC North at 12-4, and entered the playoffs as one of the best teams in the league.
That team was destined for a Super Bowl title, and if not for a collapse in the final few minutes of the NFC Championship Game, they would have been playing against the Patriots for the right to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.
2016: Packers slump to 4-6 after 10 games
Last year was the farthest into the season that the Packers had looked as bad as they did. This was no 1-2 start. They were down and out, and one of the lower-tier teams in the league after a four-game losing streak caused the Packers to fall to 4-6.
The eight-game winning streak the Packers went was a 180 degree turn from the 4-6 start. Although they ended up getting blown out in the NFC Championship Game, the team rebounded from a slow start, and made a playoff run to finish the year off.
I know what you’re saying. This year needs to be different from those years. We want a Super Bowl. That is still a strong possibility, and things can certainly still be different from previous ones. The Packers are currently 1-1.