Packers: Top 15 what-ifs of the Ted Thompson era Part 1

GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 8: Safety Nick Collins
GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 8: Safety Nick Collins /
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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – OCTOBER 15: Anthony Barr /

13. What if Anthony Barr didn’t break Aaron Rodgers’ collarbone?

What happened?

In Week 6 of the 2017 season, Aaron Rodgers was hit by Anthony Barr shortly after throwing a ball intended for Martellus Bennett, breaking the collarbone on his throwing shoulder.

The Packers were a shell of themselves without Rodgers and despite a few decent performances from Brett Hundley, his inconsistent play was ultimately one of the main reasons why the Packers struggled to stay alive without Rodgers in 2017.

The Packers nearly-decade long playoff streak was snapped as a result of the injury and the team had some major changes to both their front office and coaching staff after the 2017 season ended.

What if Anthony Barr didn’t break Aaron Rodgers’ collarbone?

The Packers would have continued to be one of the best teams in football if Rodgers was healthy, and the two-time MVP would have had a shot at winning another ring.

I think the Packers would have won every game with Rodgers that they did with Hundley, and I think the only games they would have lost with a healthy Rodgers from Week 6 on would have been the Pittsburgh and Carolina games, giving the Packers a 13-3 record overall.

The NFC playoffs would have looked like this (assuming everything else stayed the same):

  1. Green Bay (13-3)
  2. Philadelphia (13-3)
  3. Carolina (11-5)
  4. Los Angeles (11-5)
  5. Minnesota (11-5)
  6. New Orleans (10-6)

I think Carolina would have beat New Orleans and Minnesota would have beat Los Angeles in the in the wild-card round.

This would mean that Green Bay would be playing Minnesota at Lambeau Field and Philadelphia would play Carolina in Philadelphia in the divisional round. I think Green Bay beats Minnesota and Philadelphia beats Carolina in this scenario.

The Packers would have played Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles at Lambeau Field in the NFC Championship and I think the Packers would barely get by and advance to Super Bowl LII in this scenario.

The Eagles would have had a far superior defense but I think the Lambeau crowd and Rodgers would have been able to sneak past Philly in this game.

The Packers than would have played New England in Super Bowl LII and I think that the Patriots would have won that game.

I just don’t see Dom Capers and the 2017 Packers being able to stop Tom Brady in a clutch situation like Philly did, but it would have been a great game (like every Patriots Super Bowl is). The Packers would have been outmatched in this game.

I think Brian Gutekunst and Mike Pettine still would have respectively replaced Ted Thompson and Dom Capers as I believe the Packers feared losing Gutekunst to another team and Capers’ defense still would have been mediocre even if Rodgers was healthy.