What if the Packers miss the playoffs again?
"Tanner writes: Hey Tanner, I know the Packers basically took a year off since Rodgers was hurt, but what if the performance of the rest of the team wasn’t a fluke? Sure, Aaron Rodgers is back on the field, the young running backs performed well and we’ve revamped our staff, especially on defense, but that isn’t always a quick fix. Can the Packers afford another year of missing the playoffs?"
Yeah, we’re starting with a good one here. Perhaps every Packer fan’s yet-to-be-conceived worst nightmare is this scenario. We’re hopefully far from it, but the end of the line will eventually get here. The Packers can’t be great forever. But what if that time is closer than we think? Like, next year.
It’s difficult to draw a scenario where the Packers miss the playoffs again because of all the things Tanner stated in his question. The Packers seem to have found a viable running game and Mike Pettine should have the defense playing better than last year. That’s not really a tall task. The most talented quarterback in the league is also back on the field, and we all know what he can do when he’s playing at the top of his game.
This question sticks in my mind because despite all those things it’s really not that difficult to imagine the rest of the NFC being just as good, or better, than they were last year. Every NFC playoff team could easily make the postseason again next year. For the Packers to make it, one would have to go.
The consequences would be disastrous. Mike McCarthy is as good as gone if the Packers manage to miss the playoffs despite a full season from Rodgers. The fan base would turn completely against him in a Dom Capers-esque fashion. Rodgers would get significant backlash from naysayers. The Packers’ run of dominance atop the NFC North that has lasted about a decade would be crumbling before our eyes.
This is a very important season for a lot of people in the Packers organization. Expectations are high and I believe they’ll be met. There really isn’t another option for many of them.