Born out of a series of Tweets by commenter @RandBallsStu, an idea by your humble proprietor and a sick thirst to rile up Packers fans for no good reason, we present the second installment of our series called, "The Increasingly Lost Season." In this series, Stu will give a brief recap of the Packers' misfortunes as they tumble from 15-1 Super Bowl repeat team of destiny to Randy Wright-esque putridity (even if, in all likelihood, they really don't).
As the Vikings would no doubt tell the Packers, there’s no shame in losing to the upstart Indianapolis Colts at home. It happens to good teams like the Vikings, and it happens to teams like the Packers, playing out the string in an increasingly lost season. Blowing a 21-3 lead stings, obviously, but when one team enters a game with an elite signal caller in ESPN’s QBR metric (Andrew Luck) versus one in the middle of the pack (Aaron Rodgers, currently ranked #17), the end result can hardly be considered a shock.
This wrenching defeat is mitigated by an improved position in the 2013 NFL Draft, however, which is setting up to be the most important draft in this star-crossed franchise’s history. If the season ended today, Green Bay would select anywhere between 10th and 15th. While it’s doubtful that a Matt Barkley or Geno Smith (or even Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson) will be available to provide a definitive answer at quarterback for the Pack, there is a wealth of talent at the many other positions the team needs to shore up. Maybe USC’s Robert Woods will fall in their lap and allow them to pair a gifted young receiver with Graham Harrell. Perhaps a Barkevious Mingo (LSU) or Star Lotulelei (Utah) will be there to help patch a defense that is falling apart at the seams. Let’s face it: they could have 3 or 4 picks in the top 15 and still not be able to address all their needs.
Which leads to the elephant in the room: is Ted Thompson the right man for this arduous rebuilding job? Green Bay’s GM is rightfully praised for crafting a team that won a Super Bowl title a mere two seasons ago and ran off a string of 19 consecutive victories into 2011. Nothing lasts forever, though, and in a “what have you done for me lately” town where everyone from Vince Lombardi to Mike Holmgren to Ron Wolf were no longer needed, can the man responsible for a 2012 draft class that can at best be described as “Mike Sherman-esque” really be considered safe?
While some Vikings fans may enjoy the colossal bellyflop of a sometimes bitter rival, I would caution them to temper their glee. If Thompson is relieved of his duties, Green Bay would no doubt be very interested in the likes of Minnesota’s Rick Spielman, a proven architect of a winning franchise.
This week, the Packers will be on the road against Houston, one of the league’s two remaining undefeated teams, for Sunday Night Football. For a team long on pride and short on talent, you’d have to expect the overmatched Pack to give the Texans a game effort in prime time. But you don’t get wins for effort in this league, and in an increasingly lost season, Green Bay is looking a 2-4 record right square in the eyes. It’s hard to watch.