A common lament in Vikings land over the past nine years is that Minnesota failed to capitalize on Adrian Peterson's brilliance by often saddling him with quarterbacks who were young, ineffective or both.
The Vikings have made the postseason four times since Peterson came into the league in 2007, and they've won exactly one playoff game — in 2009, when the Vikings had their best QB play (by far) of Peterson's tenure when Brett Favre turned back the clock. That season, of course, Minnesota nearly reached the Super Bowl.
To a lesser degree, that lament is starting to creep across the border into Wisconsin, with multiple pieces this week raising this question: Have the Packers adequately taken advantage of Aaron Rodgers' prime? On the surface, it seems as if they have. Green Bay won a Super Bowl with Rodgers following the 2010 season and has been in contention many other years.
That said, this is a quarterback league and Rodgers is one of the best to play the game. The Packers' excruciating playoff defeats — five of their seven playoff losses under head coach Mike McCarthy have been decided on the game's final play, including this past weekend's OT loss to Arizona — lend credence to the idea that they were very close in many seasons to going deeper than they did.
And that has given rise to the notion that Rodgers has covered for roster holes in the regular season that became exposed against better teams in the playoffs.
Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com wrote of the 32-year-old Rodgers and the Packers, "suddenly, it seems, the clock is ticking," while also noting that Green Bay has had different deficiencies in different seasons that led to their ultimate demise.
One common thread? Ted Thompson's reliance on the draft to build Green Bay's roster, a stance that has yielded positive results but also has left some wondering if the Packers' decisionmaker needs to be more flexible in adding even medium-tier free agents to supplement areas of need.
Tom Oates of the Wisconsin State Journal makes that case, noting that there is blame to go around but argues that Thompson should take a share of it and wondering, again, if some of the GM's inflexibility contributed to roster shortcomings that showed up at the worst times.
To be clear, Vikings fans would love to experience any level of perceived failure that included a Super Bowl victory.
But that doesn't change the question in Green Bay. Is the Rodgers Era going to be defined as an opportunity wasted? Time will tell, but without another ring it certainly might be.