It seems weird to propose today’s Question of the Day just a week after the Green Bay Packers lost a game to the Detroit Lions due, at least in part, to some unlucky circumstances. It’s not often your kicker misses four field goals in a game, and even a few calls (see: punt glancing of a Lions player) went against the Packers last Sunday. Week 5 was unlucky to the Packers. They may have still ended up losing to the Lions had they been more lucky, but it’s undeniable a few things fell Detroit’s way that night.
Well, that didn’t last long, because on Monday night, the Packers picked up a big win over the 49ers thanks to at least a little bit of luck. Green Bay was about to give the ball back to San Francisco after failing to convert a third down a what would become the game-winning drive. However, an illegal contact penalty kept the drive alive, and Aaron Rodgers would easily bring them into field goal range shortly thereafter.
This doesn’t feel like a rare occurrence for the Packers. Whether it’s a fortunate call or a highly improbable play that goes in their favor, Green Bay seems to pull out some crazy wins that they had no business of pulling off. So today’s Question of the Day is:
Are the Packers the luckiest team in the NFL?
My answer: Yes, but not for the reason that you think.
The bad calls, the ridiculous Hail Marys, they’re all a false perception. I really don’t believe that the Packers get calls that other teams wouldn’t, or that the league is really trying to favor Green Bay to win. If that were really the case, Aaron Rodgers—one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game—would have a lot more than one Super Bowl. What happened to the Packers Monday night was the exact same thing that happened for the 49ers when the Lions were in town. The Lions were about to get a potential game-winning play, and a ticky-tack defensive penalty ended their chances. Those kind of game-changing calls happen on a weekly basis, and every team has a horror story.
But the Packers are the luckiest team in the NFL because they managed to do something that no other team has ever done or will probably ever do again. They managed to have a Hall of Fame quarterback as a face of the franchise, and quickly followed it up with another one.
Obviously, Green Bay deserves credit for
drafting both Brett Favre (Note: They didn’t draft Favre, they traded for him after one season with the Falcons) and Aaron Rodgers, but even in their wildest dreams, they couldn’t have thought that both players would turn out as good as they did. Drafting quarterbacks is hard, and the Packers won the lottery in back-to-back eras. You don’t get any luckier than that.