If you go by Pro-football-reference.com’s “Simple Rating System“, which combines Strength of Schedule with Margin of Victory, then the 9-0 2011 Green Bay Packer team so far rates as the third strongest Packer team since 1950 (the first season to which they apply the SRS).
The 2011 team, with an SRS of 13.8, ranks just ahead of the 1961 Packers (13.6) and the 1966 Packers (13.5) and behind only the 1996 Packers (15.3), and perhaps the greatest team of all-time, the legendary 1962 Packers (19.7), the team pictured in the photo above this post (it is worth noting that the only blemish on that steamroller of a team came on Thanksgiving Day against the Detroit Lions. Will history repeat itself?? Either way, it will be a fun turkey day in Wisconsin, Michigan, and in at least one Utah household occupied by a certain transplanted Michigander).
Each of the team’s listed above won an NFL Championship. In fact, no Packer team that ever finished a season with an SRS of +10.00 or better ever failed to win an NFL Championship.
It is worth noting that the follow-up to the 1996 NFL Championship team, the team that ultimately failed in its bid to win a second consecutive championship in 1997, had an SRS of only (7.7). So it was not nearly as strong a team as Packer Backers believed at the time.
By contrast, this season’s team has proven thus far to be well-stronger than last season’s NFL Championship team (that one posted an SRS of 10.9).
Does this guarantee the Green Bay Packers fans that 2011 will yield a 14th NFL Championship? Hardly. The NFL play-offs are a one-off affair, and as the Wisconsin Badgers have shown, anything can happen in a one-off.
But would I be disappointed if the Pack didn’t bring home the gold again this January? You bet I would.