Packers could not afford an Average Aaron

Teams like the 2011 Green Bay Packers scare the crap out of me… and for good reason.

The Packers charted as a powerful team, with an SRS of 11.2, but their source of power was entirely one dimensional.  In the four main facets of football — Running, Passing, Run Defense, Pass Defense — the Packers were historically brilliant in one category — Passing — historically bad in another — Pass Defense — and average to below average in the other two categories.

That left the team absolutely NO room for error in the Passing game.  And indeed, that is how the season played out.  QB Aaron Rodgers (and backup Matt Flynn) played magnificent +20.00 QBER football in every single game in the 2011 season except 2 — Rodgers posted a QBER of 11.13 against Kansas City and a QBER of 11.25 against the New York Giants.  The Packers lost both games.

Since the NFL average QBER is 11.84, Rodgers two “bad” games weren’t really that bad, they were average.  Everyone has an average game now and then.  But the Packers could not overcome that.  Not even against below average (Kansas City) and barely above average (New York Giants) teams.  The Packers defense and running game was so bad, they had to have Aaron Rodgers at top form in order to win.  And for almost they entire season, he was brilliant, but that’s unnatural.

So in essence, for the entire 2011 season, the Packers were riding the back of the Tiger called “Awesome Aaron Rodgers”.  That’s great while it lasts, but when you ride a Tiger you get places, but you can never afford to get off.  That’s why the saying goes, those that ride the back of the Tiger always end up inside.  The 2011 Packers ended up inside (By contrast, the 2010 World Championship team overcame two pedestrian efforts by Aaron Rodgers — @Philly and @Chicago — in the play-offs alone and still won.  But the 2010 team had a strong pass rush and a very strong defense. The 2011 Packers had neither.)

Now the entire City needs a shot of Prozac.  But, as I’ve been telling everyone from the local grocery store to the Courthouse, the Pack ALWAYS comes back.  And that, my friends, is the beauty part of sports… next year, you always get to try again.

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