A Packers Dynasty: What Could Have Been
With Aaron Rodgers suffering a broken collarbone in week 5 of the NFL season and looking like he will miss the rest of the season, I started thinking about all the injuries the Packers have suffered over the years. Without Rodgers the Packers Super Bowl chances take a major hit which shows how important he is to this franchise. This specific NFL season has been a strange one to start out with no dominant team coming out of the first 6 weeks. Most experts liked the Packers to win the NFC because they had Rodgers behind center. I knew it was a lot but the amount the Packers franchise has suffered has been incredible and its even more incredible how they continue to be a perennial Super Bowl contender. I am going to start with Rodgers rookie year and show the team record and where their season ended. Then I will show all the injuries the team suffered and how long they were without that player. I will be showing major players for that team and players that missed at least 3 weeks of the season. After I show the Packers season I will show Rodgers stats and where they ranked in the NFL. Rodgers entered the NFL in 2005 but did not start until 2008 so we will start there.
-2008: Packers Record: 6-10, did not make playoffs Injuries: Nick Barnett MLB(Injured Reserve), Atari Bigby DB(IR), Cullen Jenkins DE(IR), Mark Tauscher OT(IR), Scott Wells C(3 games missed). Even in Rodgers first year the Pack had significant injuries with 2 offensive lineman missing significant time and 3 defensive starters. Rodgers had a great year (which you will notice is an every year thing), he finished 4th in the NFL with 4,038 yards and 4th in touchdowns with 28.
-2009: Record: 11-5, lost in NFC Championship Game Injuries: Atari Bigby DB(3), Jermichael Finley TE(3), Al Harris (who had some great dreads) DB(IR), Jordy Nelson WR(3), Jason Spitz OL(IR), Chad Clifton OL(4). It seems like every season the Packers lose an offensive lineman for a major part of the season and this is what makes Rodgers that much more special.
Rodgers: 4,434 yards (4th in NFL) 30 TDs (4th)
-2010: Record: 10-6, Super Bowl Champs Injuries: Nick Barnett MLB(IR), Atari Bigby DB(PUP), Morgan Burnett DB(IR), Jermichael Finley TE(IR), Ryan Grant HB(IR), Al Harris DB(PUP), Cullen Jenkins DE(5), Brady Poppinga LB(IR), James Starks HB(PUP), Mark Tauscher OT(IR). They won the Super Bowl in a season where they arguably lost the most players and some very valuable ones as well but all that matter is having that ring.
Rodgers: 3,922 yards (7th) 28 TDs (6th)
-2011: Record: 15-1, lost in Divisional Round Injuries: Chad Clifton OT(10), Desmond Bishop LB(3), Bryan Bulaga OT(4), Nick Collins DB(14 and career ending), Greg Jennings WR(3). This was probably their best year regarding injuries but the ones they suffered were major and cost these guys games late in the season.
Rodgers: 4, 643 yards (5th) 45 TDs (2nd)
-2012: Record: 11-4, lost in Divisional Round Injuries: Desmond Bishop LB(IR), Bryan Bulaga OT(IR), Cedric Benson HB(11), Davon House DB(7), Greg Jennings WR(8), Clay Matthews LB(4), Jordy Nelson WR(4), Sam Shields DB(6), Charles Woodson DB(9). This looks like a pro bowl roster not an injury report, going 11-5 seems impossible after looking at this list.
Rodgers: 4,295 yards (8th) 39 TDs (2nd)
-2013: Record: 8-7-1, lost Wild Card game Injuries: Bryan Bulaga OT(IR), Randall Cobb WR(IR), Jermichael Finley TE(IR), Morgan Burnett DB(3), Casey Hayward DB(13), Clay Matthews LB(5), JC Tretter OG (PUP), Aaron Rodgers QB(7). The Pack were 5-2 prior to Rodgers injury but once he went out the season was basically over.
Rodgers: 2,536 yards 17 TDs in 9 games
-2014: Record: 12-4, lost in NFC Championship game Injuries: BJ Raji DT(IR), Davon House DB(3), JC Tretter OG(IR) This was probably a year where the Packers should have won the Super Bowl, they had a great regular season, did not suffer many injuries but lost in overtime to the Seahawks.
Rodgers: 4,381 yards (7th) 38 TDs (3rd)
-2015: Record: 10-6, lost in Divisional Round Injuries: Davante Adams WR(3), Bryan Bulaga OT(4), Morgan Burnett DB(5), Corey Linsley C(3), Ty Montgomery WR(IR), Jordy Nelson WR(IR) Damarious Randall DB(7), Same Shields DB(4). Rodgers lost 3 WRs and still carried the team to the Divisional Round....have I proven the point that Rodgers is incredible and could/should win MVP every year?
Rodgers: 3,821 yards (17th) 31 TDs (11th)
-2016: Record: 10-6, lost in NFC Championship game Injuries: Demetri Goodson DB(IR), Eddie Lacy RB(IR), Randall Cobb WR(3), Corey Linsley C(IR), Same Shields DB(IR), JC Tretter OG(IR), Blake Martinez LB(3), Clay Matthews LB(4), Damarious Randall DB(7), Quinten Rollins DB(3). The Packers had absolutely no defense and it showed when they lost to the Falcons in the NFC Championship game.
Rodgers: 4,428 yards (4th) 40 TDs (1st)
-2017: Record: 4-2 Injuries: Demetri Goodson DB(PUP), Quinten Rollins DB(IR), Aaron Rodgers QB(Season), Bryan Bulaga OT(3), David Bakhtiari OT(4), Davon House DB(3), Mike Daniels DT(2). 6 games in the season and the Packers are already behind the 8 ball with injuries. With Rodgers being out of the season it appears the season is over for the Packers but maybe Brett Hundley and the dynamic offense can sneak in the playoffs.
I know that every team suffers injuries and has to overcome them but every single year the Packers loose a lot of guys and a lot of them are really important to the team. Their offensive line always seems like a jigsaw puzzle with guys playing out of position and having to fill in for injuries. If the Packers could have avoided some of these injuries I believe they could have won 3 or more Super Bowls and we might be talking about another Packers dynasty.