Browns vs Packers: The More Disappointing Franchise Since the Early 90's
Finally the Going Off Topic blog is back and I apologize for the gap in between new content. Now that I am back you should be seeing a new post every week or so and I have a lot of good ideas. Also make sure to check out the BRAND NEW Going Off Topic podcast; that’s right we have a podcast. It is going to cover some of the blog topics, but it will also look at other content that will be specifically for the podcast format. You can find the episodes on the Anything But Credible website and anywhere podcasts are available. Keep up to date with us on social media on Twitter, on Facebook, and on Instagram. Give us a like and make sure to spread the word! The first topic was an idea first brought to me by my friend James, so shout out to him for the idea. Without any further adieu, let’s get to it.
When you think of the Green Bay Packers you think of legacy, winning, and championships. When you think of the Cleveland Browns you think of laughingstock, losing, and downright embarrassing. However, this question was posed to me a few weeks back: Since 1992 are the Packers more disappointing than the Browns? I immediately thought, there is no way and that is a ridiculous question. When the thought kept coming up, I got more intrigued and wanted to do more research and share with the readers. The basic premise is this, since 1992 the Packers have arguably had two of the greatest quarterbacks the NFL has ever seen but have only won two Super Bowls. On the other hand, the Browns have low expectations and always live up to them. I researched both franchises since ‘92 and the findings are interesting, so sit back, take it all in, and argue with me afterwards.
In 1992, the Packers traded a first round pick to the Atlanta Falcons for Brett Favre, which set both franchises on different paths. From ‘92-’08, Favre was one of the best QBs in the NFL and the face of one of the greatest franchises of all time. He won three consecutive MVPs (‘95-’97) and appeared in two Super Bowls, winning in ‘96 and losing in ‘97. Favre was an 11-time Pro-Bowler, 6-time All-Pro, and named to the 1990’s All-Decade NFL Team. In his 16-year career the Packers had 13 winning seasons and 11 playoff appearances as you see in the table to the right. He finished his career as the Packers quarterback with a record of 161-95. When you think of the Green Bay Packers, Brett Favre is one of the first names you think of.
The Packers drafted Aaron Rodgers in the first round of the 2005 draft and he sat behind Favre until he got his shot in 2008. Rodgers has won two MVP awards, 2011 and 2014, is a 6-time Pro-Bowler, and has been named an All-Pro three times. He led the Packers to the 2010 Super Bowl beating the Pittsburgh Steelers and taking home the Super Bowl MVP. Rodgers has led the Packers to a record of 99-55-1 and playoffs in 8 out of 11 years during his career. He has struggled with injuries but when he is on the field, he is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. There are numerous plays in Rodgers’ career that will live in NFL history, like this one when he led the Packers to a victory over the Lions.
Injuries aside, almost every year since 1992 the Packers have had one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and have had high expectations. They have made the playoffs in 19 out of 27 years, have great records in most seasons when Favre and Rodgers avoided injuries, and have two Super Bowls. However, when you have two legendary quarterbacks and some other really good players it seems like you should be in the Super Bowl more than three times and win more than two. It seems like they simply don’t get the most out of their roster and that comes back to the coaching. The Packers finally fired Mike McCarthy after years of not living up to expectations. Every year Green Bay has high expectations and is a Super Bowl favorite but most years they fail to make a difference in the playoffs.
Cleveland is a completely different story in every aspect. Whereas the Packers have had two quarterbacks since 1992, the Browns have had 31 ……31!!!! Just for fun let’s name them all and see how many we all remember: Bernie Kosar, Mike Tomczak, Todd Philcox, Vinny Testaverde, Mark Rypien, Eric Zeier, Tim Couch, Ty Detmer, Doug Pederson, Kelly Holcomb, Jeff Garcia, Luke McCown, Trent Dilfer Charlie Frye, Derek Anderson, Ken Dorsey, Brady Quinn, Colt McCoy, Jake Delhomme, Seneca Wallace Brandon Weeden, Jason Campbell, Brian Hoyer, Johnny Manziel, Josh McCown, Austin Davis, Cody Kessler, Robert Griffin III, DeShone Kizer, Tyrod Taylor, and finally Baker Mayfield (had to play more than one game to qualify). Those quarterbacks combined to go 123-257-1…..yikes. Since 1992, the Browns have made the playoffs twice, in 1994 and 2002, and have zero Super Bowl appearances. With those last sentences you would think this is a ridiculous question, right? Not so fast, the Browns are never expected to win any games while the Packers are expected to make deep playoff runs. The Browns have been one of the worst organizations in all of sports. Their management doesn’t seem to care and there are plenty of die-hard Browns fans out there that have embraced the “loveable loser” mentality. The front office has made terrible decisions on draft day and with trades, so there is no wonder why they have sucked lately. It seems they have maybe, hopefully, finally, figured it out and have a decent roster with a good quarterback in Baker Mayfield.
Let’s go back to our original question: since 1992 are the Packers more disappointing than the Browns? Honestly it depends how you view success; do you want a team that is going to have high expectations make the playoffs but ultimately fall short of a championship or do you want a team that is going to have absolutely no expectations and never win a thing? For me I would argue the Packers have been more disappointing when looking at the expectations but anytime you can win a Super Bowl, you take it. It’s the ultimate goal of every organization and city before the season and there is no feeling like fulfilling that goal. Living in St. Louis and being a Rams fan before they left, I had the chance to see a really great team and even a Super Bowl winning team, but then lived through some really crappy years. Now being a Chief’s fan, they usually have high expectations and ultimately fall apart in the playoffs from bad execution and play. For me I would argue that having a team with high expectations is better, it’s just more exciting and every year they pull you in and you think “this could be the year!”