A Green Bay Packer fan can’t help but notice certain similarities between the Packers’ 2010 season and the current campaign.
-Both teams were 6-3 going into a Week 10 bye.
-The starting running back is out long-term due to injury: Ryan Grant in 2010, Cedric Benson in 2012.
-The number one receiving threat is out long-term due to injury: Jermichael Finley in 2010, Greg Jennings in 2012.
-Each game seems to bring a new wave of morale-crushing injuries (2010: Grant, Finley, Nick Barnett, Mark Tauscher, Morgan Burnett; 2012: Benson, Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Charles Woodson, B.J. Raji, Clay Matthews), but young players and backups continue to step up and play well.
-The San Francisco Giants won the Worlds Series both years. I know this has nothing to do with football, but I won’t deny that I cheered for them because I thought it might help the Packers repeat.
-Charles Woodson broke his collarbone in the Super Bowl of the 2010 season and broke his collarbone again on an eerily similar play this year.
-In 2010, the Chicago Bears captured the division title while the Packers earned a wild card spot. Currently, the Packers are looking up at Chicago in the rankings, though that could change as early as this week.
-They both won the Super Bowl — Whoops, I got a little ahead of myself.
Even though the Packers offense looked a little impotent at the beginning of the season, and even though they’re suffering through injuries to key starters, I can’t help but think, It’s okay. The same thing happened in 2010 – and they won the Super Bowl! Every time another player is shipped off to the injured reserve, I think, Just like 2010 – and they won the Super Bowl!
I must caution Green Bay fans. This is how hearts get broken. The bottom line is this is not 2010. New team, new players, new coaches, new opponents, new challenges. The Packers aren’t guaranteed a playoff spot. They face a tough stretch in their final seven games – five of which are against division opponents. The Bears have been astounding on defense; the Minnesota Vikings have been surprisingly competent, and have Adrian Peterson; and the Detroit Lions are talented and desperate – a dangerous combination.
Mike McCarthy and the Green Bay coaching staff will have to keep the players from looking too far ahead, from assuming a playoff position. The fact that they overcame more challenging obstacles in the past is not a guarantee that they can overcome all obstacles.
Packer fans like myself must temper the temptation to draw too many parallels between 2010 and 2012. It’s exciting to know that the team has the ability to overcome the problems, but that’s not the same as actuality. There’s plenty of other reasons for optimism for Packer fans this season and we can’t be stuck in the past.
But they’re totally going to win the Super Bowl again this year.