The Packers are off to a rather depressing start. 0-3 for the first time since 1978. Let’s begin with our #1 receiver out for the season, and a statistcially mediocre defense incapable of executing its complex strategies. The offensive coordinator has been hospitalized and incapable of preparing for games. And the on field leader of the team has been contending with more personal trauma than any person should ever have to, for more than two years now. It’s no wonder he’s nearly leading the league in interceptions thrown.
Now let’s take a look into the future, why don’t we?
Next Monday, we play the Carolina Panthers. Granted, Carolina is 1-2 right now — but they’ve been predicted by many to go to Super Bowl XL on the strength of their defense (although there are some other reasons being offered as well). So that doesn’t look good — that’s an 0-4 start.
The next game is against the Saints. We have a shot at that, and hey, I’m a fan so I want to be optimistic and predict we can beat a distracted team of nomads justifiably more worried about their flooded homes than playing football. That would put us at 1-4 going in to our bye week.
After that, the schedule gets hard. At Minnesota — a place we usually lose at anyway, and Minnesota is coming alive at last after a slow start of its own. Then, we’re at red-hot Cincinnati. Pittsburgh — tough all around, again, Super Bowl contenders. At Atlanta — Michael Vick has historically torn the Packers to shreds and can be expected to do so again. Then the Vikings again. Then we’re at Philadelphia, to guarantee that we won’t have a winning season.
Finally, come December, we’ll have a game we can potentially win, against da Bears. Let’s assume we pull that off, and since for me, the jury’s still out on Detroit we may head to Baltimore on our longest winning streak of the year. But, we’ll be lucky to not be shut out against the Ravnes. We get another “easy” game against Chicago, and then we end our season with a theoretical grudge match against Mike Holmgren’s Seattle Seahawks. I like Holmgren because he took the Packers to two Super Bowls, won one, and because he looks a little bit like my dad. More important, however, is how he’s developed a promising quarterback and a stud running back into a reasonably potent offense.
This is looking like a 4-12 season, people. But going in to that last game, our chant may be “Draft Picks! Draft Picks!” rather than “Go, Pack Go!” And we fans may wind up having to look like the fellow on the right.