The Packers are not an elite team and I don't think they will be under this regime. I think the coaching staff is too stubborn to make the necessary adjustments to win consistently in the playoffs. They lack a killer instinct to put teams away. And they let inferior teams hang around and in some cases let them win.
The Packers are a top 10 team in the NFL, but they are not elite. Elite teams don't get embarrassed at home in the playoffs and surely elite teams do not let a QB run for 170+ of his 181 before even once laying a hand on him. To his credit, Dom Capers did try to contain, he did try a spy (three actually at different times) and he just couldn't stop him.
I went into the last few seasons with hopes of a Super Bowl contention ... now ... I'm thankful for the wins, the division championships but have realized Aaron Rodgers no longer respects his coach and the team is drifting away.
There needs to be changes and the changes needed are against the grain the Packers have exhibited over Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy's careers with the Packers.
Sit back, enjoy the division championships while they last.
I appreciate your sentiment Zero2Cool. I feel much the same.
I would put them in the top tier of the NFL. Are they "elite" now? No. They've shown themselves to not be competitive with the very best in the league. But, they are close. To me, the Packers lost their "elite" card last year in losing at home to the Giants. It should have never happened.
As a "team," responsibility for our demise and success rests on management first, then trickles down. We've got a decent team, but not a great one that rolls over the competition. SF has that now. No one else seems to have that at this moment. Ravens? We'll have to see, but if they win it all over SF, I will be surprised. I do not consider them the top team in the NFL, but they are close, behind only SF and maybe SEA.
Are the NYG elite? I would consider them to be so, but they didn't even make the playoffs. They've probably suffered the same personnel, coaching, and player gaffes that we did along the way this year. Last year was great until we let up in KC. Why did we do that?
This really points to "killer instinct" and the lack thereof in GB. We don't have it in the front office, clearly, as Ted Thompson is forever leaving his team thin at positions of need, counting on rookie players to perform like Pro Bowl talents. We don't have it in the coaching department, because we are too often unprepared, and too often fail to adjust to an opponent's strengths. We don't have it on the player side with enough consistency. How does one of our top talents, Tramon Williams, not perform better when all the chips are on the table? I was really disappointed in his overall play this season and expected more from him. He is also one of our top paid players. IMO, this is an example of a player not performing with a killer instinct. He played way too soft. Finley must get a mention here as well. You can't just show up in a few games. He had so many missed blocks, whiffs. Took him half a season just to get on the same page with his QB. Greg Jennings seemed to be pouting through most of his last year in a GB uniform. What the hell? Is THAT what he gets paid for? We know better. Raji? I kind of expected him to do more too.
Blame can be assigned all the way down the line. And it is the WHOLE line of personnel that is responsible for our current mess. Thompson needs to get a set and start making some bold moves to better the personnel on his team. There is more to building a team than the draft.
McCarthy has to get a set and start coaching to win, especially the big games. Playing down to the level of lesser teams is inexcusable. Laying down to superior teams even moreso. How are his players often taking the field looking unprepared? 181 yds rushing by a QB? Not to mention another 100 by their RB? Unacceptable. Dom Capers can try to spy Kaepernick with my grandma, but that isn't going to work either. Seems Ted left our D way too thin, in spite of 6 draftees on that side of the ball.
Our players need to get a set and put themselves in a position where they are competitive, game in and game out, with the best teams in the league. Play their best. No mailing it in. Not for a single play.
I would add only one thing, and that is how do we recapture a home field advantage in Green Bay? Something has been lost. Is the venue itself too friendly to opposing teams? Seems so. It has gone so far the other way, that it is almost a disadvantage. Something has to change there as well, if we want to be contenders, elite.