GREEN BAY — For all their success — an NFL-best 13 world championships, Super Bowl I, II, XXXI and XLV titles, some of the greatest players the league has ever known — the Green Bay Packers have certainly endured their fair share of heartbreaking defeats.
Especially in the past two decades or so.
“We’ve had a chance to do some things,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said when asked about the disappointing postseason losses he’s experienced. “When you don’t do it, it hurts.”
Rodgers speaks from experience. He was a backup on the 2007 team that lost the NFC Championship Game at home, preventing his predecessor, Brett Favre, from reaching a third Super Bowl. In his first playoff game as a starter, in the 2009 NFC wild card round, he was stripped of the ball in overtime and watched the Arizona Cardinals return the fumble for a game-ending touchdown in a 51-45 defeat. And he had his 2014 NFL MVP season end with the Packers’ meltdown in Seattle, where they blew a 16-0 halftime lead in the NFC title game.
“That game will always be frustrating, thinking about how it went down, some of the things that happened,” Rodgers replied when asked what he remembered about the latter, a 28-22 overtime loss on Jan. 18, 2015.
“If we win, and then win the Super Bowl, everything is different. There’s something about winning two Super Bowls that separates you from other quarterbacks and organizations and coaches who have coached and played here and played other places. One is fantastic. A lot of people never get to play in the Super Bowl. But you win two, and you start to enter some different, revered territory.”
Every championship-contending franchise has a few gut-wrenching postseason defeats it collectively looks back upon and wonders, “What if?” But the Packers? It’s hard to reduce the list to just five.
Jason Wilde takes a look back at some — but not all — of those legacy-changing losses.