The Green Bay Packers are arguably the most storied team in the NFL.
They play at historic Lambeau Field, named after their founder, Curly Lambeau; they have 27 former coaches or players in the Hall of Fame; and they have won four Super Bowls and 13 total NFL championships.
Aaron Rodgers quarterbacked the last title run during the 2010 season and would love to give Green Bay its fifth Super Bowl victory. And it’s certainly realistic for them this season.
Rodgers is the front-runner to win the MVP award and has a plenty of weapons at his disposal. Jordy Nelson is among the top wide receivers in the league, and Randall Cobb isn’t far behind. There are not many better 1-2 receiver duos in the game.
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Plus, the Packers have a steady running game behind Eddie Lacy.
The defense, meanwhile, has been playing better over the past month and boasts an impressive linebacker corps with Clay Matthews, A.J. Hawk and Julius Peppers.
But the postseason success hasn’t quite been there for the Packers since their last Super Bowl run.
They went 15-1 and had the No. 1 overall seed in 2011 but were upset by the New York Giants in the divisional round. In 2012, they won a wild-card game but lost in the divisional round. And last year they lost to the San Francisco 49ers in the wild-card round.
“You realize very quickly, it’s so difficult to do,” Rodgers said of winning a Super Bowl.
“A lot of things have to come together. Health-wise your football team, the playing style you have late in the season and obviously you have to execute in the playoffs to win games. We’ve come up short the last couple of years, and it just kind of fuels the fire a little bit more.
“We have a number of guys who weren’t with us in 2010-11 when we made the run and went to the Super Bowl. Those guys all kind of have that Super Bowl hunger and it kind of encourages the older guys.”
No place like home
The Packers are a perfect 8-0 at home, where Rodgers rarely throws interceptions and opposing teams succumb to the “Frozen Tundra” mystique.
That’s part of the reason Packers players stressed how relaxed and confident they were throughout the week despite a trip to the NFC Championship Game being on the line.
“Very confident, very relaxed,” said Peppers, the veteran linebacker. “No pressure. I don’t think anybody feels pressure. We’re just treating it as the next game, and I think that’s a good thing.”
Coach Mike McCarthy agreed and understands that his team plays its best at home.
“We like the cold weather, but I think anybody would prefer to play at home,” McCarthy said.
▪ Nelson (98) and Cobb (91) were the first receivers in Packers history to have 90-plus catch seasons in the same season.
▪ Linebacker Clay Matthews has 61 sacks since 2009, tied for the fifth most in the NFL over that span.
▪ The Packers have won four the last five meetings against the Cowboys at Lambeau Field, scoring more than 40 points in three of those wins.
7Number of blocked kicks Green Bay has given up (field goals, extra points, punts). That’s the most in the league.
Drew Davison, 817-390-7760