Examine why the Packers have been so dominant in NFC North

Examine why the Packers have been so dominant in NFC North

Since realigning NFL divisions in 2002, the Green Bay Packers have won the NFC North 12 times. The Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears have each won the division only four times. The Detroit Lions are still in the hunt for their first NFC North crown. The Packers have owned this division for the majority of its existence. They also made a total of 15 playoff appearances in that 20-year span, including an eight-streak that stretched from 2009 to 2016. Why was the Titletown team so tough beat over the past two decades?

It starts with how the franchise works. Green Bay’s strategy is to recruit and develop its talent. That’s why the quarterback position has never been a problem. Brett Favre was one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. At the time of his retirement, the former Super Bowl champion held all-time major statistical records. When it was time, the team drafted Aaron Rodgers in 2005. The rest is history.

The franchise also makes it a point to be the best at getting the most out of certain positions. The Packers are a top destination for offensive linemen because of the way they coach the line. Just ask franchise legend and two-time All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari, who played a decade in Green Bay. Or just think back to Green Bay’s Super Bowl victory in February 2011. The youngest player in NFL history to ever start in a Super Bowl was then Packers right tackle Bryan Bulaga, who was a rookie at the time and would go on to play a decade in Green Bay. The Packers know how to draft, develop and give their players the best experience possible. This makes the team tougher and much more seasoned.

Yes, the quarterback position was never a question. But in some years, the Packers have found success against their divisional opponents because of other positions. From 2009 to 2016, the Rodgers’ pass catchers were incredible. Donald Driver, James Jones, Greg Jennings, Jermichael Finley, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams are just a few of the receivers who have made the game easier for the Green Bay offense. On defense, it’s key plays like BJ Raji’s interception against the Chicago Bears in the 2010 NFC Championship Game that make the difference between wins and losses. Have Charles Woodson, Clay Matthews, Nick Collins, AJ Hawk, Julius Peppers, Tramon Williams, Kenny Clark, Jaire Alexander, etc. on any defense helps a lot.

But at the end of the day, it always comes down to the quarterback. Rodgers has thrown 36 touchdowns and no interceptions against NFC North over the past two seasons. In his 78 career games played against the NFC North, he has a 109.5 rating and a TD/INT ratio of 6.76 to 1. That’s ridiculous. In games pitched by Rodgers, the Packers are 22-5 against the Chicago Bears, 16-10-1 against the Minnesota Vikings and 18-6 against the Detroit Lions. Total dominance.

To become a permanent Super Bowl contender, teams must first take care of their division. The Green Bay Packers seem to be better than almost any team at doing so, especially who they’ve had at quarterback, their cut players on defense and the way the organization is run.

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