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Why Your Team Sucks

Why Your Team Sucks 2022: Green Bay Packers

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Some people are fans of the Green Bay Packers. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Green Bay Packers. This 2022 Defector NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.

Your team: “AND IT’S BLOCKED! Up into the air and spinning inside the 10 … PICKED UP AND A TOUCHDOWN!”

Your 2021 record: 13-4. Another 13-win season. Another top seed in the NFC. Another MVP award for their quarterback. Let’s see how it all ended!

That wasn’t the first time the Niners blocked a kick that night, either. Almost as if there’s a phase of the game, one outside of offense and defense, that might prove critical to an otherwise complete team’s fortunes. A very mysterious, SPECIAL phase of the game. Who knew of this phase? NOT YOU, YOU WALKING BAGS OF CELLULOID.

I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet. After San Francisco scored the tying touchdown late in this playoff game, Green Bay got the ball back with a chance to retake the lead and immediately went three-and-out, which led to this:

Nightie night, you creatures of the wasteland. You syphilitic polar bears. You walking udders. The 2021 Packers had an all-time quarterback, didn’t give up an offensive touchdown in the postseason, and lost. I know you people like to think that your successes define you more than your failures do, but the past three seasons have proven that wrong. This is who you are now. This is all you’ll ever be from now on, so long as your standard bearer is this fucking chump:

After that … well now you guys were just ACHING for God to smite you, now weren’t you?

Your coach: Matt LaFleur, who fired his special teams coach after that debacle and lucked into former Raiders interim head coach Rich Bisaccia as the replacement. It won’t matter in the slightest, because of …

Your quarterback: Aaron Rodgers, who spent the back half of last season nailing himself to Pat McAfee’s mic stand and owning the pro-vaccination crowd with hours upon hours of unimpeachable logic. There’s little need to rehash all of Rodgers’s Actually I was fully immunized because my girlfriend made an anti-viral handsoap out of my own sperm semantic jiu-jitsu. Or his tiresome offseason charade of MEW MEW I’M GONNA RETIRE BECAUSE THE WORLD IS MEAN TO ME. Or his fabricated case of COVID toe. Or him pulling a Gregg Allman and crooning, Come and lemme show you mah tattoo to random passersby. All you need to know is that Rodgers does all of those things as a deliberate cover for the fact that he fucking blows in the playoffs. He can’t throw the ball under duress, and that’s not a matter of opinion, nor is the man’s playoff resume. He’s a choker. He’s Tony Romo without the personality, and I’m not wrong.

You know how many touchdowns Rodgers threw in that loss to the Niners? Zero. Know who his leading receiver was that night? A running back. Know what his QBR was for that game? It was 18.7, and he lost to QB whose own QBR was somehow even lower. In fact, that wasn’t the only time that an underwhelming Jimmy Garoppolo bested Every Football Hipster’s GOAT. Garoppolo did it in the NFC title game two years before that, too, despite posting just 77 yards passing. And Tom Brady? He threw three picks against Aaron Rodgers in the 2020 NFC title game and STILL beat him. Wanna know why LaFleur opted to kick a rinky-dink field goal at the end of that game? Because he knew that Aaron Rodgers—darling, darling Aaron Rodgers—couldn’t win a big game even if Joe Rogan was hosting the trophy presentation. Secretly, LaFleur can’t wait to be rid of this fucker, and of all of the people who enable him, once and for all. If it means turning to a pud like Jordan Love, so be it. Whatever. Winning with Aaron Rodgers is never as enjoyable as losing with anyone else.

Because Aaron Rodgers is the 1990s Atlanta Braves of football. One title is all he’s ever gonna get, and he knows it. That’s why he’s gonna spend the entirety of this season shotgunning Natty Lights on camera with Kyle Rittenhouse on his way to another home loss in January. The Cleveland Browns took less time to sabotage their own reputation.

What’s new that sucks: Did I mention that Rodgers will have to ply his trade all season without a decent wideout? It’s true. Davante Adams was the best wideout in football last year and couldn’t have asked for a better situation than the one he had in Green Bay. He didn’t give a shit. He was like, Actually I’d like to play in Vegas now, because he also knows that teaming up with Rodgers means bashing your skull into the same wall, over and over again, at the end of every year. At least when Davante loses in Vegas, he can decamp to a suite at the Bellagio instead of finding himself stuck in Worse Ontario.

To dress the wound, the Packers waited until the second and fourth rounds of the draft to grab wideouts, and then inked a 96-year-old Sammy Watkins in free agency. Your WR1 is now the immortal Allen Lazard, who’d be borderline practice squad chum on any team that has a worse QB. None of these men are anywhere as good as Adams, which means that we’re in for another season where Rodgers insists that there’s nothing he can do about the fact that his receivers keep dropping the ball. My man loves having scapegoats handy more than he likes winning Super Bowls.

Speaking of scapegoats: the O-line. Rodgers was sacked five times against the Niners in that divisional-round loss to the Niners, and there’s no guarantee that his pass protection will be any better going forward. David Bakhtiari and the awkwardly named Elgton Jenkins are both recovering from torn ACLs, and tackle Billy Turner bolted for Denver after looking at Russell Wilson and saying to himself, Finally, I can protect a quarterback who actually means what he says. After Rodgers blows another playoff game with 60 minutes of skittish, tentative football, you can count on him finding the nearest lineman and chewing him out, Marino-style. God, I fucking hate the guy. I’d rather cheer for Ben Roethlisberger, and I have.

On defense, the Packers remain cautiously loaded. Za’Darius Smith is gone, but Green Bay already got used to that a year ago. To fill the void, they grabbed two UGA front-seven defenders in the first round. Every other team took a Georgia guy, too, which means we get to spend the next few years learning who was riding whose coattails on that team. My current belief is that the Eagles drafted the two real stars of that defense, and I promise you that’s not because I like the Eagles.

Cornerback Jaire Alexander is back from injury until he re-injures himself. Marquez Valdes-Scantling is gone. No one is sad. Tom Brady deserved that MVP.

What has always sucked: Aaron Rodgers is a black hole who has sucked up all of my vitriol for the Packers, and that’s unfortunate because there is so, so many other things about this team, and especially its fans, that deserve your scorn:

I sure hope we aren’t going to have to hear all the whining about equity, justice and all the markings on hats and shoes and all else. I suggest the NFL is actually racist for always choosing and highlighting black players. I am sure that is why you chose Love for a QB when he never should have been chosen. I hope the Packers will play the National Anthem and fly the flag high with the planes going over as they always have. Anyone who doesn’t respect and honor our flag and our military heroes does not belong on the Packer roster. So for the 2022-2023 season, let’s just play football and leave all the politics and racism out of the stadium.

Make room in your cancel culture casket, Aaron. All of you people deserve one another. Rodgers wants the contractual flexibility to retire just so that he can have it. In reality, he’ll never leave because these are his people, and he theirs. Brett Favre was a needy, cruel dipshit who turned out to also be a bumbling fraud. Rodgers, on the field and off, now exists as a perfected version of the Favre model, and that’s why he, this team, and its fans will remain up each other’s asses forever and ever, no matter how many times they blow a title shot together. You’re all stone-dead forever. Do you guys remember how it snowed during that Niners game? The snow fell softly all across Wisconsin that night—down upon wrinkly old Auntie Gladys in Ashwaubenon, and, further East, unto the dark, mutinous waves of Lake Michigan. It was falling on the lonely churchyard where Mark Chmura’s reputation lay buried. It piled up into thick drifts upon the crooked cheeseheads and abandoned hibachis. My soul swooned slowly as I heard the snow falling faintly through the universe, like the descent of Aaron Rodgers’s latest end, upon all the winners and losers.

But mostly on the losers.

Ratto says: Aaron Rodgers and his orbital path around Saturn has managed to squeeze the team’s shoes one final time, contract-wise, which means he either has the power to bend the minds of his superiors in the organizational chart … or someone reminded everyone of the last pre-Favre year in Green Bay. Who knew that Rodgers’s greatest point of leverage is that he is neither Mike Tomczak, Don Majkowski, nor Blair Kiel?

What might not suck: I don’t wanna ruin this moment by saying something nice.

HEAR IT FROM PACKERS FANS!

Molly:

*gestures vaguely at basically everything related to Aaron Rodgers for the past year*

Sam:

What the fuck am I even rooting for anymore?

John:

I long for death!

Joe:

Last year my buddy texted me before the Packers-Niners divisional playoff game asking if we were going to lose against the Niners that day, or the following week in the conference championship. I responded with the pointing Spider-Man meme and proceeded to drink a lot that night.

Landon:

The defense finally shows up huge in a playoff game, and the league MVP can’t lead his offense to score two fucking touchdowns.

James:

I felt that playoff loss to the 49ers coming all fucking week, and it still sucked so much.

Jeff:

Years of defending Rodgers from accusations of being a choker, being someone who hates his family, being someone who is hated by his family, having bad facial hair, and faking retirement… and this is how he betrays me?!

Bjordie:

At least Kirk Cousins was honest.

Dave:

This sumbitch just HAS to be the smartest person in the room.

Dylan:

I was taking my son for a walk the other day in the outdoor mall near our house, when a woman stopped me and asked if I was a Packers’ fan, because my son was wearing a Packers hat. I said yes, and then she proceeded to tell me that she was an owner and losing Davante Adams was the worst possible thing the team had ever done, and the Vikings were going to win the division this year because of it, and Aaron Rodgers is a golden god that should be paid even more than he is, and, as an owner, she told all this to the front office, along with a bunch of other stuff. I stopped paying attention halfway through. 

After she finally stopped to catch her breath, I mentioned that I was an owner too, and then she jumped back into it: asking if I was attending the shareholders meeting, and did I know there was going to be a livestream, and how long had I been an owner, etc. etc. etc. 

Finally, my son started running away, so I had to chase after him. She found me AGAIN, and kept talking. I must have blacked out when I saw her again, because I have no idea how I left that conversation or got away. 

Aaron (not that one):

Our All-Pro left tackle is apparently the only player in the last decade for whom an ACL tear is not a six month injury.

Cory:

Everyone probably sucks on a personal level except for like, AJ Dillon and Randall Cobb, and Cobb’s not even good anymore.

Anonymous:

I’m a resident physician and started my training during the COVID-19 pandemic. I married into Packer fandom. The cognitive dissonance I’ve had to engage in rooting for a team with an antivax, conspiracy theory-spouting, annoyingly talented QB while seeing I’ve seen the shit I’ve seen has required a fair degree of mental gymnastics. Basically I blame Aaron Rodgers and COVID in equal parts for my burnout.

Nic:

I don’t know if I’ve ever lost respect for an athlete who didn’t commit a violent crime faster.

Matt:

Blake:

The 12-day butter cleanse Aaron Rodgers did in the offseason wasn’t a huge story because that’s just the average diet of a Wisconsin antivaxxer.

Rohan:

They lost a playoff game where the defense gave up three points in the first 59:57.

Pedro:

Dissatisfied with successfully torpedoing his reputation as one of the more cerebral QBs in the league, Aaron Rodgers has decided to get a tattoo that looks like something out of a Danny McBride and Jody Hill adaptation of Neon Genesis Evangelion. I feel like a moron for supporting this guy for so long.

Andrew:

I live in San Francisco and spent a whole week in January talking about our “snowm field advantage” to any Niners fan who would listen. So that’s gonna be on my tombstone. 

Matt:

Davante Adams’ choices were: A) All Of The Money, The Enfeebled NFC North and Aaron Rodgers, or B) Slightly Less Than All Of The Money, A Division Full of Soap Bar-Loaded Pillowcases, and Old College Pal, Derek Carr, With A Career Winning Percentage of 45%

And it wasn’t even close. I wish him well.

Football Jared Leto got One Eyed Willy’s treasure map tattooed on his forearm to aid him in his quest of trying to discover a touchdown in the mythical NFC Championship Endzone. 

HJ:

I have accepted many things in this world. I have accepted that Santa Claus isn’t real. I have accepted that my parents didn’t send my beloved dog to live on a nice farm somewhere. I have accepted that we are proceeding genitals-first into complete societal upheaval. And I have accepted that the Packers won’t win another Super Bowl with Aaron Rodgers. As a result I have transcended my cheese-curd addled consciousness and achieved football nirvana, whereby I blithely accept the trickster machinations of the football Gods and their universal will.

Noah:

This team has all the talent. Rodgers has the best arm in the history of the league, the receivers and running backs will be good enough. The defense will do their job. But there’s something missing. Something intangible that this team simply doesn’t possess. There’s no reason that they can’t win the Super Bowl, except that they won’t. They’re a car without an alternator. A man without one of his kneecaps. They don’t lack anything crucial; they’re just missing something

We’re gonna lose to the Cowboys in the second round.

Nate:

CRYSTALS DON’T WIN NFC CHAMPIONSHIPS, AARON!

Tony:

Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers would have 10 Super Bowl rings if they’d just build a damn dome.

Jackson:

Sometimes, I lay awake at night and think about the fact that Najeh Davenport’s roster picture on NFL 2k3 for the Playstation 2 was that of a red-haired white guy.

Stephanie:

2011 was the one good year to be a Packers fan. We had a young, talented QB with no controversies that made our coach look like a genius. We won the Super Bowl while also keeping the Steelers and Big Ben from adding another ring. I dropped $250 bucks on a share of Packers stock: a thoroughly worthless investment that made me question my financial acumen for years. For that much, I could have bought 20 shares of Apple that would be worth over $3000 today.

In the decade+ since, I have gotten married, had a child, bought a house, and come out as Transgender. The one constant that entire time has been the Packers mediocrity with repeated winning seasons followed by playoff collapses to lower-seeded teams. I already went through this in the aughts with Favre, I am not looking forward to watching the reboot.

So this year, I will tune into the occasional Packers game. I may even enjoy it if they play well and win a few games. But I will not be wearing any Packers gear out in public. I will not make football small talk with anybody. And I will be quietly rooting for them to spend years going 6-10 and missing the playoffs. And in 10 years, when Rodgers finally retires (long after Jordan Love has gone off to start in the CFL), I may dare to hope again.

Jude:

Their fans are worse than Red Sox fans. And it’s not even close. 

Lonny:

My brother Harry became a Green Bay fan in the mid-90s, has never stepped foot in the state of Wisconsin, owns multiple Cheeseheads, and when it comes to football, he is an insufferable prick. I’ve had to block him on several social media sites just based on his Packers bullshit. It gets annoying when people ask if I’ve seen the latest pictures of his kids and I have to tell them that I’ve blocked him and don’t know what they’re talking about. 

Everyone in my family knows to avoid Harry on game days. No texts, no calls, nothing. Act as if he doesn’t exist, because if you say anything adverse about his team, the string of obscenities that will come flying at you are insane: threats of violence usually punctuated at the end by a simple “Fuck You.” A specific example: 2003 vs. the Atlanta Falcons – Michael Vick, in perhaps the best and most Madden-like performance of his career, destroys the Packers, ending yet again, another playoff run. As the game went on and on and the Pack got further and further behind, my brother punched me in the face as I laughed at his team’s complete inability to stop the Falcons. I left him in the basement before halftime when he threatened me with a knife and I watched the rest of the game in glee in another part of the house. 

Dave:

Fuck Brandon Bostick and Kevin King.

Tim:

Jordan Love seems like a genuinely good dude, so right after he wins his second MVP award we’ll find out he’s secretly an oil baron or something.

Nic:

The front office convincing him to stay and then immediately getting rid of Adams and Valdes-Scantling was admittedly very funny. 

Mark:

Now we have a WR corp that shouldn’t even get NIL money, much less an NFL paycheck.

Mark:

When I was 10, my family went to Green Bay for training camp. My brother and I were lined up on the fence with other kids watching players walk out to practice, hoping for autographs, as one does. Antonio Freeman trots out of the locker room, looks at us kids pleading for autographs, makes a motion like he’s going to come over to the fence, and instead, smirks and waves us off. Fuck Antonio Freeman.

Chris:

This team has given me such trauma that after the loss in the Divisional game, I broke down into sobbing tears for like two hours. All the negative energy from the loss transferred over to the sudden loss of my one beloved cat, who was my companion during anything bad happening in my life. This was the first bad thing that had happened since and I had no Boots (my cat) who would just sit with me for hours on my lap. I was a mental wreck for a few hours. I still miss ya Boots.

I’m ready to be hurt again this year though.

Andrew:

Oh, and fuck Dom Capers.

Submissions for the Defector NFL previews are closed. Next up: San Francisco 49ers.