WR Anquan Bolidn and LB Ray Lewis of the Ravens, LB Brian Urlacher, DB Tim Jennings and WR Earl Bennett of the Bears, RB Arian Foster, TE Owen Daniels, LB Brian Cushing and LB Tim Dobbins of the Houston Texans, TE Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots, WR Percy Harvin of the Minnesota Vikings, DE Justin Tuck and TE Travis Beckum of the New York Giants, TE Heath Miller of the Pittsburgh Steelers, WR Mario Manningham, TE Vernon Davis and DT Justin Smith of the San Francisco 49ers….all of these players went down with injuries and their respective teams have struggled to replace their performance and/or leadership. Consequentially, their teams have suffered losses due in part to their absences.
The Packers have lost Clay Matthews, Greg Jennings, Charles Woodson, Jordy Nelson, Cedric Benson, Mike Neal, 1st round pick Nick Perry, Brian Bulaga, Sam Shields, CJ Wilson, Desmond Bishop and others for all or part of the season…and they’ve kept winning. As a matter of fact, the Packers appear to playing their best football right now, peaking as they venture towards the post-season.
The NFL season is a long grind and where the Packers have excelled is in their depth. Ted Thompson has been able to find those players who aren’t quite starters but are coachable and can exceed expectations. Mike McCarthy and his staff have been incredible over the last several years at getting the most out of the talent that Thompson’s assembled.
This is what has set the Packers apart from other NFL franchises…..leadership.