An argument could be made that beginning in the 2001 season another nemesis for the Packers in the playoffs was the player quarterbacking the team. After winning the wild card game against the 49ers after the 2001 season, the Packers faced the “greatest show on turf”. Favre scored 21 points for the Rams when he threw 6 INTs, three of which were returned for TDs. The Rams won in a blowout 45-17. If you take away the pick sixes, the game is 24-17 with the Packers having three possessions to score seven or more points and that’s even leaving the other three (plenty enough) INTs that didn’t result directly in TDs.
2003 season: After beating the Seahawks in a wild card game the Packers faced the Eagles in the divisional playoffs. Favre had a great running game at his disposal which averaged 160 yards per game with a 5.0 ypr average. In spite of the mistakes by Sherman not going for 4th and short and the 4th and 26 disaster on D, the game went to overtime. The D got a 3-and-out and Favre trotted onto the field in OT with good field position – the Packers had the ball at their 32 yard line. Favre had a great chance to lead the team to the NFCCG. On first down he was rushed and panicked. He threw what looked like a punt to Philly’s Brian Dawkins. It was a throw unworthy of a rookie QB, let alone a 12-year veteran. Philly, instead of the Packers went on to play the Panthers in the NFCCG.
2004 season: The Packers started the season 1-4 and finished 9-2 to win the division for the third year in a row. In the home wild card game against the Vikings, Favre threw 4 INTs. The game ended up being only a 14 point loss despite the four picks. Somehow in the middle of the fourth quarter of that game the Packers were only down by seven. It was a winnable game except for the carelessness of the Packers QB. The Vikings had only had 11 INTs for the season before this game.
2007 season: The Packers finished 13-3 and beat the Seahawks in the divisional round. In the NFCCG at Lambeau Favre faded in the second half but trotted out on the field with a chance to win a Super Bowl berth. Again he trotted out onto the field in overtime of a playoff game with decent field position. On 2nd and 8, he dropped back to pass. Dorsey Levens snuck out of the backfield and was wide open right in front of Favre. If he had thrown the ball to Levens there wasn’t a defender within 10 yards of him. The chance of an INT on that throw was zero. Driver OTOH was never open on his route, but Favre decided to make the “exciting” throw to Corey Webster.
Of course teams win and lose games and there’s no guarantee winning a wild card or divisional game will lead to a Super Bowl. But the job of a QB in a playoff game - at the very least - is to give his team a chance to win. In two of the above games Favre threw six and four INTs. That’s doing the opposite of giving his team a chance to win. In the other two games he trotted out onto the field in OT with decent field position – not backed up to his EZ. Against the Eagles he threw an historically bad INT; an incredibly stupid throw for a veteran QB best described as a “punt”. In the game against the Giants, after looking like he didn’t want to play in the cold, he ignores a wide open Levens who would have at least moved the chains. Go back and look at those two plays of you don’t believe me.
Were some teams the Packers nemesis? Sure, there’s always more than one good team in the conference. But a QB who is careless with the ball in crucial playoff games also ‘causes major problems’. Had they won either of those playoffs games that went to OT I would have liked their chances to win a title, but only if the Packers QB was careful with the ball.
Most of us who watched Bart Starr lead the Packers to 5 Championships found it difficult to criticize his coaching. His incredible leadership as a player will likely never be equaled imo. He made the losing of the 70s and 80s much easier to accept. The Championships are what it's all about. MM has had a nice run, but this era will only be rembered for the Patriots, unfortunately-- for a number of reasons.I agree. And any of us who suffered through Bart Starr's 9 year tenure can be particularly happy with the last 20 years. If all we have to complain about is that we should have won more championships, well I can certainly deal with that.