Power rankings in the NFL are a silly science, but they spark much discussion and debate among the fans. As followers of one particular team, we almost always want to believe that our team is better than pundits and other so-called "experts" give it credit for. However, in the case of NFL.com's most recent power rankings, released on Tuesday, the Green Bay Packers seem to me to be ranked about right, or perhaps even slightly higher than they deserve.
Elliot Harrison of NFL.com compiled this week's list, the first such ranking produced by NFL.com since just after the NFL Draft, and in it he ranks the Packers fifth in the NFL. This puts the Packers fourth in the NFC, with the other three teams who played in the NFC Divisional round of the playoffs ahead of them. The only AFC team ranked higher than Green Bay is the Denver Broncos, who come in at the third spot.
We can debate whether the Packers deserve to be lower on the list, but I don't really see much of an argument for ranking them higher than 5th. Perhaps some people would rank the Baltimore Ravens or the Houston Texans higher, but I think the Packers probably would bottom out at around the 7th spot at this time. They are a consistent winner, and while those regular season successes have not translated to sustained playoff success over the past two years, the defense and running game should be better and they should contend for a Super Bowl berth once again in 2013.
While I have no major quarrel with the Packers' rank, I do however take issue with what Harrison said in his description of the Packers. Here is what he says:
Oh, Greg Jennings and Aaron Rodgers -- such funny guys. But when Jennings says he'd take Brett Favre over Rodgers -- even if it's all in good fun -- this predictably sparks the tired debate over who is the better Green Bay Packers quarterback. My question to Packers fans: Is either the greatest Green Bay QB of all time? Bart Starr went 9-1 in the postseason, people, winning five NFL championship games and two Super Bowls.
Excuse me?! Mister Harrison, do you really think that Packers fans, who follow the most storied and historic franchise in the history of the NFL, who grow up learning about and idolizing the players of the Lombardi era, and who are the only fans with personal ownership stakes in the team, would not understand that Bart Starr belongs in that discussion? Lecturing Packers fans about Bart Starr's place in team history is like lecturing New York Yankees fans about Babe Ruth or Detroit Red Wings fans about Gordie Howe. It is absurd and offensive, plain and simple.
It seems to me that Harrison is confusing Packers fans and the trolls around the league who continue to debate the Favre situation as the same people. In the context of this discussion, I don't care what your opinion on Favre the person is at this point; I dare you to find me a true Packers fan who does not believe that Starr is in the discussion for best QB in team history. Harrison is accusing us of not knowing our own team's history and the tone of his accusation is as condescending as can be.
We don't appreciate the disrespect, Mister Harrison.