It bears repeating, but the Green Bay Packers — despite their 13-3 record and a playoff bye — are failing to inspire significant confidence in their fans. Had anyone said before the season that this team would achieve those heights, it seems unlikely that fans would be disappointed.
And yet, here we sit, with a team that has overachieved on record relative to its point differential and relative to the performance of individual units. Critics of the Packers call them one of the worst, if not the worst, 13-3 team of all time. And according to Football Outsiders, they have a point, as the Packers slot in with the second-lowest overall DVOA of any team with a 13-3 or better record since that site began charting data.
Confidence is a fickle thing, particularly for the Packers and the FanPulse surveys this year. The one game that should have jolted fans’ confidence in the direction of the team — week 16’s win over the Vikings — did only slightly due to it being played on Monday night, the same day that surveys are sent out. And a comeback from a 14-point deficit in Detroit only dropped the index back down to where it was before that win over Minnesota.
Indeed, the confidence index is back down to 54% — the same as it was after the win over the Bears and before the Vikings game — after creeping up to 65% around the win over the Vikings.
As for the national FanPulse survey, this week’s question is about what Wild Card game fans are most looking forward to. Perhaps surprisingly, the Patriots come in with the top spot — but maybe fans who are seeing New England play on Wild Card weekend for the first time since 2009 are expecting an upset loss.
Here are the rankings for this week’s games: