Rock Bottom: Packers 2005 Revisited
The Green Bay Packers historical stance as a power franchise is self evident and easily explained. Since 1992 they have only 2 losing records. The Chicago Bears for example have had 12 since 1992. It’s an amazing testament to how truly strong of organization they are. 18 winning seasons out of 20.
However even the best of the best have bad moments, or years. Many of you have forgotten about this season and some of you for the same reasons will never forget it. That year was 2005 and the record, a dismal 4-12.
A little back story here. The Packers had won the division with a record of 10-6 in 2004 and hosted a home playoff game to the Minnesota Vikings. For me it’s called “that game.” Yeah, the one where Randy Moss mooned the crowd after his 400th TD that game. The Vikings won and the season was over.
In 2004 the Packers drafted defensive backs to stop Moss. Namely, Ahmad Carroll and Joey Thomas with the first two picks. And who can forget Donell Washington DT with the the third pick. And with the 87 pick, punter B.J. Sanders. Yup. They were surely ready to blossom in 2005. Leading up to the 2005 season we lost Rivera, Wahle, and Sharper. Still the team had hope. Tons of it.
Going into the 2005 season the Packers looked poised to make a Super Bowl run. The roster consisted of a Hall of Fame QB, Brett Favre. And a ton of pro-bowl talent. Javon Walker, Robert Ferguson, Bubba Franks, and Ahman Green were all known commodities in their prime. The defense had Al Harris, Nick Barnett, and those new Defensive backs to slow down Moss. We also had KGB, his big smile, and big potential. Mark Roman was the big free agent pick up to cover for Sharper and Najeh Davenport was the “x” factor in the backfield. This team had Superbowl aspirations. Then the season started.
Major props to Wiki for the details, I add some commentary as well.
Week 1: at Detroit Lions
The Packers opened the 2005 NFL season with a loss to the Detroit Lions. Starting wide receiver Javon Walker injured his right knee and did not play the rest of the season. This also became the most recent win for the Lions over the Packers until the 2010 season. Right, until 2010, the Lions did not beat the Packers again. Also, the last time Javon Walker wore a Packers uniform. And basically the last time he ever really played well.
Week 2: vs. Cleveland Browns
The Packers lost this game to the Cleveland Browns as quarterback Trent Dilfer threw for 336 yards. The Packers retired the great Reggie White‘s number 92 at halftime after his unexpected death in December 2004. Trent Dilfer. 336 yards. Those two words should not be in the same sentence. Cleveland Browns winning at Lambeau. 0-2. Train. Wreck.
Week 3: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won this close game as Carnell Williams rushed for 158 yards. Packers kicker Ryan Longwell missed an extra point and a field goal. It was the Bucs’ first victory at Lambeau Field since 1989. And that Bucs rolled into Lambeau and won. 0-3. How were there not more suicides in Brown County?
Week 4: at Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panthers caused the worst start in 17 years for the Packers as they could not complete a fourth quarter comeback to win the game. The Packers lost promising rookie Terrence Murphy in a career-ending helmet to helmet collision on a kickoff return. 0-4. Holy. Crap. Bat man.
Week 5: vs. New Orleans Saints
After starting the season 0-4, the Packers defeat the New Orleans Saints in this blowout. Running back Najeh Davenport ended his season with an ankle injury in the second quarter. This was the largest blowout in Brett Favre‘s career. What the hell happened here? Die hard Packer fans saw this as a sign that this team has turned it around going into the bye week. The team was back on track. Finally.
Week 6: Bye week. Thankfully.
Week 7: at Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings scored 23 second half points after being shut out 17-0 in the first half. Paul Edinger kicked a career long 56-yard field goal as time ran out to win the game. Packers running back Ahman Green ended his season with a career-threatening knee injury. Ryan Longwell got jealous after this game and was never really the same and defected to the Purple side eventually. Ahman Green’s last game a Packer and like Javon Walker, basically his career was toast.
Week 8: at Cincinnati Bengals
Brett Favre threw five interceptions as the Cincinnati Bengals won this close game. It is also noteworthy for the fact that a fan ran onto the field in the closing moments of the 4th quarter and disrupted the game by taking the ball away from Favre. I remember this. Favre tried also to show him his package.
Week 9: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers, who were held without a third down conversion, forced three turnovers that turned into 17 points to help them defeat the Packers. Packers running back Samkon Gado scored his first career touchdown and ended the day with 62 yards. The fantasy career of Samkon Gado was born. He was a hot pick up in fantasy circles in this joke of a season.
Week 10: at Atlanta Falcons
On his 24th birthday, running back Samkon Gado makes has first career start against the Atlanta Falcons and finishes the day with 103 yards and three touchdowns to help the Packers win their second game of the year. It’s getting hot in here. Gado goes to fantasy legend.
Week 11: vs. Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings win their second game against the Packers with another field goal as time expires. The Packers had only 21 yards rushing. Everyone that was smart enough to pick up Samkon Gado got their ass kicked when they started him this week.
Week 12: at Philadelphia Eagles
Week 13: at Chicago Bears
Week 14: vs. Detroit Lions
Samkon Gado helps the Packers win this overtime game over the Detroit Lions by rushing for 171 yards and a touchdown. And Gado goes insane sitting on a ton of fantasy benches.
Week 15: at Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens beat the Packers by 45 points as Kyle Boller passes for 253 yards and three touchdowns. Trent Dilfer now Kyle Boller. Yeah, 45 p0ints, and Ray Lewis didn’t have to kill anyone in this laugher.
Week 16: vs. Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears sweep the Packers for the first time since 1991 with this victory. Or since. So the only time the Bears swept the Packers in the last twenty years is 2005.
Week 17: vs. Seattle Seahawks
The Packers win their last game of the season over the Seattle Seahawks. Packer fans gave Brett Favre a standing ovation at the beginning and end of the game as it was possibly his last game, which turned out not to be the case. That’s frickin hilarious. How things have changed. Who would of ever imagined how it all ended.
The tell stat from that season: Brett Favre threw 29 interceptions vs 20 touchdowns in 2005. It’s something I don’t ever see Aaron Rodgers even approaching and a ridiculously horrible year for a hall of fame QB.
There was something, a silver lining, that actually made the 4-12 season worth it. In the 2005 draft with the 24th pick the Packers selected Aaron Rodgers as he fell in the draft. MVP MVP MVP.
Even when the Packers have a horrendous year, things seem to turn out ok.