The Green Bay Packers head into their bye week with a 7-0 record, far enough along in the year that murmurs of a perfect season are starting to be heard. Can this team really go 16-0?
Only two teams have ever had undefeated seasons. The 1972 Miami Dolphins went 14-0 then swept the playoffs to win the Super Bowl. The New England Patriots were 16-0 in 2007 but they lost the Super Bowl to the New York Giants.
There are many obstacles to perfection. As Opposing Views reported on Tuesday, the defense is an issue, giving up far too many big plays.
"It felt kind of weird around here today,” Packers linebacker Desmond Bishop said on Monday. “I mean, we’re 7-0, but it didn’t quite feel like that. I think it’ll never be right. We could be 16-0. The defense, if we don’t play up to our capabilities, we’re never satisfied.”
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Then there is the schedule. They Packers have yet to play the suddenly resurgent Detroit Lions -- they play their 5-2 division rival twice over the second half of the season. In fact, all but one of Green Bay's remaining opponents are .500 or better.
With each win the media presence and scrutiny around the team will increase, and with hundreds of media outlets watching the team's every move, the pressure will not just be on the football field.
And then there is the new phenomenon of social media, as sportscaster Trenni Kusnierek writes for WTMJ NewsRadio in Milwaukee:
Throw in Twitter and Facebook, mediums a large number of players use, and it's only a short time before perfection isn't just a word but a demand hanging over Green Bay's head.
Kusnierek, for one, would rather have a Super Bowl win than a repeat of the 2007 Patriots season:
It is hard enough to play football against the best on a weekly basis let alone attempt to beat the record books as well...
I'm not sure about anyone else, but I'm all for imperfect perfection, because in my opinion a Super Bowl is the only perfect ending.