Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers says they're playing better entering the playoffs than the top-seeded 2011 team that went 15-1 in the regular season. (Jan. 6, 2014)
With a young roster, the euphoria of their Super Bowl run was supposed to set the stage for a potential dynasty.
Four years later, it hasn't worked out that way. Since 2010, the Green Bay Packers have won four straight NFC North division titles. They are just 1-3 in the playoffs.
Most glaring, Green Bay hasn't returned to the conference title game despite being one of the most successful regular-season teams in the league.
"Not good enough," Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said of his team's recent postseason legacy Tuesday on his weekly ESPN Milwaukee radio show. "We're 1-3 since then, and two of (the losses) at home. We lost at San Fran, and then we lost to San Fran and the Giants at home and beat Minnesota at home in a game I think most people think we should've won because their starter was out.
"But, yeah, we haven't played good enough. I think we've learned a lot since then. It's a different team this year. This is not the same team that lost to San Fran last year. This is a different team."
This week, the Packers also have a different opportunity.
Green Bay hosts the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC divisional round Sunday. It's the first time since the Ice Bowl in 1967 that the Cowboys will play a postseason game at Lambeau Field.
Rodgers appreciates the history. He's seen clips of the Ice Bowl and – even better – remembers discussing the game with legendary quarterback Bart Starr.
"Hearing Bart talk about it is so incredible when you're a fan of the history of the game," Rodgers said. "Everybody has seen, probably, the clips of him coming over and talking to Vince, and they had a couple stalled where they just couldn't get it back to the running back. They couldn't get their footing.
"When Bart tells it, it's pretty special."
With a win Sunday, the Packers would finally return to the NFC Championship Game for the first time since 2010. It's a hurdle Rodgers hopes his team will clear.
The quarterback knows he has to play well.
"I have high expectations every time I take the field, and I think most people do of me, and that's how I want it," Rodgers said. "The bar has been set high, and nobody's going to apologize for setting it. I'm not sorry for the bar being up there. I love an expectation of greatness, because that's what I expect of myself every time I take the field.
"I know my teammates expect me to play well, so I go into the game expecting to play well and excited about the opportunity to be a guy that everyone can count on."
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