Cory’s Corner: Lambeau Field has lost its mystique All Green Bay Packers All the Time
The Packers have lost back-to-back home games for the first time since 2008. Lambeau Field doesn't have the home field advantage it once did.
The Packers have lost back-to-back home games for the first time since 2008. Lambeau Field doesn’t have the home field advantage it once did.

I realize the best passer was watching the game from the sideline, but what happened to the Lambeau Field mystique?

After dropping an ugly loss to the Eagles, the Packers have now lost two straight home games for the first time since 2008. I can remember when the Packers reeled off 25-straight home wins from 1995-1998.

Coming into the Bears game Nov. 4, the Packers had won 10 straight at home and 23 of its last 24. Those are good numbers but it appears that those numbers may be the exception and not the rule.

It seemed whenever Green Bay was playing at home it was just expected that it was going to be another win. And when it was a playoff game in January in the bitter cold, many teams wilted under the shadows of greats like Curly Lambeau and Vince Lambeau all the way to Mike Holmgren.

Of course that all changed in 2002 when a 22-year-old quarterback by the name of Michael Vick, in just his second year as a pro by the way, turned the normally racous Lambeau into deafening silence.

Looking at former teams, there is one common denominator from Brett Favre’s teams of the 90s to Aaron Rodgers teams now: they were a lot tougher. And I know that may be construed as a cop-out because that soft label has been applied to this team before.

But go back to 2010. You’re lying if you say you truly expected the Packers to win the Super Bowl. After Matt Flynn lost a tough game at New England to drop Green Bay’s record to 8-6, I thought they were done.

They then won two straight and got in the playoffs through the back door. The turning point of the playoff run was the 27-point shellacking the Packers gave to the Falcons in the Georgia Dome. And the reason is simple: the Packers were and are built like a dome team.

On the outside, the Packers look like a bunch of mean football players ready to shatter all of your bones. But on the inside, they’re at home sipping hot cocoa under your grandma’s freshly knitted afghan blanket.

They’re the semi truck with cross-stitch and Sudoku inside.

That changed a little when they drafted the ATV back Eddie Lacy, who is poised to turn his wheels into four-wheel drive when the turf gets snowy and muddy.

The rest of the offense is that Trans Am you took to your high school reunion. You love the speed, hate to get it dirty and don’t hesitate a moment to show it off. Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson and James Jones are the best receiving combo in the NFL. But how efficient will they be if their wheels keep spinning while trying to get off the line of scrimmage?

On defense, this team is really missing a guy like Reggie White that imposed his will regularly on unassuming offensive linemen – oftentimes with one arm. Clay Matthews was supposed to fill that void, but doesn’t fear opposing defenses the way White did.

So how does Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy suddenly change the image of a team from one that is built on speed, quickness and timing to one that’s better suited for an Iowa-Minnesota Big Ten slobberknocker?

First of all, you need a guy that your players not only respect but they fear. If there is legitmate fear, and no, I don’t mean Richie Incognito fear, for a guy in the same locker room, just imagine how opposing teams will respond?

Next, embrace the weather. Toward the end of Brett Favre’s career, he kept getting asked about the bitter cold and he was able to use that as a scapegoat for his ill-fated interception in the 2007 NFC Championship Game.

The trend in the last 30 years has been to move south. The sunbelt has been booming, which has fed the beast of the Southeastern Conference in college football. Many of the Packers either come from warm weather climates or played college football in a warm weather climate.

Heck, Eddie Lacy has never seen snow.

The faster the Packers start molding and shaping guys that are more resilient to things they cannot control is when Green Bay’s home record will bounce back.


Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn


35 thoughts on “Cory’s Corner: Lambeau Field has lost its mystique

  1. I agree 110% with this article. Not 1 team in the NFL fears the Packers, but the Packers fear every team in the NFL. You can see it in the players eyes, they are beat before the game even starts. The Packers are like a one leg man in an ass kicking contest. How do we fix this. Maybe obammy can fix it like he is fixing obummercare…

    1. I don’t agree with everything you write in this article Cory, but I have to sway your way. After watching last week’s game again, and I see the way Shields/Williams ran around like “keystone cops” while Jackson was letting a “folly floater” land in his hands for the first TD,Cooper’s wide open TD for the 3rd TD, I wonder where the intensity is? Three picks in 9 games? Yes, it is the defense, the soft defense. Can’t blame it on the offense. Packer receivers catch anything close to them and put up after-the-catch years. Lacy and Starks give us as much as they can. And the O-line is putting out to the best of their ability,100%,whether that good or not. Missed tackles, wide open opponents’ receivers, not containing the outside run is a soft, confused,ill-coached defense.The last two games we saw Wallace and Tolzien have at least four passes battered down. I don’t recall any battered down passes the Packers D.They make nobody QB’s look like Pro Bowlers.

  2. We lost the last two home games for two reasons:

    (1) No Aaron Rodgers; and,
    (2) No defense.

    Rodgers will be back before long. Will it be in time to save the season? Maybe, maybe not. In the meantime, we may have discovered an excellent back-up QB in Scott Tolzein. That augurs well for the future.

    Defense. Hmmm. The upshot here, I believe, is that TT doesn’t draft defense well. Certainly not as well as he does offense. Yes, he has had his hits over the last 9 years e.g., Nick Collins and CMIII but two stud defensive players in 9 years is hardly adequate. What’s even worse than too few blue chip players, his red chips have been ordinary at best. His record with undrafted defensive FA is actually more impressive than his drafting record e.g., Williams, Shields, and Lattimore. In the end however, the “talent” that TT provides DC with, DC is unable to coach up into a formidable defense. Is it DC’s fault or TT’s fault. I’m thinking both. because of this, I don’t see TT firing DC anytime soon and I don’t see the Packers’ defense being much more than clown-like throughout Rodgers’ remaining tenure with the Packers. That is a depressing thought.

    The Packers’ defense will get another chance to prove itself vs NYG. The Jints offense is hardly formidable these days with or w/o Andre Brown running the ball. Eli seems to have lost it behind a very shaky offensive line. Hakeem Nicks seems to have lost it as well. That leaves Victor Cruz as the man to stop in the passing game. Reuban Randle is a rapidly rising 3rd WR (former 1st RD pick). Can this Packers defense stop Andre Brown and Victor Cruz even with Bad Eli? It’s possible. With a weak OL and a big RB who lacks the super quickness that gives GB’s 3 HIPPO defense fits, maybe we can stop the run, make Eli one dimensional, and release the hounds on Eli, while double teaming Cruz in the slot. Shields/Williams should be able to handle Nicks/Randle. Who will be our nickel CB this week? Hayward is out. So it is Williams or Hyde. Interesting decision for DC. House can cover the over sized Randle or Nicks. So moving Williams inside is an option. Unless DC thinks Hyde can cover Cruz with help from S. We shall see in what many view as a do or die game for both teams.

    1. “Can this Packers defense stop Andre Brown and Victor Cruz even with Bad Eli?”

      Not if they don’t get any pressure on Eli.

      Relative to Brown: he’s no Forte or McCoy. That’s a definite plus.

  3. I completely disagree with this article. TT/MM have shaped the team to fit what is rewarded in the NFL today: Passing the ball.

    The home losses are no worse than they were back in the 90’s either. BF’s annual playoff choke and Dom Capers’ annual January brain drain are the causes. Not how “Tough” GB is.

    Tell me, what smash-mouth teams have a super bowl in the past 12 years?

    NYG won it twice. And they got lucky both times. The Ravens won it last year. The Steelers in 08. And Tampa Bay way back in 2001. And that’s it.

    Now, how many “passing/finesse” teams have won it all: The remaining 8 years since 2000.

    The way to win multiple SBs in this day of the NFL is to get as many bites at the playoff apple as possible. That means an elite passing game, a complementary running game and an opportunistic bend but don’t break D.

    That’s all that will fit under the salary cap.

      1. If by “tough” you mean GB is going to make their hay pushing people around like the 49ers have been or the Steelers did throughout the 2000’s then you are exactly right. They aren’t tough.

        However, if by “tough” you mean that GB has taken advantage of the rules in the current NFL in order to make them “tough” to beat, then you are wrong. In that sense, they are very tough.

        The way to win the most super bowl is to get into the playoffs as many times as possible and be playing well when you get there. The more times you bob for the apple, the more likely you are to get one.

        The playoffs are a crap shoot. Every year. I would say the winner owes about 50% of the playoff success in any given year to luck.

        What’s the best way in this limited salary cap league to win regularly (and thus get into the playoffs yearly)?

        Answer: A dominant passing attack, a decent running attack and a defense that bends, but doesn’t break and takes the ball away.

        GB’s problems this year (as in 2012) are injuries and no takeaways. That’s all that’s missing once (if) they get healthy.

        You can bet your bottom dollar that other NFC teams are PRAYING that DET or CHI wins this division.

  4. Agree with Bearmeat on this one. The combination of the salary cap and the current rules for the offense make it difficult to build a truly “tough” defense as we had in the ’90s or ’60s. Or what Pittsburgh had in the ’70s. I don’t believe there any great defensive teams in this era. And if you do build a great defense it will come at the expense of your offense because you can’t afford both. The league wants offense because the fans want offense. It fills the stadiums, sports bars and couches at home. You can’t argue with success and the league is very successful right now. The money keeps pouring in. Eventually, with more rules changes we will be watching an outdoor version of the NBA in pads. Thanks, Since ’61

    1. ” Eventually, with more rules changes we will be watching an outdoor version of the NBA in pads.”

      **involuntary shudder**

  5. This article is so far off base it’s ridiculous. The only reason they lost the last two games has to do with injuries. One in particular, Rodgers. If Rodgers plays both those games, they are both victories. This is such a desperate reach for filler its preposterous.GoPack!

      1. Rodgers covers up for the many deficiencies this team has, especially on defense. It’s really that simple. The Packers win a lot of games 44-31, 31-27, in other words the Packers have been fortunate to be able to score a lot of points, the defense depends on it. We just don’t bitch about it because it’s a Win. Now, if the offense is scoring 17 points like last week, the game could be in a dome, on the moon, it won’t matter because this defense IS soft. How many times does Williams need to play off and continue to up up huge chunks of yardage. Damn I miss Al Harris, Charles Woodson, Mike MacKinzie, corners with a sack that got in your face and made you earn every yard.

        1. Nick Perry – yes we miss the guys you mentioned but an old timer like me misses Herb Adderly, Nitschke, Willie Wood, Dave Robinson. Now I’m talking defense. Since ’61

          1. As I middle-timer I miss Tim Harris, Bryce Paup, Reggie White, Gilbert Brown, and LeRoy Butler.

          2. I remember my Dad was really happy with the Packers during that time, cheering loudly so I’m not that much much behind ya Since 61. I remember my favorites being Wood, Nitschke, and Tom Brown. But you’re right, that was a defense and those teams had heart, especially the year the won their 3rd straight. They we’re all getting old but dug down deep to win their 3rd in a row and 5th in 7 years. Now that’s a dynasty!!!! No one will ever win 5 in 7 years again, NO ONE!

      2. Big T, you are correct, Rodgers does not play defense, but last time I checked, Matthews, perry and hayward did. They have all been out. Matthews played one handed last week. Like I said, injuries have decimated the squad and have caused the losses the last two weeks. GoPack!

  6. The difference in winning and losing for the Packers is the inconsistent level of play by many of their inconsistent players.

    The last two losses can be directed more toward the loss of Rodgers if one opts to choose the ‘turn a blind eye’ approach and divert attention from the play level of defensive side of the ball.

    However, the loss of these last two games would not have happened if either the loss of Rodgers or the melt down of the defensive players did not occur.

    Perhaps if and only if the seats were to begin becoming empty on game day as like some other venues, the losing of its ‘mystique’ may be applied with justification.

    Can we stop comparing the play of yore with today…Reggie White would probably hold the record for PFs with the numerous blows to the head he inflicted.

  7. The pack was starting to get the Mystic back until;

    A) Rodgers got hurt, which exposed TT and MM as to the actual job performance they are doing, which has been covered up by Rodgers brilliance. (Ted got lucky when this guy fell in his lap)

    B) see ‘A’

  8. The Packer injuries at linebacker has a large impact on the defenses poor performances. But the inexplicable play in the defensive backfield really points the finger at coaching. The Packers have talent and depth at corner back and Hyde is a real football player that should have been moved to safety a long time ago. Too often, though, these guys are running around with seemingly no clue. Capers needs to go.

    1. It’s true that CMIII, like AROD, hides the many deficiencies of this team, particularly on defense. Having them both out at the same time has been a real blow. still, I said back during early pre-season that the secondary would be this team’s achilles heel.

      (1) Shields and Hayward are the only two guys that can cover and Hayward has missed the whole season.

      (2) CMIII is our only real pass rush.

      We need:

      (1) more and better pass rushers; and,
      (2) bigger and better CB and S.

      Until TT can supply the Packers with that, we are stuck. Datone Jones was a step in the right direction and Mike Daniels is working out too. However, a 3 HIPPO front with guys like Raji, Pickett and Jolly are passe in the modern era. Now teams go for athletic DL who can rush the passer. They call them 4-3 types. To do well in the 3-4 you need two CMIIIs and unfortunately for us, lightning can’t seem to strike twice for TT in that department.

  9. Two weeks ago after winning 23/24 at home (even with the ugly playoff giants losses) I’d venture to say your opinion was that they still had the mystique. Now, after a couple freak losses largely due to injuries that basically no team can overcome in this era due to salary cap and other factors causing parity, the sky is falling? The home cooking isn’t what it used to be but its not all bad either. I disagree with your assessment sir. But to each their own.

  10. Disagree with the article. Think back to training camp … Which Packers were most important to the team? Rodgers, Matthews, Cobb, and Bulaga in that order. None of them played two weeks ago. And last week we got Matthews with handcuffs.

    The Packers of the last two weeks are not the Packers we are used to.

  11. When I read the title of this article I thought it was going to be about the lack of an edge provided by the crowd.

    Fans at Lambeau are weak.

    I’ll never forget standing up after going down 0-14 to Seattle in the snow-globe game and trying to get people around me to make some noise.

    No one moved.

    Sat on their hands.

    I was actually told to “Sit down, rookie”.

    There is nothing intimidating about going into that building.

    As an opposing player you know the crowd won’t be a factor and you know that you don’t have to worry about getting hit hard.

  12. ” As an opposing player you know the crowd won’t be a factor and you know that you don’t have to worry As an opposing player you know the crowd won’t be a factor and you know that you don’t have to worry about getting hit hard.”

    Maybe now, but back then, our defense was one of the most physical defenses in the NFL. I seriously miss those days when WRs would get pressed hard at the line, and be afraid to catch the ball up the middle, cause they know they would get cracked. However, today our D is being used in soft 15 yard cushioning zones, which leave the middle of the field wide open. It is pathetic.

    1. Yet with AROD, life is good. Amazing how valuable he is. Put him on a good team and they would be great. Put him on a bad team, and they would be good.

  13. The packers defensive talent level is not overwhelming, but even given that they are still underperforming. What happened to Tramon williams? Morgan Burnett? Brad Jones? Jolly? Neal? House, Wilson, Jennings….on and on. Are they on sleep medication? Matthews gets a club pass and lattimore, hawk, shields and Raji have been ok in my estimation. The others invisible or worse. These guys didn’t always suck play after play. They were mostly at least ok just a few games ago weren’t they? They’re taking turns screwing up, being outdone by the guy on the other side of the ball, giving up plays and yards, I don’t see much production out of any of them. No game changing plays coming from the defense. For some, really weak, soft coverage, being way out of position (it seems) or really poor tackling. Combine those negative plays with a real deficit of any big plays and you’ve got a defense that’s having the game taken to them. It shouldn’t be happening. Whether its the coaches or player fault, or both, they’re better than the performances of late.

  14. Lambeau is the 3rd largest stadium in the league and should be one of the loudest. Green bay is a very passionate city regarding the Packers and we are compared to a college town atmosphere, however, No one will ever mistake the Lambeau crowd for a raving college crowd or Seattles crowd. People are to nice and layed back, just like our team, soft. Maybe the players feed off our soft crowd.

  15. As to lambeau losing its mystique, others said it best. When salary cap and parity meets up with injuries and bad play or poor coaching – Mystique is drifting out past the brat vendors to the door. Fix the above and it’ll be back. There are budding and growing legends in front of us now. Lambeau has a life all its own and the fans there are on the edge of their chairs waiting for excellence like few other places.

  16. I may have been a little too harsh on a previous comment on this blog, it’s true that the Packers have sustained a lot of injuries. Losing Bulaga, Matthews, Cobb, Finley, Perry, Hayward, 2 Olineman (Barcleay and Lang)in the last game against the Eagles, Have all taken their toll.

    But, this doesn’t cover up the fact that the D has been an issue for awhile and the Packers didn’t have a reliable backup QB ready to come off the bench, that had played in this offensive system before. TT and MM played Russian roulette with the back up quarterback situation the last 2 years. We should have had a backup quarterback that played through training camp and the whole preseason and understood the offense and was ready to come in and play immediately. A plug and play backup. Thats why we lost the bears game. That and the Capers lead D

  17. No you are pretty much on target about about the pack I think. Packer fans are pretty intense, but there’s got to be something to get behind on the field. Team and crowd feed off of each other, its not a one way thing. The coaching is ultimately responsible for the play. They can’t do a lot about the injuries, and injuries are part of it, but the defense played better when the guys like mulumba, lattimore and Hyde were in. The D is getting healthy and playing worse. Fans can feel the air leaking out of the balloon. MM, DC and other coaches get the bucks to find out what to do.

  18. Lambeau will never lose its mystique. Remember the 70’s and 80’s? Just because we have had some bad games doesn’t mean it’s the end.

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