It is our great pleasure to present to you the PackersHistory.com Green Bay Packers 2010s All-Decade Team.
The 2010s were anything but boring for the Packers. The highs and lows were so extreme, that it would be impossible to create an All-Decade team without also including the best and worst moments of the 2010s which you can find below. The decade started with a bang; a Super Bowl XLV victory made it seem like a decade of wondrous victories would be had. What followed, however, was an incredible litany of heartbreaking defeats. But true heartbreak in fandom can only come from great opportunities and great teams. So don’t be bitter.
Even so, quarterback Aaron Rodgers captured two AP MVP Awards, the team won the NFC North six times and only missed the playoffs twice (with Rodgers’s injuries playing a big role). Mike McCarthy was the head coach for nine of the seasons and first-time head coach Matt Lafleur took over for the 2019 season.
The Packers of the 2010s were known for winning, a lot, but coming up shorter than they should have in the postseason. They were often thought of as an offensive juggernaut, but very rarely known for their defense (except for that magical 2010 season). That said, the 2019 squad is yet again making a name for its defense. The decade started and ended with that reputation — oh man, if only Green Bay can bookend this decade with another championship.
But we wanted to look at the best players of the decade. Instead of going position by position to create an all-decade starting lineup, we decided to make it a little more prestigious.
The Packers 2010s All-Decade Team is simply comprised of the 12 best players of the decade, regardless of position. Because of this, some positions are not represented, while other positions may have multiple players named. Think of the following 12 names as the “leaders” of the decade.
Here they are, the best players from 2010-2019 in Titletown:
How does this All-Decade team look to you, Packer Nation?
Obviously Mike McCarthy would be the head coach of the Packers 2010s All-Decade team, seeing as he coached in nine of the seasons, won five NFC North division titles and one Super Bowl ring.
The strongest position groups for the Packers of the 2010s, after quarterback by nature of Rodgers alone, were wide receiver, offensive line, and defensive tackle. The weakest position groups were tight end, defensive end, and safety. Running backs started and ended the decade strong, but lacked explosiveness in the middle years.
Some would include linebacker as a weak position, too. We admit, linebacker was a weird position throughout the decade, sometimes overrated and sometimes underrated.
This surely isn’t the strongest All-Decade Team in Packers history, so its quite impressive this collection of talent was able to win more division titles than not in the decade. I guess it helps having one of the best quarterbacks of all time on your side.
As previously mentioned, the Packers won six division titles, the Vikings and Bears combined to win four, and… the Lions? Well, yeah.
And why not, let’s show a little love to the names we appreciate that didn’t quite make the 2010s All-Decade team.
Just Missed The Cut… or I suppose you could call them the 2010s All-Decade 2nd Team:
RB Aaron Jones
RB Eddie Lacy
FB John Kuhn
WR Randall Cobb
WR Greg Jennings
C Corey Linsley
DT B.J. Raji
OLB Julius Peppers
ILB A.J. Hawk
ILB Blake Martinez
CB Sam Shields
S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
And really we should be including one man who had an incredible impact on the 2010s Packers: none other than the unmatched Jay Cutler.
I don’t think we really need to explain this one. Oh, Jay. Those were the days.
Blake Martinez and A.J. Hawk both get a little more hate than deserved, but yes, neither were All-Pro caliber players either. Wide receiver James Jones at least deserves mention here; the dude simply knew how to catch touchdowns.
Za’Darius Smith (or as he’s known around Green Bay, Z), Preston Smith, Adrian Amos, and Darnell Savage have utterly changed the Packers’ defense in the 2019 season, but that’s not enough to be considered for the All-Decade Team. Lets hope they all make strong cases to be on Packers 2020s All-Decade Team. The same goes for rookie guard Elgton Jenkins.
With that said, Z really is having a season for the ages. Packers fans haven’t seen such dominance from an edge rusher since Clay was at his absolute prime, and before that since the unparalleled Reggie White. KGB and Kampman were good, but Z and Preston are one of the best single-season duos in franchise history.
The future is bright for this Packers defense.
Throw of the Decade:
It’s the “Miracle in Motown” from Rodgers to Richard Rodgers while “running the table” – that’s the clear number one. But Rodgers’ dual Hail Marys to Jeff Janis in the playoff game against the Cardinals a few weeks later were insane, too.
Catch of the Decade:
Randall Cobb’s one-handed touchdown grab against the Bears in a blowout of the Bears in 2014 is up there, but it’s definitely Jared Cook’s sideline catch against the Cowboys in the 2016 postseason to set up Crosby for a come-from-behind game winning field goal is the number one catch of the decade, by a wide margin.
Run of the Decade:
Aaron Jones’s overtime walk-off winner against Tampa Bay in 2017 gets our vote. It was a glimpse of the greatness to come from the runner, in a rare victory without Rodgers at the helm.
Interception of the Decade:
Nick Collins’s pick six in Super Bowl XLV, one of the biggest plays in Packers history.
Drop of the Decade:
Andrew Quarless in the fourth quarter of the 2014 NFC Championship Game is the winner here, if you want to call that drop a win. Brutal. But this was just one failure in a string of failures that led to the biggest meltdown in Packers history. The Rodgers-McCarthy Era and relationship would never be the same after this game… which we have much more on, unfortunately.
Biggest Mistake of the Decade:
Obviously Brandon Bostic taking away a Rodgers vs. Brady Super Bowl matchup in the 2014 NFC Championship Game was the biggest mistake, although he wasn’t the only reason they lost the game. Julius Peppers inexplicably telling Morgan Burnette to “go down” rather than continue to run back his, potentially game-sealing, fourth quarter interception sucked almost as badly.
Rookie Single-Game Performance of the Decade:
Davante Adams arrived as a star in his first playoff game, as a rookie, in a victory over the Cowboys (The “Dez Caught It” Game). He posted seven receptions, 117 receiving yards, and a touchdown in a breakout game. It’s no contest.
Defensive Performance of the Decade:
Za’Darius Smith’s seven tackle, five tackle for loss, five quarterback hit, and three and a half sack game on Monday Night Football, in Minnesota, with the NFC North Crown on the line was the defensive performance of the decade. His legend was already growing at this point, but it exploded with that performance in prime time.
Best Win of the Decade:
Super Bowl XLV over the Steelers of course, but the NFC Championship Game in Chicago beforehand was pretty sweet, too. Though the “4th and 8 Game” in Chicago, with the 2013 division crown on the line ending with a touchdown from Rodgers to Cobb, is pretty high up there.
Worst Loss of the Decade:
You know it. The 2014 NFC Championship Game against the Seahawks. No, I don’t want to get into anymore details than we already have above.
Again, of all the things you could say about the Packers of the 2010s, and the Packers 2010s All-Decade Team, you simply cannot call them boring. Admit it, this team made you hold your breath with more regularity than almost any other Packers decade.
They were exciting from beginning to end and, although the decade didn’t live up to the lofty expectations it set itself up for, the team was still “highly successful” (just like Mike McCarthy) and utterly entertaining.
And really, that’s what this is all about anyway. Sports are escapism, they’re supposed to be fun. Don’t lose sight of that, Cheeseheads.
On to the Roaring 2020’s we go! May this decade see another Lombardi Trophy or two come home.
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