The Green Bay Packers are preparing to potentially clinch the NFC North this weekend against the Baltimore Ravens. If they win, there’s a good chance they will not lose a game the rest of the season. Packers fans should see the current situation in Jacksonville and thank their lucky stars that Green Bay operates the way they do.
While the Packers are 10-3 and the current No. 1 seed in the NFC, the Jacksonville Jaguars sit at 2-11. I would say they are the worst team in their division and conference, but they have the same record as the Houston Texans. I also would say at least the Jaguars don’t have a quarterback who is accused of 20-plus sexual assaults. The Jaguars don’t have that with their quarterback. They did, however, keep their very-much married head coach after a video surfaced of him at a bar while a young adult woman grinded on him. After he skipped out on the team’s flight back home…following a loss.
Obviously, that has nothing to do with his coaching abilities. But after that moment, Urban Meyer basically lost the locker room. He probably kept his job way too long after that. If you haven’t caught up yet, here is a quick breakdown of Meyer’s tenure in Jacksonville:
Fun stuff right there. Really productive for a young star quarterback like Trevor Lawrence. Not a waste of a year of his career at all. This puts into perspective how well Green Bay’s organization is run. It’s absolutely not perfect, and plenty of mistakes have been made. The Packers’ relationship with their quarterbacks hasn’t been the best. They have held on to general managers and coaches way longer than they should. They should have a few more rings to show for their efforts.
But they’ve still had a winning football team for the past 25 years, two Hall-of-Fame quarterbacks, and some Lombardi trophies to add to the collection. As much as Packers fans complain, it could be much worse. So much worse.
Hiring Matt LaFleur
Green Bay signed LaFleur on Jan. 8, 2019. Fans were cautious and had to wait and see if the front office made the right call. I think we can safely say they did. Under LaFleur, the team has gone 36-9 and played in two consecutive NFC Championships.
Remember when people claimed there was a rift between LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers? Even though the hours of footage and hundreds of pictures said otherwise? The NFL gossip blogs and the Mike Florios of the world hate when new coaches and players get along. They don’t have to be best friends, but it’s evident by now they have a great relationship. LaFleur is a brilliant coach. The Packers found the right person at the right time.
It really comes back to the fact that the Packers are lucky they don’t have a true owner who makes all the final decisions. Sure, Mark Murphy is the current president and CEO of the team and holds a lot of power. But he still gets insight from general manager Brian Gutekunst and others within the organization. They don’t have an owner who wants to make everything about them instead of focusing on the team.
The Jaguars’ current owner, Shahid Khan, has controlled the team since 2012. Since then, Jacksonville has had seven head coaching changes. Their only winning season in that time came back in 2017 when they went 10-6 and made it to the AFC Championship. A great defense and insane seasons from quarterback Blake Bortles and running back Leonard Fournette during his rookie season helped them get there. It was supposed to be the beginning of a winning formula in Jacksonville. That never came to pass.
Besides that year, they haven’t won more than six games in a season. They went 1-15 in 2021. They are 2-11 this year. Jacksonville is not a franchise with a winning mentality, and its owner can shoulder much of that blame.
Sure, signing Meyer could have changed things up. But a lot of people also knew it could be a disaster. They instead signed him to a five-year deal at more than $10 million a year. Now the Jaguars and Khan will be in a lengthy battle over that contract. While the team technically still owes him around $50 million, they will also try to fight it because they fired him “for cause.” They will most likely deny his remaining money but will probably also be sued for breach of contract. The only question is if Meyer wants everything to be brought up again in court. I highly doubt his family wants to see that grinding video again.
And how bad does it need to get that a former kicker must come out and say that Meyer kicked him? The Packers have had their flaws, but they are a million miles ahead of the Jaguars. You have a passionate fanbase, legendary Lambeau Field, and a great team on the gridiron. You can’t say the same for the Jaguars. Now their owner will be busy fighting the contract of their former coach while having to hire a new one while hopefully not drafting another running back in the first round.
Maybe the Jaguars will someday take a page out of the Packers’ playbook and understand what a deep and talented offensive line can do for your team. It would benefit, let’s say, a No. 1-overall pick who is your new franchise quarterback. The Urban Meyer situation is the perfect example of how blessed Packers fans are.