In the April 2009 draft that is. By virtue of the Packers not becoming "a footnote in history" (as Wayne Larrivee put it on the radio yesterday afternoon) and losing to the Detroit Lions, they have clinched the ninth pick in next spring's NFL draft. That's pretty solid, although losing to the Lions would have put them into a tie for seventh. What am I saying? Losing to the Lions would have been franchise-crushing. As a friend recently noted, the Lions are not only a terrible team. They're history-making 0-16 record is actually reflective of how historically gawd-awful they've been. Specifically, according to the stat-crunchers at footballoutsiders.com, the Detroit defense is the worst defense an NFL team has fielded since 1995. (See here, and scroll down to the last bullet point before the comments section.) And that's only after Week 16. One can only imagine that giving up 100 yards rushing to Deshawn Wynn on 6 carries, 100 yards rushing to Ryan Grant, and three hundred passing yards to A-Rodg will further worsen those ratings. That same Football Outsider post notes that the Packers have shown the biggest discrepancy between performance on the field and wins and losses. This should come as no surprise to Green Bay fans.
Anyhow, I feel like the win against the Lions sort of summed up the season, in a way. Explosive but inconsistent and sputtery (giving up 3 sacks to the Lions?) offense, somewhat confused looking defense that relies on picks to get it out of trouble, mediocre special teams. The huge offensive numbers would give you some hope for the future, but it was a bit of a sloppy performance, and, as I just mentioned, the Detroit defense is historically bad.
The real question is-- what lies ahead in the offseason? I'm hoping for some coaching turnover (I know it's the knee jerk fan's demand), some free agent signings (particularly on both lines, where they may be some good depth players available), some further development from the team's young players, and a good draft with some impact players (Michael Oher, perhaps?). More on this later.