Packers Training Camp Countdown: 28 Days

Every day until the start of camp on July 26, we'll provide one juicy nugget to whet your appetite for the return of football. We'd give you more but the CBA forbids two-a-days. Sorry. The Packers have 28 playoff berths, including a league-high 15 in the free agent era thanks to their quarterbacks.

Green Bay is called "Titletown," with the Packers having won more championships than any franchise in NFL history.

Not surprisingly, the Packers also are among the NFL's leaders in playoff berths.

Last season marked Green Bay's 28th playoff appearance, behind only the Giants (31) and Cowboys (30). After 20 years of ineptitude, the Packers have continually been among the elite teams during the free-agent era that spans the last 20 years. Since 1993, the Packers have reached the dance a league-high 15 times. That's 15-of-20 years, or 75 percent, in a league in which 37.5 percent of teams reach the postseason.

The reason for that continued success is easy to pinpoint.

"Very blessed as an organization just to have exceptional quarterback play here for two generations, first with Brett Favre and now with Aaron Rodgers," coach Mike McCarthy said during the draft, after Rodgers' signed a contract extension through 2019.

From 1993 through 2012, Favre and Rodgers have been the team's only starting quarterbacks, other than Matt Flynn replacing Rodgers for a concussion in 2010 and a meaningless finale in 2011.

During the previous 20 seasons, the Packers churned through quarterbacks like a baby wets his way through diapers. Before Favre stepped into the lineup in 1992, Green Bay used 16 starters: Jerry Tagge, Scott Hunter, Jim Del Gaizo, John Hadl, Jack Concannon, Don Milan, Lynn Dickey, Carlos Brown, Randy Johnson, David Whitehurst, Randy Wright, Jim Zorn, Don Majkowski, Anthony Dilweg, Blair Kiel and Mike Tomczak.

It's not quite like the Bears using 21 starters during Favre's historic run in Green Bay, but it's impressive — or, making that, unimpressive — nonetheless.

In those 20 dismal seasons, the Packers used three starters on six occasions (not including the 1987 strike season), compared to five seasons with just one — 1978 (Whitehurst), 1980 (Dickey), 1983 (Dickey), 1986 (Wright) and 1989 (Majkowski).

And how's this: Over a 19-year period 1973 through 1991, the Packers' quarterbacks threw more touchdown passes than interceptions just twice. Five times, they threw twice as many interceptions as touchdowns, and five other times they threw one-and-a-half times as many interceptions.

Then Favre arrived — thanks to Ron Wolf's vision and Mike Holmgren's coaching — and everything changed.

Green Bay won one Super Bowl and reached another with Favre, and Bob Harlan parlayed that excellence into a Lambeau Field renovation that turned the stadium into a year-round ATM. Rodgers carried on the tradition with one Super Bowl and a 15-1 encore, with Mark Murphy using that excellence for another Lambeau renovation meant to squeeze even more money from the stadium. All of that money has kept this smallest-of-the-small-market franchises in winning position. The Packers are the only team in the NFC to have reached the playoffs in four consecutive seasons and five of the last six. Their three consecutive trips to the divisional round also is tops in the NFC, and it's the team's best run since Favre did it from 1993 through 1997.

"The Green Bay Packers and the Packer fans have been very lucky to have Aaron Rodgers come in here and do the job he has following the legend in Brett Favre and the time he spent from 1992-forward," general manager Ted Thompson said after signing Rodgers to the extension. "To have those two guys for your two quarterbacks for that long of time is a remarkable thing and the record, I think, is a reflection of that."

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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