COMMENTARY | Silver linings are few and far between when an NFL team experiences an 0-4-1 slide. Especially when said team slips from the top of the professional football heap to the bottom.
As the state of Wisconsin and Packer fans consider the somewhat bleak potential for a postseason that doesn't include the green and gold, the team and its fans can at least take solace in the fact that there can no longer be any doubts about the incredible leadership skills of Aaron Rodgers.
The hypothesis that Rodgers can't lead was officially demolished as the team has imploded without their MVP-caliber quarterback heading the on-field charge.
To put it lightly, that trash bin holding historically bad ideas such as "the world is flat," just got a bit more crowded.
The crazy thing is that Rodgers' absence due to a collarbone fracture may have actually proven the exact opposite thesis to be true.
Based on how the Packers have looked without Rodgers in the lineup, it's now arguable that Rodgers could be considered one of the best overall leaders in the entire NFL.
With Rodgers unable to lead the team over the past five games, every single aspect of football in Green Bay has declined significantly. Whether it be the offense, defense, special teams, coaching, or personnel management, the entire team looked has looked overwhelmed without Rodgers' example to follow.
Looking at the Packers' statistical team rankings before and after the injury to Rodgers helps confirm this thesis.
While the offense would have certainly been expected to drop in efficiency, it's doubtful anyone would have predicted that the Packers' defense would have folded up shop in the manner we've seen.
Prior to the Packers' game against the Chicago Bears during Week 9, the team was ranked near the top of the NFL in total offense as well as run defense.
Days after the Packers embarrassing defeat to the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day, those same stats have plunged -- especially in regards to the defense. The Packers now rank 25th in total defense. Their run defense, which was ranked in the top ten earlier in the year, has sunk to 27th.
Close followers of the team certainly wouldn't need the aforementioned rankings to draw the exact same conclusions. The proof has been obvious in an anemic offense and a porous defense during game days.
When Greg Jennings left Green Bay to join the Vikings this past offseason, his departure was marked by disappointment across Wisconsin. Shortly after joining the Minnesota Vikings in free agency, Jennings made headlines by questioning Rodgers' leadership.
Because outsiders are at a disadvantage in evaluating a team's precise locker room chemistry, comments such as this can at minimum plant a seed of doubt . A seed that has now shriveled up into nothing and blown away.
If there's one thing that should now be clear to every follower of NFL football it's that Aaron Rodgers is both an incredibly talented quarterback as well as one of the top locker room leaders in the league.
The presence of Rodgers' and his infamous drive for personal perfection clearly makes the players around him execute their own duties at a much higher level too.
Although the Packers' 2013 season is now on life support, the team and their quarterback have experienced an unexpected boost in seeing Aaron Rodgers' reputation grow even stronger.
And that's something we can all be thankful for.
Andrew Prochnow is a derivatives trader by day and a Green Bay Packers fan by night. He is a regular contributor at Yahoo Sports and The Bleacher Report. Tweet him @AndrewProchnow.
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