Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 10/21/11

In 1997, the Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots came together for a Super Bowl in New Orleans. In 2007, the Pack finished a couple plays short of joining the NE Pats in the NFL title game once again. This season, a Packers-Patriots finale could very well happen; and it’s becoming a trendy pick to actually forecast this scenario. The Pack are the NFL’s only undefeated team. At 5-1, New England has the top AFC winning percentage

As the NFL becomes more and more pass-happy, and more teams adopt the 3-4 defense to defend all that passing, GB and NE are two teams that end up looking more similar. When you take a closer look, you’ll see it’s not just the teams, but the franchises themselves who share commonality.

And it  goes well beyond sharing the first two letters in their name.

Brash Young Superstar QB with hot Celebrity Babe

Both starting QBs are without a doubt the current face of their franchises. This is often, but not always the case in the NFL. And both upgraded (well, that’s a subjective statement) their celebrity significant other. Aaron Rodgers went from Erin Andrews to Jessica Szohr. Tom Brady ditched the baby mama drama of Bridget Moynahan for supermodel Gisele Bundchen.

Similar Upper Management

In both organizations, players are expected to get with the program, and place the team well above the individual. Although that sounds cliche within some places in the NFL, here it rings a bit more true. Study how both teams have handled personnel turnover and managing the roster under the salary cap, and you’ll see that trite publicly stated aphorisms actually do dictate policy.

Both teams like to build through draft. GM Ted Thompson is notorious for it, and he’s probably the biggest “value GM” of any in the league. And the Pats love adding draft picks. It’s become a joke every April- predicting when they’ll trade down to get extra picks. Come draft time, both front offices are interesting to watch.

What’s not interesting are the press conferences of either coach. Both take pride in being as boring and useless as possible in the soundbites they give to the media.

Pass First, and Second, then Run Third

Tom Brady took over for Drew Bledsoe, and the Patriots don’t miss a beat. Same with Aaron Rodgers succeeding Brett Favre. Both teams primarily rely on the pass and spreading it out to the multitude of weapons in the passing games.

Interchangeable RBs, WRs

The rushing game in Green Bay has been focused on Ryan Grant the past couple years, but he got hurt early in the 2010 season and the Pack went with the committee approach of Brandon Jackson and John Kuhn. Rookie James Starks stepped into the main role last year after being on PUP list first part of season. The Pats have had a non-featured back approach the past few years. Former Minnesota Golden Gopher Laurence Maroney ended up being a bust, and Fred Taylor played out his final days in Foxboro. Rookie Stevan Ridley complements the tandem of Law Firm/Boston Legal (BenJarvus Green-Ellis) and Danny Woodhead.

Winning Despite Defensive Defection

Both these 3-4 schemes have lost some key components these past couple years. In Foxboro, it was partially by choice, in upper Wisconsin not so much. Green Bay has suffered a ridiculous amount of injuries on the defensive side of the ball, yet are still among the best in the league in scoring defense. New England has seen all three units within their d COMPLETELY re-vamped in just two years. This team has minimal starters left over from the ’07 perfect team. Yet they keep out-scoring their competition.

Franchise and Fan Identity

Both cold weather teams have INSANE fans who revel in their allegiance to their frozen Utopias. Coincidentally, both these rural meccas are located in the middle of absolutely nowhere (a rarity among NFL stadiums). Both teams have hosted and triumphed in legendary cold weather moments that added to the folk lore which fans embrace. The Pats won “The Snow Bowl” in 2001 and “The Snow Plow Game” in 1982. Both games featured iconic moments that you’ve seen incessantly on NFL Films. Likewise for the 1967 the Ice Bowl, won by the Pack in Lambeau. Even their fans’ nicknames are similar sounding and named for the region’s food. Chowderheads vs. Cheeseheads.

Title Town meets The Patriot Way

Very few franchise can claim a dynasty. The Pack can actually claim three, while the Pats were the unquestioned team of the 2000s. Green Bay has a record 12 NFL championships, winning three in row twice (1929-31, 1965-7) and another three in a different five year span (1936, 1939, 1944). The Pats made a similar run in a similar span. They hoisted the trophy named after the Green Bay legend in 2001, ’03 and ’04.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

He’s appeared on live radio all across the world from Houston to New Zealand. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too

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