Indianapolis Colts is the worst team in the NFL and the Green Bay Packers is the league’s best team. The Colts are on a losing streak while Green Bay is undefeated this season. But why is one team flying high and the other caught in a death spiral? I believe that there are two reasons for this:
(1) Leadership (or the lack of it): The tale of the two teams is really the tale of two quarterbacks: Peyton Manning (Colts) and Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay). Peyton Manning is regarded by experts and peers as one of the best quarterbacks to play the game. He has led the Colts to two Super Bowl appearances and won one of them in the last five years. Manning hasn’t played a game this season due a neck injury and the Colts haven’t won a single game in thirteen. They have gone from championship contenders to the worst team in the league without him. Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback in the NFL at the moment. He is in excellent form and his stats are impressive. The Packers are the defending champions and this season; they have played like champions under Rodgers’ leadership. They look unstoppable with him in charge.
(2) Confidence – Sports is the perfect arena to see confidence at work. Rosabeth Moss Kanter defines confidence as the bridge connecting expectations and performance in her book. She also states that “confidence grows in winning streaks and helps propel a tradition of success. Confidence also erodes in losing streaks, and its absence makes it hard to stop losing.” Failure and success are not isolated events but trajectories. The Colts and the Packers have gone in opposite directions since the season started. Unless something breaks their streaks soon, both teams are destined to end the regular season the way they started it. The main difference in terms of confidence between both teams is the Packers are playing to win and expect to win while the Colts are playing not to lose and praying to win.