With the season winding down and the playoff field becoming more clear, it’s time to take a look at each playoff team and determine what must go right, and what could go wrong, in their chances at hoisting the Lombardi trophy in approximately five and a half weeks. First up, my preseason pick to win it all; The Green Bay Packers.
The 2012 season started pretty rough for the Packers with a loss at home to the 49ers, followed up by the controversial replacement referee game that dropped them to 1-2 on the season. After barely hanging on to beat the league worst defense in the Saints at home, they followed it up with a loss to the young and rebuilding Indianapolis Colts.
With many in the local and national media alike writing the eulogy on their 2012 season, the Packers offense was looking broken and staring a 2-3 start in the face headed on the road to face the 5-0 Texans on Sunday Night Football. For some reason, they found their mojo that night and haven’t looked back since.
Since that game, a beating of the league’s top defense at the time, Green Bay has won nine of ten contests and many of them haven’t even been close. Long story short; if the Giants aren’t their competition, the Pack usually doesn’t lose. For some reason, the Giants seem to have their number, but with them falling out of the playoff race (most likely) things are looking good for the Packers on their way to getting back to the big game out of the field in the NFC.
So what has to go right for the Packers to win it all this year? It’s simple; Aaron Rodgers just has to be Aaron Rodgers. While all the talk is about Adrian Peterson or Peyton Manning for MVP, the reigning champ wants to remind you that he’s still here and has numbers quite comparable to his MVP 2011 season.
Rodgers will likely pass 4,000 yards this Sunday, if he plays, and has already accounted for 35 touchdown passes to just 8 interceptions. That’s video game numbers right there. And this is before you get into some more of the stats like his rating of 106.2 on the season and completion percentage of 67 percent. The guy is amazing and I think the fact that people have come to expect it from him is getting him less recognition. But if the definition of the award is player that is most valuable to his team, you’d be hard pressed to find a better candidate.
The Packers offensive line can break down sometimes and that’s the only way to beat Aaron Rodgers. The formula that the Giants have shown in defeating Green Bay consistently has been their hell-raising pass rush. Rodgers is amazing if he gets more than five seconds to throw the ball. But just like any quarterback in this league, if you get consistent pressure on him, you learn that he’s just a mortal after all.
The defense for Green Bay just needs to be middle of the road for them the support the offense that score 27 points per game on average. If you discount their sluggish start, the Pack is racking up 33 points per game in the last 10 weeks. They can win in a shoot out with anyone, as long as their defense can play some “bend, but don’t break” style ball.
If I were a betting man, I’d still pick the Packers to win it all this year. Without New York standing in their way, I’m not so sure anyone could upset them at Lambeau and I think they’ve proven a couple years ago that going into the Georgia Dome and getting the win in the postseason isn’t a big deal for them. That would be the only time they’d have to leave The Frozen Tundra to play anyone. To put it shortly; a lot more would have to go wrong than would have to go right for the Pack not to win it all come February 3rd.
Tagged with: Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson, Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, NFC, NFC North, Peyton Manning, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks