There's 4 words that no NFL fan never wants to say about their favorite team. Four words that can apply to 31 unlucky teams every season. From the Rams to the Colts. Those four words are: Theres always next year.
For the Green Bay Packers you can complain about a missed facemask call until pigs start to fly, but the fact of the matter is that nothing can be done and we have to look ahead to next season.
It was a great season. We went 11-5, won 7 of our last 8 in the regular season and showed great resilience to make a comeback and a game for the ages. Although a playoff loss sends the Packers home with some questions such as:
Can we trust our defense to stop elite passing teams?
Is our O-Line good enough and what will happen to Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher?
Well those questions should be answered in the off-season, but I think they will be fixed and the Packers will be an elite team, and heres why.
Jermichael Finley, Greg Jennings, Donald Driver and a ridiculous amount of offensive talent
The Packers quietly have maybe the best receivers in the NFL and a pretty good runningback too. First off TE Jermichael Finley seems like that special type of TE that has the speed of a WR and the size and physical abilty as a TE. And he hasnt disappointed. If he has to be double covered then who do you put on Greg Jennings and Donald Driver. Or even guys like James Jones and Jordy Nelson who have proven themselves. Not to mention if you drop to many guys back Ryan Grant can burn you. With this kind of talent they can score with anybody but can they stop them defense?
Al Harris Return= More freedom for Charles Woodson
Charles Woodson is clearly the best player on the Packers defense. He can do ANYTHING. He can play saftey and intercept passes out of zone, he can lock down a star reciever and still force tuenovers in man coverage and he can blitz and sack the QB to force a cruical fumble. Now with the return of Al Harris who is an outstanding cover corner who you can leave on an island with great recievers means that Dom Capers can use Charles Woodson in so many different ways and he can be all over the place. There will never be a team punting just once and scoring 51 points on Green Bay again if Al Harris can stay healthy. Not to mention Green Bay had two more injured corners.
Return of Aaron Kampman requires attention
Along with Al Harris, Aaron Kampman will alson return fom injury next season. Kampman who had 37 sacks over a 3 year span from 2006-2008 will require attention and have to be gameplanned against by other teams. Even though numbers say otherwise I feel that in the 3-4 defense that Kampman has had a tough time adjusting to that Clay Matthews is the better pass-rusher, but regardless Kampman can still play at a high level and with those two guys coming off the ends to rush the passer, it may not be a fun year to play the Packers if your a QB.
A Young Team gets another year older and another year wiser
The Packers are one of the NFL's youngest teams and with an 11-5 record and a playoff thriller they should have learned a lot and will be able to improve even more next season. A young O-Line expected to get younger(with likley losses of veteran tackles) have made serious strides in protecting their franchise QB. Also every 3-4 defense is run by a great nose tackle and with all the talent of B.J Raji and another year under his belt I expect Raji to make big strides this season. Also OLB Clay Matthews can only get better from here. The Packers have a very bright future.
Aaron Rodgers Becomes Elite
Aaron Rodgers proved to me and many others in that playoff game that he is becoming if he isnt already an elite QB. Leading his team down the field on every chance he got in the second half and bringing them all the way back showed me something. How many NFL QB's would be able to do that? Manning, Brady, Brees, Warner, Favre. Now im not suggesting that Rodgers is as good as any of those QB's yet, but he's certainly on his way. Sunday he proved that he can carry a team on his back. Now a QB may be judged by how he finishes games and Rodgers didnt finish the Arizona game in the best way, but if he has the ability to bring his team all the way back the ability to finish will come as he gets older, but for now lets cit back and watch this kid play and get older.
These are all reasons why I feel the Packers will dominate the NFC next season. Now feel free to disagree and leave a comment I will be happy to hear from you.