The Green Bay Packers' Keys to Success: Six Big "Ifs"
The Green Bay Packers are potentially a Super Bowl lock.
Yes, I said it.
Who can argue with a overpowering offense, that complements a shut-down defense? No one. That's who.
But along with talent on both sides of the ball, comes a must for every team. Consistency.
It was a diappointing loss to the Chicago Bears on Monday night that has opened the eyes of Packers fans to the areas that are in much need of improvement. This team has to stop beating themselves, essentially.
For all of this to happen, Aaron Rodgers and company must play at the indisputable levels that they have showed us they are capable of.
For dominating performances to take place, a lot will have to happen -- that much is certain. But if the Packers can execute the basics at high levels, they are virtually unstoppable.
IF Aaron Rodgers Plays Like an MVP...
If Aaron Rodgers plays at the unattainable, coveted level that he is expected to play at, then the Packers are already Super Bowl champs.
After watching last nights dismal loss to a Chicago team that is truly inferrior, you have to wonder if this team has it in them to shine under the brightest of lights.
We all know that Rodgers' abilities can take over games, its just a matter of when and how he does it.
Once Rodgers reaches the peak of his performances of 2009, Green Bay is in commanding position to steal the NFC North away.
Along with a passer rating that is already on the up-and-up, you can expect Rodgers' performances to show in a big way -- bringing the Lombardi trophy back to Titletown.
IF The Running Game Gets Going...
If running backs Brandon Jackson and John Kuhn fill the spot of injuried Ryan Grant with consistency, the Packers are in prime position for the Super Bowl.
Jackson has proven himself to be a solid RB thus far in his career, but being placed in a much more meaningfull role should certainly help Jackson explode onto the scene.
With an offensive line that has only given up two sacks through two games this season, they are surely primed to push around any defensive line that dares to challenge them.
If Jackson can manage a good 80 yards on the ground per game at a minimum, the Packers might as well book their flight to Dallas in January.
IF The Number of Penalties Reduce...
It was clear Monday night that the Packers have to penalty issues, especially in the front lines. Long-time veteran Mark Tauscher was penalized for 3 false start counts along with a crucial holding penalty at the end of the game.
Twice Jay Cutler was intercepted by this Green Bay defense, only to be called back by costly penalties.
This team isn't a penalized team -- having only two penalties called against them in the first two games. But the 18 penalties (for 152 yards total) on Monday night cost them the game -- and first place in the division.
While there isn't too much cause for concern back in Wisconsin, the surmise of the Bears in first place isn't exactly the best way to leave Chicago.
IF Jermichael Finley Continues His Breakout Season...
Jermichael Finley is a freak -- there is no disputing that.
The usage of Finley this season is an immense upgrade from last season (even with Finley having made the NFC Pro-Bowl roster last season).
Predictions are that Finley can have a chief role in the successes of this Packers squad. Never before have we had such an aberration at the Tight End position -- not even Bubba Franks.
When the pressure is on, expect Rodgers to throw to Finley.
IF The Secondary Improves...
Along with the crucial, game-changing penalties that this Green Bay secondary gave up last night, the Packers' defensive backs must step their game up it they want to go far.
Although Jay Cutler was held to just 199 yards passing, the outcome of the penalties was a win for the Bears.
This league is inheiriting new, fast, prime level Quarterbacks that can burn average defensive backs every game.
Woodson and company must step it up and reduce the mistakes that lead to eventual losses -- or they're in for a long season.
IF Clay Matthews Continues His Dominance...
If Clay Matthews continues to dominate offensive lines left and right, the Packers will reach the promise land.
Six sacks through two games is unheard of, but if his current success keeps up, Green Bay will ultimately have the best overall defense in the NFL.
After just one full season in the NFL, Matthews has propelled himself to the top of the "fear-list", placing angst in every offense that challenges him.
Six sacks through two games is nothing to mess with, especially with the help of Charles Woodson and Nick Barnett behind him.
It is time to really step back and take a legitamite look at this defense that may soon be calling itself "best in show".
IF The Packers Sweep The Vikings...
If there is one thing critics love to point out, it's the fact that Aaron Rodgers hasn't beat Brett Favre and the Vikings in his career. Claiming, "the monkey will never get off his back", and such nonsense like that.
But if Rodgers and the Packers should not just beat the Vikings, but sweep the Vikings this season, MVP watch will officially be under way for Rodgers.
This year is the perfect opportunity for Rodgers to get the monkey off his back by dominating the frail Vikings at their own game.