Super Bowl 2011: 10 Reasons Why Green Bay's Defense Will Outshine Their Offense
It's safe to say that Aaron Rodgers and the awe-inspiring Green Bay offense has made its case as one of the most illustrious aerial attacks in the NFL over the past few months.
With an unparalleled quarterback, an unappreciated rushing attack, and a genuine group of wide receivers, the Packers have made a living off outscoring the opposition on a regular basis.
But what if I told you Green Bay's defense will be the reason why Title-Town will secure their fourth Super Bowl victory in franchise history?
Here are 10 of the most extensive reasons why the Packer defense will outshine their offense in Super Bowl XLV.
10. The Talent
Green Bay's defense includes four Pro Bowl selections in Clay Matthews, Charles Woodson, Nick Collins, and Tramon Williams. If that's not talent, then I don't know what is.
Not only that, but the so-called "unsung heroes" of Dom Capers' squad have also added their own contributions to Green Bay's winning efforts.
Notable players like B.J. Raji, Sam Shields, and Desmond Bishop have all elevated their play to Super Bowl-caliber levels, and play extensive roles in the Packers' road to Dallas.
9. Green Bay's Offense Has Relied on Them All Season
As seen in Green Bay's NFC Championship victory over the Bears, Aaron Rodgers has put the Packers on top from the get-go many times in his young career.
However, Rodgers and the Packers have struggled to maintain their offensive efficiency and balance in some of their most critical drives and possessions. But, rest assured, the Green Bay defense has stepped up even when put in a delicate situation.
When the going gets tough, Green Bay's defense has stepped their game up to ensure victory in even the tightest of margins.
Expect the Packers to be close enough to pull out a Super Bowl victory.
8. Charles Woodson
Future first-ballot Hall of Famer Charles Woodson has been the cornerstone to Green Bay's defensive turnaround over the past few seasons, most noticeably becoming the NFL's defensive player of the year in 2009.
Although Woodson has had a relatively quite 2010 season, his presence is of the utmost importance to the Packers' defensive successes.
Look for Charles to be in on more than enough big plays on Super Sunday.
Yes, I realize Ben Roethlisberger will be making his third Super Bowl appearance. And, yes, I am also aware he has won both times in the game's biggest stage.
However, Green Bay's defense has put immense amount of complex pressure-packages on opposing quarterbacks this season.
And although Big Ben has had moderate protection this season, Pittsburgh's offensive line has allowed 78 quarterback hits to go with 43 sacks this season.
Should Green Bay win, their blitz packages will be the most determining reason why.
Expect a great deal of pressure.
6. Clay Matthews
Transforming into one of the league's most unyielding defensive players, Clay Matthews has been an force in Dom Capers' schematic 3-4 defense.
Accumulating 13.5 sacks in 2010 was only the beginning of Matthews' onslaught of effectiveness.
You can expect Matthews to be lurking through the Pittsburgh offensive line all day long...potentially culminating into a game-shifting turnover in the late stages of the contest.
5. Rapidly Improving Defensive Front
In Dom Capers' 3-4 defense, B.J. Raji has made unimaginable leaps in becoming the player he is today.
And in recording his first career interception last week in the NFC Championship game, Raji officially stamped his role as a premier playmaker in Green Bay's vaunted defense.
Along with ends Eric Walden and fellow nose-tackle Cullen Jenkins, Capers' defensive front has become a force within a much larger unit.
Sunday will be their time to shine once again.
4. Dom Capers
Dom Capers (left) has been the mastermind behind the Packers' defensive schemes and efforts over the past few seasons, since leaving the Miami Dolphins.
He has coached three NFL Defensive Players of the Year in Green Bay’s Charles Woodson (2009), Miami’s Jason Taylor (2006) and Pittsburgh’s Rod Woodson (1993), while Packers linebacker Clay Matthews is a candidate this season...and I can assure you that it has nothing to do with luck.
What he brings to the table is a series of tantalizing defensive schemes and coverages to help aid in the opposing offense's willingness to take a chance.
Look for Capers to become Green Bay's most important coach on Super Bowl Sunday.
3. Limited Penalties
It's a fairly easy concept to grasp: the Packers have managed to cut down the penalty yardage since last season.
In 2009, Green Bay was penalized 107 times for a grand total of over 917 yards on defense alone. In comparison to this season, the Packers have significantly reduced their penalty yardage to just 758.
Quite simply put, Green Bay's defense is just better this season than last.
2. Sam Shields
Former wide receiver Sam Shields had never even played the cornerback position until just 16 months ago. And now, Shields has become just one of the key pieces to Green Bay's Super Bowl stretch run.
Last week, the Packers' stud cornerback stripped Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, while managing two separate interceptions of the Bears' series of quarterbacks.
What Shields has meant for Green Bay's defense over the past few weeks goes severely unnoticed.
However, by the time Super Bowl XLV hits it's conclusion, I'm sure he will have made a few key plays.
1. Tramon Williams
As Charles Woodson's successor, Packers cornerback Tramon Williams has stepped up into a role not even he expected to fill this postseason.
Or, maybe he did.
Nevertheless, it's hard to argue with the numbers. Williams has a total of nine interceptions (one for a touchdown), and 61 tackles between the regular season and playoffs combined.
All while converting into Green Bay's most valuable cover-corner this season, Tramon has won the hearts of Packers fans more so than anyone else.
When the lights are at their brightest, Williams shines above all else.
Let's see what he can do.