10 Reasons the Green Bay Packers Will NOT Make the Playoffs in 2011
Congratulations to the Green Bay Packers!
They made the playoffs as a number six seed and won three games on the road to get to the Super Bowl.
They deserved to win the championship this year.
Aaron Rodgers is one of the most visible players on the Packers. It was great to see him win a championship ring, and the Most Valuable Player award, which he deserved.
Green Bay's defense was underrated all season, and they played great at the end of the season.
As strong as Green Bay played, here are 10 reasons they will not make the playoffs next year.
Reason 1: Aaron Rodgers' Head
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Rodgers had two concussions this year. Here we see him on the turf against the Washington Redskins, a game Green Bay lost in overtime.
Rodgers doesn't play well after getting hit in the head. That's not a criticism of his toughness, he is worthy of his MVP award in the Super Bowl, and in all three playoff games as well.
However, when he gets hit in the head, it changes the way he throws the ball. Look at the second half of the NFC Championship game. After getting hit by the Chicago Bears, the second half possessions were five punts and an interception.
Reason 2: Jordy Nelson Is Not a Cheese-Head Wes Welker
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Jordy Nelson caught nine passes for 140 yards and a touchdown in the Super Bowl. Rodgers threw to him 15 times.
Nelson is becoming a legend in Green Bay. He's the cheese-head version of Wes Welker.
Except that he's not. He's an excellent wide receiver, but he's not an elite wide receiver.
And because he had such a great Super Bowl, the coaches are going to target him more. They will think he can sustain this level of excellence.
He will average five catches a game next year, and he will drop the ball at least five times a game.
And his drops will cost the Packers at least two victories.
Reason 3: Charles Woodson
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Charles Woodson is a great cornerback. He could start on any team in the NFL.
However, he is 34, and he's been in the NFL for 13 years. He is not the same player he was 13 years ago, and the beating he has taken counts for something.
He does not need surgery to repair his broken clavicle and plans to play again next year. How aggressively will he approach running backs weighing 40 pounds more than him?
He will play, because he's an icon in Green Bay, and the NFL, but he will not be as effective.
Look for two interceptions, which is how many he had this year.
Reason 4: The Running Game
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The Packers rushed for 50 yards in the title game. The Packers ran 55 offensive plays, 39 of them were passes.
Brandon Jackson led the team in rushing this year. He went for 703 yards. In the four playoff games, he rushed for 28 yards.
The second leading regular season rusher was Rodgers, who scored more touchdowns rushing than Jackson and had a higher average per carry.
NFL teams will adjust to the passing game.
Green Bay needs a real running back; they don't have one.
Reason 5: Chicago Bears Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz
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The Bears are going to win the NFC Central next year because of Mike Martz. The wild card is not going to come from the NFC Central, therefore the Packers will not make the playoffs.
Martz is a great offensive coach. He was a coach with the St. Louis Rams, and in his seven seasons there he went to two Super Bowls.
He has a record of 55-5 with a lead at any time in the fourth quarter, which is the best of all time.
Look for the Bears to dump Jay Cutler and ride an offensive storm to dominate the NFC Central.
Reason 6: The New York Giants and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Green Bay won the wild card by winning the last game of the season at home against the Bears.
Their record was 10-6, and there were two other NFC teams who went 10-6 and did not make the playoffs: Tampa Bay and the New York Giants.
The Giants lost to Green Bay and the Philadelphia Eagles (twice). However, Eli Manning passed for over 4,000 yards and Ahmad Bradshaw ran for over 1,200.
Next year, they could get Plaxico Burress back.
Reason 7: Injuries
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Green Bay was picked by many to go to the Super Bowl during the preseason, due to the strength of the defense and the play of Rodgers.
Those are the two reasons they won the Super Bowl this year and won three playoff games on the road.
They did struggle with injuries this year.
A lot of injuries.
Six opening day starters went on injured reserve this year including Jermichael Finley, Ryan Grant and Nick Barnett.
Green Bay is not going to escape next year without injuries, but the outcome will be different.
Reason 8: Jessica Szohr
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This is a picture of Rodgers' alleged girlfriend Jessica Szohr. She is a beautiful woman and the star of CW's hit show "Gossip Girl." She is also semi-famous.
Here is the problem when quarterbacks start dating celebrities: Their performance gets worse.
Look no further than Tony Romo.
Reason 9: Clay Matthews, the WWE and the Grammys
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Packers linebacker Clay Matthews guest-refereed the World Championship match between Dolph Ziggler and Edge.
Several Packers were in attendance and they showed off their championship belts.
On Sunday, Matthews is going to present a Grammy Award.
Every single member of the Packers deserves to be out celebrating their championship. They deserve it, and no one should begrudge them any of the limelight.
There are 31 other teams who are not at the Grammys on Sunday night, and they are focused and getting ready for next season.
Reason 10: There May Not Be a Next Season
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The NFL owners and players association has not yet reached a labor deal to allow for a season next year.
There are several outcomes, including a strike, substitute players or no season at all.
The NFL, better than any other professional sports league, does a great job getting money out of the fans. A strike would not devastate the league, but would be foolish.
Look for a labor deal to happen, but it will take some time and there will be some ugly headlines.
But the dollars will prevail, and next season should happen.
For now we need to focus on Roger, not Rodgers.