Everyone has their laundry lists of reasons of why their favorite team will do this or that next year and base their reasoning solely on statistics, past performances, and emotions. I’ve got a blend of history, current events, stats, movies, and clichés that demonstrate why The Green Bay Packers will be playing for the Super Bowl next year in Indy (barring an NFL lockout of course).
Here are just the Top 5. Enjoy!
Though Aaron Rodgers will publicly continue to contend he didn’t have a monkey on his back by the name of “Brett Favre’s Shadow”, the pressure on this 4th year starter will be somewhat deflated from seasons past. Don’t get me wrong, there will certainly be pressure to perform consistently at a high level, but the constant nagging about the QB who preceded him will die down now that he has his first ring.
Simply, Rodgers will be allowed to be Rodgers. And Packers fans have every reason to be optimistic being that he is the highest rated QB in the history of the NFL in both the regular season (98.4) and post-season (112.6).
Though it’s a small sample size (3 Years), Aaron Rodgers has proven himself to be a star in the NFL. He’ll need to pull together a couple more seasons similar to last year’s before he gets lumped in with the likes of Montana, Elway and Brady, but the foundation of success is certainly there. With a plethora of options in the receiving corps, there's no reason to think the Packers won’t be back playing for another Lombardi trophy in 2012.
We all know the storied past of the Green Bay Packers, especially during the Lombardi era. But an often overlooked fact about this organization is that once they win a Super Bowl, they make it back the following year to fight for another title.
The first time the Packers got to hoist the Super Bowl trophy in 1966 was quickly followed up with another triumphant trip in 1967. It wasn’t until 30 years later that the Packers returned to the Super Bowl in 1996 to bring the Lombardi trophy home to Green Bay. Fortunately for the lifelong diehard Packers fans, they didn’t have to wait nearly as long for their next trip as they played again for the title in 1997.
Nor will they have to wait next year.
Throw in the fact that the Green Bay Packers are the last NFC Champions to make repeat trips to the Super Bowl, the Lambeau faithful can feel confident when booking trips to Indy for next February.
The Packers proved to the world that their youth and speed on defense make them the best defensive unit in the NFL. When it mattered most, Dom Caper’s boys made instinctive plays that changed the course of the Super Bowl.
Pro Bowler Nick Collins’ pick-6 set the tone, All-Pro Clay “The Beast” Matthews’ play call at the line forced the pivotal fumble, and Tramon Williams’ tight coverage sealed the deal. Factor in the loss of defensive captain and emotional leader Charles Woodson before the half, the performance of the Packers defense was truly monumental.
It also can’t be ignored that prior to the two starting defensive backs (Shields and Woodson) going down to injury on consecutive plays, the Packers defense had shut down Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh offense—only surrendering a field goal. Only when the injuries came did Pittsburgh start to make a game of it.
Big Ben has a history of 4th quarter comebacks which have propelled his team to unlikely victories, but the Packers defense wouldn’t give him an inch when it mattered most. The Packers are expected to retain all of their key defensive players in the offseason. A new, young draft class coupled with the return of several players from IR give the Packers even more depth heading into in the 2011-12 season.
Aaron Rodgers was simply unstoppable during the Packers entire 2011 postseason run. Now 4-1 in the postseason, the QB can answer all his critics and doubters with a simple smile and a quick glance at his Super Bowl ring and championship belt. His near flawless performance in the biggest game of them all showed that there isn’t anything that can rattle this guy:
Rodgers Super Bowl Stats: 304 yards passing to 10 different receivers, 3 TDs to 0 INTs, 61.5 completion percentage.
Factor in the loss of WR Donald Driver before the half and the 6 dropped passes between Jordy Nelson and James Jones (2 that could have gone for TD’s), you are now talking about a performance that would have been on par with Steve Young's amazing feat back in 94'. Not bad for a 3rd year starter.
With most of the receiving core signed through next season (minus James Jones) and the return of Ryan Grant and Jermichael Finley, the Packers offense could be even more potent next year.
Downright scary for opposing defensive coordinators.
The emergence of the young, hard running James Starks, coupled with the return of Grant, gives the Packers a one-two punch that will help balance the offense. Though the Packers showed in the Super Bowl that they didn’t need much balance when Rodgers was at the helm. A balanced attack could make Rodgers even more dangerous and will be a key factor why he will win back to back Super Bowl MVP’s.
Robert De Niro is one of the finest actors of our time. Heck, he is one of the finest method actors of any time. Sure he has had his share of flops in terms of movie choices in recent years, but his classic roles in movies (Raging Bull, This Boy’s Life, The Deer Hunter, Good Fellahs, Mean Streets, The Godfather II, Casino, Awakenings, Heat, Taxi Driver, etc.) transcend his other performances and allows audiences a glimpse into his greatness. He is widely respected for the time, development, and dedication he puts into his characters.
We can expect De Niro’s next majestic performance to be in the upcoming motion picture Lombardi, in which he tackles the role of the legendary coach. The movie will depict the early years of Vince Lombardi and chronicle his successes as head coach of the Green Bay Packers.
An icon portraying an icon? How appropriate.
ESPN Films, Andell Entertainment, and the NFL are collaborating to ensure that the movie is a success, and guess when they plan to release it? The weekend between the AFC/NFC Championship games and the Super Bowl next year.
How fitting that a movie chronicling the Green Bay Packers rise to prominence as an NFL dynasty is planned to be released as the Packers chase a second consecutive championship. It's almost as if the NFL wants the Packers to return next year in attempts of building a new dynasty.
Rodgers and company surely won’t disappoint. Can you say destiny?