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The injury bug flies south for the winter, and Green Bay enters the playoffs relatively healthy. Analysts everywhere begin to hedge their bets on a repeat. Clay Matthews III has a down year, but only because of the emergence of other players, solidifying an already dangerous pass-rush.
By this time, people are talking about Mr. Packer, Donald Driver retiring with the emergence of Randall Cobb, but Driver isn't going away just yet.
In the divisional playoffs, the Packers draw the now 12-5 Atlanta Falcons again, after Atlanta handled a depth-thin St. Louis Rams in the wildcard. History repeats itself (with minor variations) as the Packers take care of business at home, dropping the Falcons 20-17.
At the NFC Championship, Green Bay faces their own, personal Moriarty in Tampa Bay, the #1 seed in the NFC. No back-door Super Bowl contenders from the NFC this year; strictly the cream of the crop. Green Bay gets the monkey off their back in a brawl, edging Tampa Bay 10-7 to move on to the Super Bowl.
Where they face the feel-good, Cinderella-story, 5th-seed Houston Texans, who - like the Packers of 2010 - got hot at just the right time, sliding by the Jets in the wildcards, the Ravens in the divisionals, and the Patriots in the AFC Championship.
Sadly, Houston's wave of good fortune crashes into their hot hand, extinguishing it, and they get pummeled in a lopsided Super Bowl 38-17, leaving fans vaguely unsatisfied. The MVP is once again Aaron Rodgers, despite a star-making, breakout performance by Jermichael Finley.
Notable Events in the Offseason:
1. The retirement of an unwanted Randy Moss, followed by an injury-related retirement of Terrell Owens, subtracting two of the best receivers in football, while simultaneously increasing the character of NFL receiving by a factor of 10.
2. Al Davis passes on, and Raiders fans, players, and legends pay tribute to his enduring legacy. The fans then immediately whisper to each other that they're kinda secretly glad.
3. Tim Tebow converts to Judaism for love and instantly becomes the worst player in the history of football - according to his "fans".
4. Carson Palmer comes out of retirement, sidestepping the Bengals' punitive refusal to trade him. He then signs with the Tennessee Titans and has two more serviceable years before plummeting on the depth chart.
5. I am crowned Emperor of Football, and my name is legally changed to SIrrion Pelour, the Surturian, Prince of the Flames of Nyctalinth, Fury of the Eastern Skies, God of All Fire. Former Presidents must shine my shoes on command.