Green Bay Packers: 5 Things That Could Derail a Second Straight Super Bowl
Sure, the Green Bay Packers lost their chance at a perfect season and will have to start a new winning streak, but they are still on pace for a second straight Super Bowl victory.
At 13-1, they've already clinched a first-round bye in the playoffs, as they look to defend their crown.
The Kansas City Chiefs proved that this team is beatable and here are five things that could keep them from a repeat in 2011.
The Packers have more than survived the season without their Pro Bowl safety, Nick Collins, but can they continue their streak if a second top talent is done for good?
Another big scare struck last week against the Raiders when Greg Jennings left the game with a knee sprain. He should be ready to go for the playoffs, however, it just goes to show how one freak injury can alter their chances of a repeat.
Ryan Pickett and Brandon Saine both have concussions, James Starks hasn't played in weeks and both of the team's middle linebackers are unhealthy.
A first-round bye will certainly help them out as they will try to get healthy before the final push.
Offensive Line Issues
Speaking of injuries, take a look at the Pack's offensive line. Scott Wells and Josh Sitton are the only players that remain in their original roles at center and right guard, respectively.
Veteran Chad Clifton has been sidelined all season, Bryan Bulaga has been in and out of the line up, and now rookie Derek Sherrod is out for the year with a broken leg.
Aaron Rodgers' protection is falling apart, and that's scary for Green Bay's repeat chances.
New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints may be the only team capable of dethroning the Packers. If a couple of plays had gone differently, they could have topped the Pack in Week 1, and all of this talk of a perfect season would have been over before it started.
Aaron Rodgers has received most of the recognition at the quarterback position this season, but Drew Brees has also had one heck of a year. He's on pace to annihilate Dan Marino's passing yardage record, and he's put up 37 scores as well.
The Packers' obvious flaw all season long has been their pass defense and they've been fortunate to escape a few shootouts. If they meet the Saints in the playoffs, New Orleans has the firepower to finish the job in a rematch.
Lack of a Running Game
The Packers look to play the majority of their playoff games at home and Lambeau Field isn't the most passer-friendly field come January.
This wasn't a problem last season as they played one of their games in a dome, and James Starks emerged to save the team's pitiful rushing attack.
Starks has struggled with injuries of late, and it remains to be seen if Ryan Grant can carry the load. He had a good day against Oakland, but the postseason will be a very different story.
While many other teams in the NFC are getting hot at the right time, the Packers have certainly cooled down with their loss to the Chiefs.
This is not the time of year to be trending downward and they better get back on the right track quickly.
Receivers are dropping balls, the defense hasn't gotten any better, and the offensive line is collapsing. When was the last time Aaron Rodgers completed less than half of his passes and threw for only one touchdown?