The final post of the series.
Congratulations to the Green Bay Packers for a remarkable Super Bowl run. No team was more deserving after all the injuries that they had to overcome throughout the season, and by all accounts Aaron Rodgers, Donald Driver, Charles Woodson are all good guys who work hard, do the right things off the field and represent the NFL well. Good for them!
Of course its never too early to look ahead to next season, but the Packers should take some time to enjoy their accomplishment as a season that nearly ended prematurely, with the Packers barely sneaking into the playoffs, ended in the ultimate triumph.
Season In Review: Super Bowl Champs!!!
It doesn't get any better than winning the Super Bowl! Many doubted Green Bay along the way, but we should have seen it coming.
The Packers lost 6 games yet none by more than 4 points. In fact in five of their losses, the Packers were separated by just a field goal. 6 losses by 19 points? Total? Unheard of.
The Packers were in every game. We should have seen that competitive spirit and focus because it's those qualities that carry over in the playoffs. So too does the toughness of being forced to overcome injuries to 10 regulars (most of them starters).
Entering the playoffs the Packers must have been the most confident and most prepared 6th seed ever. They knew they were good, knew they had the depth and knew that in close game situations they were battle tested. Sort of some freak accident, there was no more adversary that the Packers could have faced and come January they were ready to rock and roll.
The confidence and swagger the Pack displayed was impressive. As were their results on the field. Green Bay overcame a very dangerous Michael Vick Eagles team in the Wild Card round before blowing out the top seeded Atlanta Falcons. With laser like focus, the Packers then dispatched their division arch rival (and seriously over-matched) Chicago Bears setting up a Super Bowl show down against the vaunted Pittsburgh Steelers.
It what was another fantastic finish in a recent run of classic Super Bowls, the Packers outlasted the Steelers to bring the Lombardi Trophy back to its rightful home.
In the biggest game, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers shined the brightest out-dueling his Pittsburgh counterpart by throwing for over 300 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Kicker Mason Crosby's field goal with 2 minutes left was enough to seal the deal as it forced the Steelers to go for a touchdown rather than a much more manageable game tying field goal.
With Pittsburgh's last gasp drive falling short, the Green Bay Packers stormed the field in celebration as Super Bowl champions.
Offseason Momentum: They are Super Bowl Champions!!!
Life doesn't get any sweeter (unless you are Johnny Jolly in which case jail might be in your future).
Of course the Packers have limitless momentum. Almost all of their core players are returning, they have no perceivable weaknesses and a top-notch coaching staff. Plus, the weather is finally getting nicer in Green Bay!
Offseason Anxiety: Little
On a personal level, it's probably a bit higher for Johnny Jolly who is facing charges of codeine posession but otherwise the Packers are golden.
The injuries which looked like a curse that could completely derail their season back in November, are now a blessing in disguise as so many more reserves gained invaluable playing time during the Packers' post season push.
Now three months later, the Packers are not only sitting at home as Super Bowl champs, but also as one of the deepest teams in the league.
Draft Desires: A luxury this year
Maybe the Packers will look at cornerback to replace the great but aging Charles Woodson? Maybe Akeem Ayers could help opposite Clay Matthews? Maybe with Johnny Jolly's recent second cocaine related offense, the Packers should take a defensive tackle?
All of these are stretch needs though. The Packers have the luxury of taking the best player available because they have few glaring holes and a lot of excellent players on the roster.
J.J. Watt of Wisconsin or Akeem Ayers probably make the most sense but again, if both are gone, the Packers won't be terribly upset.
Unlike the Colts who are desperate for an offensive tackle, the Packers situation is a nice position to be in.
Free Agency Farewells: Some key players need to be resigned
Receiver James Jones and kicker Mason Crosby lead the list of free agents who will likely be targeted by the Packers Brass this offseason. Green Bay management would also be wise to re-sign Brandon Jackson and Cullen Jenkins however as Green Bay proved throughout the season, the Packers have enough depth to make up for any losses.
Threat to the Stampede: Reigning Super Bowl Champs
The Colts wouldn't have to face Green Bay until a possible Super Bowl matchup. Recent odds would make that a long shot as its been a while since a team repeated, let alone returned to the Super Bowl the following season. Still with the way Aaron Rodgers is throwing the ball and the discipline and toughness that the Packers showed, I would not want to see Green Bay in January.
Congratulations to the Green Bay Packers and thank you to the fans who have read the series throughout. It's been a lot of fun to write these and I hope you have enjoyed them.
Now onto the draft!