The Lombardi Trophy Comes Home! Will It Stay There?
Now that the Green Bay Packers have won the Super Bowl and brought home the Lombardi Trophy home (the actual shiny one), I can’t help wondering if they can repeat. Yes, folks, it is never too early to speculate about next year.
It’s difficult for a team to go back to the Super Bowl year after year. That’s a good thing because it keeps things interesting for teams and fans alike. But teams have done it, and since the Green Bay Packers are a strong, young team, I can’t help wondering if they can return.
Here are some reasons why they will make it back.
The Packers were saddled with injuries this year, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Extra playing time for second string players helped secure a Super Bowl win after veterans Charles Woodson and Donald Driver got injured, and will help them next year as well. While you never want your key players on the sidelines, at least the Packers still have guys that can take up the slack.
Experience with a Tough Schedule
The better you are, the tougher (in theory) your schedule. When Aaron Rodgers first took over as QB, the team went 6-10 in part because of the tough schedule they received after making it to the NFC Championship Game the year before. At that time, the team wasn’t strong enough as a whole to deal with a tough schedule. This year, they had a hard schedule and could handle it. It wasn’t an easy road, but they met each game with the same determination that they used in the playoffs. This attitude will carry over next year.
Hair god or not, Clay Matthews is truly a gifted player. It’s in his genes! His entire family has been involved in football. Normally when a player is “hot” I usually expect him to plummet in performance the following season. “Hot” is one thing, truly talented is another. Matthews is the latter and there is no reason to think he won’t get results next year as well. (Plus I’m sure not getting defensive player of the year and losing to his other hair/defensive nemesis Troy Polamalu pissed him off. He’ll want to make up for that next year.)
Of course, nothing in life is certain. The Packers could fail to produce next year, and here are a few reasons why that might happen.
Yeah, the Pack found their running game late in the season, but we’ve heard this before. They have to find a consistent, year after year running back who will remain healthy and produce. It’s too soon to see if James Starks will be that person.
The problem with being a good team? Other teams court you to come work for them. We’ve heard endless rumors about Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers especially, but any of them could wind up somewhere else by next year.
Aaron Rodgers’ Health
Unfortunately, Rodgers has been hit too many times this year. They have a new helmet for him that should help reduce head injuries, but let’s face it, without Rodgers the Packers aren’t going anywhere. While Flynn did a surprisingly good job for most of the game against the Patriots, he also stood there flummoxed at the end and let the clock run out when the Packers could have won. Talk all you want about Matt Flynn, he isn’t a substitute for Aaron Rodgers.