With a victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV, the Green Bay Packers have been handed a key. No, not the key to Aaron Rodgers’ awesome new Camaro, they have been handed the keys to the NFL’s next great dynasty. What they will do with those keys is another story, but from top to bottom, there is not a better organization in the NFL right now, and with the way they have performed in the NFL Draft dating back to 2005, there is no reason to believe this team cannot be dominant for the next 5-8 years.
The cornerstone of the franchise is quarterback Aaron Rodgers, your Super Bowl MVP. He is young, soon will own a Super Bowl ring, and he is one of the most consistently dominant quarterbacks in the NFL over the last three years. He gets it done in the red zone, he gets it done on third down, and he has ice running through his veins. We’re talking about one of the toughest quarterbacks in the NFL, and a guy who can single-handedly win a game for you.
The scary part? The Packers could still win against the best WITHOUT Rodgers. Though they wound up losing the game in the end, GreenBay took on the red hot New England Patriots, league MVP Tom Brady, and they did it with Matt Flynn as their quarterback–and almost won.
This is a testament to the depth of the Green Bay Packers at really every position they have, and when you look at their team for 2011 and beyond, it’s absolutely terrifying to opposing teams in the NFL. Think about this–the Packers went most of the season without guys like RB Ryan Grant, a promising rookie safety in Morgan Burnett, inside linebacker Nick Barnett, defensive lineman Johnny Jolly, and they put together a duo of CB’s in Tramond Williams and Sam Shields who were both unknown relatively prior to this season. How can we forget Jermichael Finley?
Whether or not the Packers can repeat is one question, but the question we need to focus on as fans of the game is, “Who can stop them?”
Clay Matthews should have been the NFL Defensive Player of the Year by a long shot, and he returns along with one of the deepest and most physical groups of linebackers I have seen. Look at the names–Matthews, A.J. Hawk, Nick Barnett, Frank Zombo, David Bishop…The Packers have three first round picks at linebacker, and it doesn’t appear as though any of them are going anywhere soon.
This team always makes the most of its draft picks, and looking forward, they could stand to improve their depth in the secondary, on the offensive line, and possibly add another weapon at wide receiver and running back, but that’s being nit-picky.
For a couple of years, the Packers have played second and third fiddle to the Bears and Vikings in the NFC North, but that’s not going to be the case moving forward. It’s going to take every NFL team a few years to get to the level of Green Bay, who snuck into the playoffs and had an amazing ride in the post-season.
As I said before, this team has the keys to a dynasty. Whether they use them or not will not be known for a couple of years, but looking ahead, this team is going to be dominant for some time. It’s a testament to the excellent scouting done by the Packers and their front office, as well as the coaching of Mike McCarthy and the staff he has put together.
From top to bottom, the Packers are the most well-run organization in professional sports. They have one of the greatest fan bases of all time. They are primed for years of greatness.
Super Bowl XLV was but a mere glimpse of what this team can become, and my guess is, they are going to be playing in the Meadowlands next year for Super Bowl XLVI.