Take a step back and breathe. It will be okay.
I can’t deny it that that was a tough pill to swallow. I remember watching Brett Favre’s last NFC championship game against the New York Giants and it was nothing like this Seattle contest. The Green Bay Packers thoroughly outplayed the Seattle Seahawks Sunday afternoon and left Seattle wearing a face of shock and disappointment.
Whether you are at the local food market on Brady St., a bar on Water St., or a friend at work, you will be met with a sorrowful Packers fan wondering what how fans are forced to look forward to the 2015 season instead of preparing for the Super Bowl. The Packers were the better team, but they lost. Let’s move past that fact because I refuse to be like every other columnist out there. I refuse to point fingers and cry about the past.
Imagine how hungry the Packers are going to be heading into next year. Remember the huge chip on the shoulder of Aaron Rodgers? How big do you think it is now? Don’t think for one second that Rodgers doesn’t know that he should be cementing his legacy as one of the best quarterbacks of all-time instead of watching the big game February 1st. Mike McCarthy, one of the best coaches to ever work in Green Bay, is well aware of the harsh criticism being unfairly levied against him. In addition to McCarthy, Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers has been criticized for a defense that held strong through three quarters against the defending Super Bowl champions. The “collapse” was a conglomeration of bad luck, poor reactive decisions, and more bad luck.
Eddie Lacy showed no signs of slowing down this year, increasing his yards-per-carry average and pass-blocking from his rookie season. Lacy showed that even when Rodgers isn’t 100%, the offense won’t struggle to move the ball down the field like it did with Brandon Jackson and John Kuhn carrying the workload.
Davonte Adams had an above-average rookie season and looks to be a future cog at the receiver position. Did he have his trials and tribulations? Yes, just like every other rookie in history. There were games that you watched Adams look almost unstoppable while hauling in passes all over the field. Keep in mind though that a great quarterback can make a decent receiver look much better than his skill would suggest. Remember everyone saying Jarrett Boykin was going to be the next Donald Driver? He had three catches all season. Still, it’s hard not to look at Adams and wonder what he will look like when he eliminates the mental mistakes and dropped passes from his game.
The secondary looks better than it has in years and nobody expects that to change anytime soon. Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix, Morgan Burnett, Micah Hyde, Casey Hayward, and Sam Shields provide a young and talented core that should be with the team for years to come.
The needs of the team are much less glaring than they were last year. Tight-end is a position that is not highly sought after by most teams, so simply having serviceable players there isn’t a huge hindrance. Linebacker remains a position of need with an aging Julius Peppers providing a shot in the arm for this season. Peppers can’t be relied on for the future, though, and AJ Hawk still isn’t the answer at middle linebacker. Punter should probably be added to this list as well after the disheartening season Tim Masthay had, but I would put that need far, far behind the other two.
Let me remind you, depressed Packer fan, that we still have the best quarterback in the league and a young and talented roster to support him. That will not change, barring injury. We also have a good coaching staff and front office. There is no reason to believe that this will be the last time Rodgers sniffs the Super Bowl. Remember, patience is a virtue.
Anyways, spring training starts pretty soon right? And the Bucks are winning almost half of the time…
I can’t even try to pretend that anything I say will help close the wound. Just give it time. At least we aren’t Chicago Bears fans.
R-E-L-A-X, there is always next year.