We’re still on cloud nine around here…the Green Bay Packers are World Champions! Despite the preseason prognostications, this was an unexpected result. There will be a Season-Ending Pack Fan / Bears Fan to focus on the past season as a whole and to look toward the future so we’ll just focus on the Super Bowl. This game was a textbook microcosm of the season as a whole. Obviously, when you WIN the SUPER BOWL, there aren’t a lot of negatives but there are a few things that weren’t positive. You’ll see, just read on…
- MVP: Aaron Rodgers…what more can be said that hasn’t already been uttered. The guy was masterful. He chucked darts all night, made the Steelers pay for their mistakes and played like a seasoned veteran.
- Jordy Steps UP: 9 receptions for 140 yards…a new Green Bay Packers record for receiving yards in a Super Bowl surpassing a drunken Max McGee’s record from Super Bowl I by 2. The guy had a great game and if not for a few drops, he could very well have given QB1 some competition for MVP.
- Team Win: There was not one unit that can this win can be completely attributed to (preposition ending a sentence alert!). The offense played well though there were too many drops by the wide receivers and the run game was just not part of the game plan. The defense played well but was by no means shut-down dominant and special teams did their job. Everyone played well, did their job and secured the Packers grip on the Lombardi Trophy.
- Match-ups: This game was about us versus them. Winning individual battles. A true game of chess on the football field. There’s no denying that Mike McCarthy is a tremendous tactician but he had his men prepared to win those challenges.
- Confidence: The story of McCarthy having the team sized for their championship rings has become almost legendary. It just demonstrates what Aaron Rodgers has been saying and what Mike McCarthy has been exuding down the stretch. McCarthy alluded to it before the Patriots game, “We’re nobody’s underdog.” This is a guy who believed whole-heartedly in his team no matter what the obstacles were and that big smile he had in his Super Monday press conference said it all. Like he said, he laid it all on Aaron Rodgers for the offense and knew Charles Woodson and Dom Capers would take care of the defensive side.
- Missed Opportunities: Jordy’s drops were mentioned above but James Jones also had a key drop in the second quarter that very well should have been a touchdown. Brett Swain also had a two key third down drops though I maintain that he caught that pass in the 4th quarter which looked like a fumble but was ruled incomplete.
- Injuries: In successive plays, the Packers lost Sam Shields to a shoulder injury and Charles Woodson to a broken collarbone. Prior to that, Donald Driver got twisted up like a pretzel and sustained knee and ankle injuries. Additionally, Jordy was on crutches for Tuesday’s “Return to Titletown” celebration at Lambeau Field with what turns out to be a bursa sac injury to his knee. Fortunately, Shields came back after halftime and was able to contribute though he was not himself as he was unable to be very physical with the receivers at the line of scrimmage and thus was burned for what ended up being Pittsburgh’s touchdown. Everyone will recover and be ready for next season (fingers crossed) but had these things happened in the NFC Championship game, it’s doubtful that any of them would have played in the Super Bowl.