The Green Bay Packers didn’t win the Super Bowl last season, but they will enter the NFL season as the favorites to win the 2013 Super Bowl.
In 2011, the Packers caught fire late in the season and entered the playoffs as the No. 6 seed, but were able to make it to and win the Super Bowl against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
That championship winning season was fueled by the great play of Aaron Rodgers and the young talented offense becoming a complete offensive team. Rodgers play that season was incredible and it was topped off with an amazing performance in the Super Bowl. This led the Packers to be the darlings of the NFL and there were talks of a them as being the next dynasty in the league. There is still time for this team to become a dynasty, but that quest took a small bump in the road last season after a disappointing loss to the New York Giants in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.
However, before that loss, the Packers were 15-1 in the regular season and their offense looked like a well-oiled machine. When the playoffs came around and they faced the sixth seeded Giants, the Packers looked like a completely different team. The Giants defense played very well, but the Packers made plenty of unforced errors and didn’t play like the team fans saw all season long.
Another problem with last season was the defense took a few steps back. When the Packers won the Super Bowl, the Green Bay defense was the number one scoring defense in the league. Last season, they were mid-pack in that category and were ranked last in passing yards per game. The biggest problem was that their was a huge lack of a pass rush. Clay Matthews would routinely be double-teamed and no other rushers were able to cause any havoc on the quarterback.
With the pass-rush lacking, this put extra pressure on the secondary. In week 2, the general of the Packers secondary, Nick Collins, went down with a neck injury and was sidelined for the rest of the season and is no longer with the team because of those injuries. This left a huge hole on the defense and the Packers were never able to find a replacement to fill the three-time Pro Bowlers shoes.
Heading into the 2012-2013 season, the Packers have got the pieces that will help them fill in their holes on defense. Their draft class this season was focused all on defense and if this young talent can fit well into the Green Bay defense, the Packers should become one of the best defenses in the league.
With a proven offense, the defense is what will determine if the Packers should be clear favorites to win the Super Bowl. Last season they were the best team with a mediocre defense. With the addition of Nick Perry and other draft picks, the Packers defense is now better than it was and is what makes this season a Super Bowl or bust season.
The Packers let a second championship ring slip away from them last season and they can’t do the same this year. The NFL is a parity league and dominant teams like the Packers need to take advantage of the opportunity they have in front of them before a new crop of teams challenge them.