5 Reasons Why Green Bay Packers Don’t Have What it Takes To Win Super Bowl XLVIII
5 Reasons Why Green Bay Packers Won't Win it All
With Aaron Rodgers back at the helm and a thriller against their arch-rival to make the playoffs in the books, one might think the Green Bay Packers are peaking at the right time. One would be wrong. Despite a few reasons to be optimistic, there are a few more not to be when it comes to the Pack’s Super Bowl chances.
When the Packers won the Super Bowl in 2010, their defense had Charles Woodson and Nick Collins in the secondary, a healthy Clay Matthews terrorizing offenses and promising young defensive tackle B.J. Raji looking like a future superstar.
Now, Woodson and Collins are gone, and they haven’t really been replaced. Matthews is out with an injured thumb and Raji has failed to live up to expectations. All told, Green Bay’s defense is not up to the task of another deep playoff run.
The Packers are no strangers to the playoffs. In fact, they are currently tied with the New England Patriots for the longest streak of consecutive playoff appearances in the NFL with five. And they have the best quarterback in the game back in action, already making his presence felt with late-game heroics against the Chicago Bears last week.
But despite their experience and a roster on the mend, a poor pass rush, questionable safeties and too many injuries all indicate that a title just isn’t in the cards for Green Bay this year.
Here are the top five reasons why the Packers don’t have what it takes this time around.
5. Overall Defense
To quote a Wisconsin native and diehard Packer fan, “The Packers will not win the Super Bowl because their defense is terrible.” Simple, yet true. Mistakes have been abundant in the Packer defense this season. In Sunday’s game against the Bears, Nick Perry, a former first-round draft pick, covered a tight end in man coverage. Unfortunately for him, the rest of the defense was playing zone, and an entire side of the field was left open for Matt Forte to run through. With a poor defense, the Packers need Rodgers and the offense to score big points just to have a shot at winning games, and that’s not likely with the ferocious defensive units of the Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers playing in the same conference.
4. Run Defense
The Packers’ run defense is particularly shoddy. The unit is ranked No. 26 in the league and gave up 121 yards on 24 carries against the Bears for 5.0 yards per carry. Forte ran all over them, racking up 110 yards on 22 carries with two scores. The Packers will face another dangerous back when Frank Gore and the San Francisco 49ers come to town this Sunday.
3. Special Teams
Another unit that should concern Packer fans is special teams. Injuries trickle down, and that effect is seen here. The Pittsburgh Steelers successfully ran a fake punt last week to help seal the victory. There was also an offside call against the Packers on a field goal during that game that contributed to the loss. Against the Bears on Sunday, Devin Hester returned five kickoffs for 127 yards and tacked on a 49-yard punt return. Making mistakes and giving up big plays has plagued this unit all season.
Rodgers was effective in his return from a broken collarbone this week, throwing for 318 yards and two touchdowns. He also tossed a couple of interceptions. Randall Cobb was activated this week as well, and though he scored twice, those were the only two times Rodgers targeted him all day. Matthews is still out with an injured thumb, and while Eddie Lacy has had a great year, on Sunday he ran for just 66 yards on 21 carries. His ankle seems to be bothering him and affecting his ability to cut and explode on outside runs. There are no guarantees with injuries, and the Packers have had enough this season to cast serious doubt on their ability to remain healthy.
1. The 49ers Own Them
If there is a team that is hotter than the Packers right now, it’s the 49ers. They are riding a six-game winning streak into the playoffs, and on top of that, they have won their last three meetings with the Packers. In last year’s NFC Divisional playoffs, San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick set a record for most rushing yards in a game by a QB in NFL history with 181. He also threw for 263 yards and accounted for four touchdowns. In Week 1 this season, Green Bay was ready for the zone-read option, but the Niners opted to shred their defense through the air instead. Anquan Boldin caught 13 passes for 208 yards and one TD. Green Bay already struggles defensively, and now they need to find an answer for Jim Harbaugh’s creative offense – something they haven’t been able to do yet.