Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It's a Packivus miracle!

Yes, it's Packivus for the rest of us!

For any team to make it to the Super Bowl it is a bit of a miracle, isn't it? And when we really contemplate what this season's version of the Green Bay Packers has accomplished it truly is an amazing accomplishment.

  • Fifteen players were placed on injured reserve during the regular season, including six starters.
  • The team's six losses were by a combined total of 20 points.
  • The Pack had to win their last two regular season games just to qualify via tiebreaker for the playoffs as the last seed.
  • The team had to go on the road for all three playoff games...and win. In doing so, they became the first #6 seed from the NFC to advance to the Super Bowl.
  • At no time, in any game this season, have the Packers trailed by more than 7 points.
  • The Packers' defense is either at or near the top in just about all statistical categories, despite being the unit that lost the most starters and backups to season-ending injuries.
It's an amazing story. The Packers were the preseason pick of many to go to the Super Bowl because of the talent on board. Much of that talent was left by the wayside as the season went on. Other players, many of them virtual unknowns and/or street free agents -- Sam Shields, Howard Green, Erik Walden, John Kuhn, James Starks and Tim Masthay among them -- had to step in and play at an exceptionally high level even for the team to have a shot at making the playoffs. The player personnnel side of things, beginning with GM Ted Thompson, and the coaches and staff -- especially head coach Mike McCarthy and defensive coordinator Dom Capers -- had to do a remarkable job of getting these players in a position to succeed. And succeed they did.

There is much to be proud of about this team. They have one goal remaining, four quarters of football, to bring the Lombardi Trophy back to Titletown USA. Their upcoming opponent is almost a mirror image of the Pack, especially on the defensive side of things. The Steelers have 25 players on the roster with Super Bowl experience; the Packers have two, Charles Woodson and Ryan Picket (although John Kuhn was on the Steelers practice squad when they won in 2005). But would you put it past this group of Packers to once again exceed expectations? Nope.

It will be a knock-down, drag-out battle for the title. If the Pack puts it together they way they can, they way they have been, Super Bowl XVL will go down as the fourth such title for the team, and their 13th overall NFL championship title...more than any other NFL team. They want it. You have to believe they'll earn it. After all, it's the season of Packivus miracles!

Oh, and a word to the NFL for next season: just imagine what the Packers will be like when they get all their players back! Be afraid...be very afraid.

Go Pack Go!!!