Shortly after the Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2011 Super Bowl, I sat in Cowboys Stadium next to Brandon, our blogger from Acme Packing Company, discussing the chances of a repeat. Brandon noted that repeating happens rarely in the NFL but the Packers are built for continued success.
They have several important ingredients that make them ripe for a repeat.
First, they're one of the youngest teams in the NFL. This wasn't a team looking at their final chance at a Super Bowl run. From Clay Matthews to Tramon Williams to Greg Jennings, this team has youth and a lot of talent. Age won't be a factor at the majority of the important positions on the team.
Second, they have their quarterback. Most NFL teams go only as far as their quarterback will take them. For the Packers, that's a good thing. QB Aaron Rodgers is hitting, or hasn't yet hit, his peak. His incredible run through the 2011 playoffs shows he can come up big in big games. He and Kurt Warner are the only two quarterbacks to throw for over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns in the playoffs. And Rodgers did it all on the road. That's impressive.
Third, their defense may be the strength of the team. We talk about Rodgers, the receivers and the Green Bay offense, but this was one of the best defenses (statistically, they were the second best defense) in the NFL last year. Arguably the most important part of a defense is how you rush the quarterback and the Packers have the best young pass rusher in the game in LB Clay Matthews.
Those are the reasons Packers fans should feel good about the future. Perhaps the biggest reason they should feel optimistic is the presence of GM Ted Thompson. He helped build this team and he's not going anywhere, which means Packers fans can hopefully expect more of the same in the future.
Apparently Vegas agrees that the Packers can win it all again next year as they currently have the best odds (7/1) of winning the 2012 Super Bowl.