The Packers were like an aging leader of a recently-created military dictatorship: brazen, full of power, in control of everything. Over time, that leader loses power with age and, in one flick of the wrist, loses his power.
The Packers have been sneakily losing power underneath our noses, losing three offensive tackles to injury as well as their #1 wideout. Someone on ESPN suggested that Jennings was the key to that offense because of his versatility and ability to run every kind of route to drive defenses crazy and get guys like Jordy Nelson open. Turns out, they might've been right.
Now, after a very, very pedestrian showing by Green Bay against a Chiefs team that was pretty much down and out, the defending champs don't look nearly as scary as they had looked previously in the season, which makes me wonder that, with home field throughout all but clinched for the Packers, if they'll dial the throttle back so that they can get healthy. If they do that, they'll have no momentum and be ripe for the picking for a team like, say, us!
I don't really fear any teams from the NFC East. They're kinda beating themselves up, and we've already handled the Lions from the North. That leaves the Pack, the Saints, and the 49ers. The Saints game this week will be a toss-up. We're looking as good as ever but you know the Saints will try and pull a fast one on us any way they can.
The Niners, well, they're kind of an enigma to me. They haven't changed a whole lot on their team but they're suddenly worlds better than they were last year. Really, I guess coaching can have a huge impact on their team. The key to beating them is to force Alex Smith to make some turnovers. I don't believe he suddenly became magically better in the offseason and I think that he can be forced into some mistakes. They play some stout D out there, though.
The Pack at full health will be tough to beat by any stretch, but if they limp into the playoffs and find themselves out of sync, they could be beaten. TMQ pointed out that Rodgers was harassed all game and couldn't win a defensive struggle if he was playing from behind. Naturally, injuries made that tougher, but for all the hype he got all year long, he sure didn't do much with it on Sunday.
All this comes after possibly the Falcons' best overall game in a long time, which won't be duplicated against the Saints, sadly. BUT I do believe it leaves us with a better Super Bowl Chance than we had before the Green Bay Steamrollers had everything going for them and then some. What do you guys think? Do you feel like representing the NFC in the Super Bowl is a much more achievable task than before? What are your thoughts on the matter?