The 2012 professional football season is over and it is the Baltimore Ravens that take home the Lombardi trophy this year, as they defeated the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII by a score of 34 Ė 31. It was a thrilling game to watch as the Ravens seemingly opened up an insurmountable lead, at which time the power literally went out at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in New Orleans. After a forty-five minute delay, momentum shifted to the 49ers. The 49ers rallied a nice power surge of their own, but the Ravens held on in the final minutes to squeeze out a victory.
I found myself cheering for the Ravens in this contest primarily because the thought of Randy Moss ever winning a Super Bowl ring would be too much to fathom. OK, that was only a partial reason. I also wanted to see if the Ravens were sharp enough to figure out what the Packers could not, a way to stop Colin Kaepernick and the 49ersí read-option offense. I am not sure that the Ravensí defense accomplished that, but Colin Kaepernick didnít play nearly as effectively as he did against the Packers and because of that, the 49ers came up a little short.
The Super Bowl is a conduit that connects the past season to the next. Soon Cheeseheads will be hearing about changes on the roster due to free agency, followed by the pre-draft evaluations of collegiate talent and the combine, and then the draft itself in April. The NFL is a full-time business these days and the evaluations by Ted Thompson and the Green Bay management team now take center stage.
Thompson needs to do a better job this spring than he did this past year, as the Packers need more defensive firepower than what was added to the roster last year. Picking up an impact player or two could reverse that trend in 2013. Methinks that the primary thing Thompson needs to do this off season is part ways with Charles Woodson. That may be tough to swallow for some Cheeseheads, as Woodson has had a fabulous career and is popular among both players and fans. He is also a leader. That said, he is well past his prime and makes way too much money that is needed to pay younger, more valuable players.
Once Woodson is cut loose, Thompson must re-engineer his defensive roster to get them competitive again. The draft is ripe with defensive linemen and linebackers. Thompson picked B.J. Raji and Clay Matthews III a couple years ago and he needs to find some similar talent to complement them to bring the Pack back to respectability.
The Packer Partisan has enjoyed twelve fun years of writing about the Green Bay Packers in the Winona Post, and it has been a fun ride commenting on the most awesome sports franchise in all of sports. Thanks, as always, to my loyal readers who know that the Pack will be back!
D H D