The Seattle Seahawks earned their first World Championship of professional football in Super Bowl XLVIII by pulverizing the Denver Broncos by a score of 43 – 8. The game was anticlimactic. Football fans everywhere hoped to see a good, competitive game in the Super Bowl, and this one was not. Seattle has a very good team. They also took advantage of numerous Denver mistakes which made for a one-sided, boring game, reminding me somewhat of those Super Bowls of the distant past in which the Minnesota Vikings participated. The Seahawks were not to be denied in the biggest game of the year, and the Broncos were not prepared to win the big dance.
In any blowout game, as this one was, it is hard to figure if the failing team is really that bad or if the successful team is really that good. Peyton Manning has had a long and illustrious football career but he had an awful game. Manning’s troubles were evident from the opening play of the game, but it was the Seattle defense that got my attention. The Seahawks have young and talented players at lots of stations which will be a problem for NFC competitors like the Packers next year and beyond.
As the Super Bowl wound down I found myself thinking of the Packers’ defensive talent compared to that of the Seahawks. That wasn’t a pleasant exercise. The Seahawks have three or four playmakers while the Packers have just one (Clay Matthews III), and he misses games regularly because of injuries. That is a huge difference in winning or losing football games. If the Packers are going to be competitive and compete with the likes of the Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers, they are going to have to find several defensive playmakers.
Turning my focus to the Packers, our offensive juggernaut is talented and Aaron Rodgers probably has another three to five years of his prime to score lots of points. If Ted Thompson is going to make another Super Bowl run while Rodgers is at his peak, he must find a couple defensive studs posthaste. Thompson has swung and missed with his top collegiate draft picks the last couple years. It is almost impossible to expect that he will find several defensive playmakers in the Packers’ draft picks this spring. That leaves Thompson one option for accumulating the talent needed to get the Pack back to the Super Bowl: free agency.
The 2013 – 2104 season has just concluded and another cycle is now underway. The Packers have many critical decisions to make regarding players whose contracts have expired and bringing in talent via free agency or through the draft. As the next couple months transpire it will be incredibly interesting to see what Thompson does.
In the meantime, it is time to thank all of my fellow Cheeseheads for your support of the Packer Partisan. This past year was the 13th year that I have scribed the Packer Partisan, and it has been a fun ride. Thanks also to my awesome proofreader, my wife Cynthia. What a fun job I have writing about the greatest professional sport franchise in the history of the world. Thanks to all.