Packers are the ultimate team

Matthews looks on as Rodgers holds the Lombardi Trophy

The 2010 Packers may not be the best team to win the Lombardi Trophy, but they’re definitely one of the gutsiest. To advance to the postseason without Ryan Grant, Jermichael Finley, Mark Tauscher, Mike Neal, Nick Barnett, Brandon Chillar, Brad Jones and Morgan Burnett is impressive enough, but to win the Super Bowl without those players – plus Charles Woodson, Donald Driver and Erik Walden – borders on the miraculous. But that’s what can happen when a team has 53, or in this case, 68 men with big hearts and small egos.

In many ways, Sunday’s win over the Steelers was a microcosm of the entire season. As per usual, the most important players stepped up. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers carved up the league’s No. 1 defense. Wide receiver Greg Jennings caught only four passes, but two went for touchdowns and another converted a crucial 3rd-and-10 with under 6:00 left. Left tackle Chad Clifton kept fearsome pass rusher James Harrison relatively quiet. Linebacker Clay Matthews changed the momentum of the game by forcing a fumble with Pittsburgh driving for the possible go-ahead score early in the fourth quarter. Safety Nick Collins returned an interception for a touchdown. And Tramon Williams once again ended things by making a terrific play on the ball. But the Packers wouldn’t be world champions if only the stars shined. It took a total team effort to get to Dallas and it took a total team effort to leave Cowboys Stadium with a victory.

Running back James Starks averaged 4.7 yards against the league’s best run defense. Wide receiver Jordy Nelson was the No. 4 receiver for most of the season, but he looked like a No. 1 on this night. The former Kansas State star caught 9 passes for 140 yards. Right tackle Bryan Bulaga held his own against LaMarr Woodley, one of the most athletic and talented players in the league. Defensive lineman Howard Green forced an interception by hitting Ben Roethlisberger just as he released the ball. Linebacker Frank Zombo had 5 tackles and a sack after missing the last six games with a knee injury. And cornerback Jarrett Bush came up with an interception that led to Green Bay’s third touchdown.

Thanks to great performances by big names and not-so-big names, the Green Bay Packers are world champions once again. That’s sure to make Rodgers, general manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy the toast of Titletown. They deserve it. Despite all the barbs they took 29 months ago, these hard-working and talented men have now accomplished as much in three seasons together as legends Brett Favre, Ron Wolf and Mike Holmgren accomplished in seven. Fittingly, their vindication is the perfect denouement to a plot so implausible that even Stephen King wouldn’t dare write it. But it’s real. Just check out who’ll be holding the Lombardi Trophy at Lambeau Field on Tuesday.

-photo by Benny Sieu

About author

Michael Rodney

Packer Update is the creation of a longtime fan. My name is Michael Rodney and I was a sportswriter in the 1990s. I worked full-time for a paper in Jersey but I still managed to get quite a few articles about the Packers published during that time. I hope you enjoy reading this blog as much as I enjoy writing about the most storied franchise in the NFL.

4 Comments

  1. Archie 02/07/2011 at 11:26 am

    Ya gotta love it!!!!

    Ted Thompson’s approach worked and we, me included, need to cut him some slack hereafter. I originally applauded Thompson’s selection but over the years, I began to lose faith. As you say, this was a team in every sense of the word, and the credit for that goes to Ted Thompson. He often placed chemistry over talent, and in the end, I think that is why we won. Yes, we have our share of stars but really not any more than most other teams. Same with super stars – we have three: Rodgers; Woodson & Matthews, that is about the same for most teams. Of course, having one at QB is really important. Rodgers has the physical and mental talent that it takes to be great. I’d say the same for Woodson & Matthews.

    Congratulations Packer Nation, as the cheese shines brightly oer the land. #4 is buried in the past and our future has never been brighter except perhaps in the early Lombardi era.

    Arch

  2. Mackie 02/07/2011 at 11:26 am

    To lose so many players and win in the fashion they did is very incredible. They have a great core that should get stronger!

  3. Scott 02/07/2011 at 12:55 pm

    What a game! What a team!

    And thanks for chronicling the journey – your articles are some of the best on the net. This site does an excellent job of giving an unvarnished opinion.

    Packer Nation, enjoy this!

  4. newcomer 02/07/2011 at 1:00 pm

    To me the most amazing thing was that they won after losing Driver, Shields and Woodson is near succession. Have to believe it wouldn’t have been that close otherwise.

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