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#1 Posted : Friday, February 11, 2011 12:23:03 PM(UTC)
[size=18]Kawakami: Green Bay Packers have all the makings of a dynasty
By Tim Kawakami
Mercury News Columnist

San Jose Mercury News
Posted:02/07/2011 04:42:32 AM PST

[img_r]http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/media/site568/2011/0207/20110207__superbowl4~3_VIEWER.JPG[/img_r]The Green Bay Packers won Super Bowl XLV on Sunday and might keep winning titles for a little while, maybe for a long while.

Maybe two in a row by next February, if there is labor peace and a season.

Maybe three for three by Super Bowl XLVII. Maybe four out of five.

Yes, I think the Packers are more solidly set up for a dynastic display than
any team since the New England Patriots of the early 2000s.

And I think the Packers might be able to extend their success longer than New England's run of three championships in four seasons.

First, let's get to their interesting 31-25 victory over Pittsburgh in Arlington, Texas, on Sunday.

The Packers surely weren't dominant -- they bolted to a 21-3 lead, then almost let Pittsburgh come all the way back -- but Green Bay was good enough.

The Packers made errors, but they forced a tough Steelers team into many more of their own.

Green Bay lost cornerback Charles Woodson and receiver Donald Driver to injury during the game but held it together at the end.

Green Bay could have succumbed to a Pittsburgh team that has its own claim to a mini-dynasty, and Green Bay prevailed.

Those are all signs. Those things tell us that Green Bay is not likely to be a one-Supe wonder. They are indicators that the Packers probably won't peak for another year or two.

The Packers won this game because they were more talented than Pittsburgh, because they had the deeper roster, because the time was right, and because of one gigantic factor:

Green Bay has quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who threw three touchdown passes, zero interceptions, won the MVP and burnished his case as the league's most important, and possibly best, player.

Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger was the QB who came into this game with two previous Super Bowl victories. But he ended up throwing two interceptions and was far from cool and precise at the desperate end.

Rodgers was better Sunday. He will be better than Roethlisberger -- again, one of the NFL's biggest winners -- for the rest of their careers.

Oh, and Rodgers is 27 and just completed only his third full season in the NFL, after sitting for three seasons behind Brett Favre.

So the Packers are set at QB for the long term. Check.

The Packers have a defense packed with young talent, as evidenced by linebacker Clay Matthews Jr.'s pivotal hit on Rashard Mendenhall in the fourth quarter that forced a fumble. Double-check.

The Packers have a tough, imaginative young coach, Mike McCarthy, who seems well-built for the long haul. Triple-check.

And the Packers have a management team, keyed by general manager Ted Thompson, that has proved it can find gems in the draft and via free agency. Check.

In fact, Green Bay won the title this season with some emergency fill-ins in big roles, after injuries blew out their running game and parts of their receiving corps.

And they won this Super Bowl on a day when their talented receivers all started dropping passes.

What will this team be like when Thompson finds two or three powerful running backs? And adds a few more offensive linemen and receivers?

This Packers team could be at least as good as the Packers of the late-1990s, when Favre, Reggie White and Mike Holmgren led them to one title and to the brink of another.

But I think Green Bay can do better this time -- White was at the end of his career, and Holmgren was growing weary of his time in Green Bay.

The current Packers are already the best team in the league. And like the 2001 Patriots, they won the title at the beginning of an upswing, not at the very peak of their powers.

New Orleans won it all as a peaking team last season. Then fell back a bit this season.

Same thing happened with the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII and the Indianapolis Colts the year before that.

The Packers are set up for a run. In fact, I think the only other team as well positioned for continued success is Pittsburgh -- young QB, young coach, a lot of key young talent.

I wouldn't be shocked at all if these two teams meet again in a Super Bowl or two over the next few Roman numerals.

Still, Green Bay just beat Pittsburgh, head to head, with the superior QB and the chance to get so much better.

If Green Bay doesn't win three titles in the next five or six seasons, I think it will have underachieved. That's a high bar, but the Packers are worthy to aim for it.

Read Tim Kawakami's Talking Points blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami. Contact him at tkawakami@mercurynews.com or 408-920-5442.
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gbguy20 (3h) : doesn't the top 51 rule only count during the offseason? the way i understand it is everything counts once the season starts.
Smokey (5h) : Please start a thread in "Football Familiarity" and explain the Top 51 Rule, please.
Zero2Cool (10h) : Packers’ 2018 draft class will only take up about $2.9M in salary cap space thanks to the Top 51 rule
Porforis (12h) : Holy crap I'll be turning 9 in PackersHome years this year.
Zero2Cool (14h) : rock on!!
DarkaneRules (14h) : I'm celebrating 10 years at PackersHome this year.
Zero2Cool (14h) : Damn, Jared you one old ass dude.
Zero2Cool (14h) : Today's Birthdays: jdlax (115)
Zero2Cool (14h) : 1 year with Aaron Rodgers and having monster stats = GET PAID STRAIGHT CASH HOMIE
DarkaneRules (14h) : I doubt he'll take a deal like that. He wants to get paid like the other WRs have.
Zero2Cool (14h) : I would pay 2.99 million base, then incentives! INCENTIVES!!!
DarkaneRules (14h) : hah, funny how that happens in this sport. See what the market says. I wouldn't pay over 3mil.
Zero2Cool (14h) : What's the guys height Draft profile says six one, everything else says six three
Zero2Cool (14h) : You can do it!
Zero2Cool (14h) : PROVE IT
DarkaneRules (14h) : Not unless he'll take a 1-yr prove it deal on the cheap.
Zero2Cool (15h) : WR Allen Hurns will be released by the Jaguars. SIGN HIM
packerfanoutwest (18h) : Burnett signing with the Steelers?
Zero2Cool (19-Mar) : Three years, $30 million could turn into one year, $13 million for Jimmy Graham
DarkaneRules (18-Mar) : to*
DarkaneRules (18-Mar) : Whatever happens, we've got to get Josh move near the LOS where he belongs.
TheKanataThrilla (18-Mar) : Would we consider trying Rollins a S?
gbguy20 (18-Mar) : so what's the deal then, are we to expect to see josh Jones in Morgan Burnetts spot this season? i guess I can't say I'm opposed to the idea.
Smokey (17-Mar) : BG is in no hurry to anounce a new Rodgers deal. Smart !
gbguy20 (17-Mar) : When is Rodgers signing that extension that was supposedly only awaiting Kirk? Typing on a phone makes things tough.
Nonstopdrivel (17-Mar) : That's what I was thinking: I wasn't aware that he was quitting.
Zero2Cool (17-Mar) : Hopefully not for a long time. We need him.
gbguy20 (17-Mar) : when is 12 resigning
Nonstopdrivel (17-Mar) : I have to say I like it, even if it means I have to put up with occasional ads for Maseratis. 😂
Nonstopdrivel (17-Mar) : Interestingly, since I blocked third-party cookies, ads I see tend to relate to the content of the page instead of my most recent Amazon searches.
TheKanataThrilla (17-Mar) : Mathieu to Texans? I thought he wanted to go to a play that was all about winning football games?
hardrocker950 (17-Mar) : Bears already matched
Zero2Cool (16-Mar) : Bears will certainly match it though. Maybe restructure after year one?
Zero2Cool (16-Mar) : but bears got lots of money, didn't think anyone would make the offer
Zero2Cool (16-Mar) : good question
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2017 Packers Schedule
Sunday, Sep 10 @ 3:25 PM
Sunday, Sep 17 @ 7:30 PM
at Falcons
Sunday, Sep 24 @ 3:25 PM
Thursday, Sep 28 @ 7:25 PM
Sunday, Oct 8 @ 3:25 PM
at Cowboys
Sunday, Oct 15 @ 12:00 PM
at Vikings
Sunday, Oct 22 @ 12:00 PM
Sunday, Oct 29 @ 12:00 AM
- BYE -
Monday, Nov 6 @ 7:30 PM
Sunday, Nov 12 @ 12:00 PM
at Bears
Sunday, Nov 19 @ 12:00 PM
Sunday, Nov 26 @ 7:30 PM
at Steelers
Sunday, Dec 3 @ 12:00 PM
Sunday, Dec 10 @ 12:00 PM
at Browns
Sunday, Dec 17 @ 12:00 PM
at Panthers
Saturday, Dec 23 @ 7:30 PM
Sunday, Dec 31 @ 12:00 PM
at Lions
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