What do the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks have in common?
Yes, they are both in the NFC West, but they have dominating and powerful defenses that set the tone during the games.
Going to the NFC Championship Game is a huge privilege, but with the way the Packers have been playing recently, I do not think they will get back there without major changes along to defensive front.
In the upcoming draft, they need to focus on drafting big run stoppers or physical defensive backs that are able to stand up to physical teams. Right now, the Packers would not be called soft, but they are rather inconsistent against the run. They started out the season playing really well, but that seemed to fade as the season wore on.
With young players Nick Perry and Datone Jones to go along with Clay Matthews and AJ Hawk, the Packers linebackers are looking to be strong in the upcoming seasons. Hawk had a tremendous year while Matthews was injured for a many weeks and was not able to have as much of an impact. Ted Thompson needs to focus on the defensive line to get a player who can be developed into a playmaker quickly.
Another factor in the Packers playoff disappointments is the weather in Lambeau Field. Once in hits January in Wisconsin, the weather is cold with a chance of snow. The way the Packers are built, they are not meant to play in the cold weather. They are more suited to play indoors where they can throw the ball all over and run up the score.
The style can be shown in their Super Bowl run a few years ago. The Packers made it into the playoffs as the 6th seed and had went on the road to defeat the Eagles, Falcons, and Bears. The biggest game happened against Atlanta, as the Packers routed the top seed in their home dome.
A stronger defensive front will be a huge benefit in more inclement weather. The colder weather generally means more running plays will be called. Stronger fronts will be able to stand up to physical teams and the running game.
While the Packers are trying to get back to their playoff dominance, I will be waiting until the defense gets tougher. That’s when we will finally see another Super Bowl run from the Green Bay Packers.