By: Andrew Orgel
In the second installment of a six-part series, Orgel discusses the Super Bowl hopes of the Packers and Colts
Indianapolis Colts: Pretender
I can not consider the Colts a legitimate Super Bowl team until they demonstrate an ability to stop the run and at least make a game against the Patriots close. The last two years Legarrette Blount has ended the Colts season in Foxboro. The now infamous AFC Championship game is overshadowed by Deflategate, but Tom Brady did not beat the Colts, Blount did. Even if the Colts are able to sneak into the Super Bowl, do they really stand a chance against Marshawn Lynch or Eddie Lacy?
The offseason did not help the Colts cause. The Colts loaded up this year with veteran talent including Frank Gore and Andre Johnson. Furthermore, the Colts drafted Phillip Dorsett, yet another offensive weapon to help Andrew Luck. While the offense may be unstoppable, the defense may yet again struggle against the run. The offensive focus seems especially shocking given that Malcolm Brown (DT) was still on the board and offered a clear solution to the Colts ground issues.
This offense, lead by Andrew Luck who has developed into one of the top quarterbacks in the league, will provide the Colts enough of a spark to secure a division championship and maybe even a win in the playoffs. However, as the old saying goes, defense wins championships and eventually Luck will have a bad game, or their inability to stop the run will come back to haunt the Colts.
Green Bay Packers: Contenders
Last season the Green Bay Packers came one fourth quarter implosion away from facing the Patriots in the Super Bowl. Had the Packers converted red-zone appearances into touchdowns or recovered an onside kick the comeback would not have been possible, but that is all in the past. Either way, Green Bay proved that they can play against the Seahawks in Seattle and showed why they are considered one of the best teams in football.
The Packers revolve around Aaron Rodgers, far and away the best QB right now in football (Brady is still the best all time). Rodgers alone brings Green Bay into the title talk, and on top of that he is surrounded by one of the best teams in football. Green Bay has again managed to return their entire core on both offense and defense to close out one of the most well rounded teams in football. The Packers have a loaded offense lead by Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Eddie Lacy. Those four alone make Green Bay one of the most formidable teams in football. The defense is very solid as well. Clay Matthews receives most of the attention but Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, B.J. Raji, and the rest of the defence are not slouches either.
While I still think Seattle is the strongest team in the NFC, Green Bay will again bring the NFC contest down to the wire. Rodgers, especially if he is able to remain healthy, is simply too good to continue losing to Seattle. A large part of the championship hunt will come down to whether Green Bay is able to secure home field advantage and stay out of CenturyLink Field in January. Packers vs. Seahawks in Lambeau, hyped on playoffs, might just be a different story.