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Green Bay Packers show Atlanta Falcons the way to a Super Bowl title Defense still wins championships


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Green Bay Packers show Atlanta Falcons the way to a Super Bowl title

Defense still wins championships

By BILL SHANKS - Special to the Ledger-Enquirer

Sunday’s win by the Green Bay Packers should be a good example for other teams hoping to one day raise the Lombardi Trophy. And it also again proved an old football philosophy to be true: Defense wins championships.

Aaron Rodgers was the Super Bowl MVP, and rightfully so. He was tremendous, maybe even better than he was in Atlanta several weeks ago. But the Green Bay defense shut down Pittsburgh and made quarterback Ben Roethlisberger irrelevant.

Rodgers was able to have a good day partly because Pittsburgh’s main defensive player, Troy Polamalu, was not 100 percent. If he had been, the NFL Defensive Player of the Year might have made things a bit more difficult for Rodgers, who felt only limited pressure all game.

But Rodgers’ defense disrupted Roethlisberger all game. Sure, Big Ben got away a few times, but think about all the overthrown passes and the botched plays the Steelers had. That happened because players such as Clay Matthews and A.J. Hawk disrupted Pittsburgh’s offense.

They didn’t necessarily put tremendous pressure on Roethlisberger, but he still knew they were there. They tipped a couple of his passes, and Matthews caused the fumble that essentially ended the game, when Rashard Mendenhall coughed up the ball.

That disruption is exactly what the Atlanta Falcons need next season. Green Bay just gave the Falcons a game plan for going all the way. Have a good quarterback. Check. The Falcons have that in Matt Ryan. Have a defense that creates havoc. Well, that’s not something we can check off just yet.

Atlanta has good players on defense, but the Falcons need to get great. On one side of the defensive line, they have John Abraham. He still is a great player, even though he turns 33 in May. Abraham should have at least one great year left, maybe two. But on the other side is Kroy Biermann, who is a good player but not great.

What if the Falcons got a great player as the other defensive end? What if they got a Cullen Jenkins, Ray Edwards or Jason Babin? Those are top-notch defensive ends that could be free agents after the labor strife is over.

The Falcons just need to upgrade to get as good as the Packers were Sunday. They still have several young players (defensive tackles Corey Peters and Peria Jerry, linebacker Sean Weatherspoon and safety William Moore) who can get better and develop more. But the Falcons need to simply complement that young core with a couple of veterans who can be difference-makers.

As long as Mike Smith is the head coach, he has vowed to run the football and stop the run. As long as Michael Turner is still around, you can bet the Falcons are going to continue to run the football. But to achieve the other goal, the defense must be tweaked just a little more.

Atlanta is close, but we saw on Super Sunday just how far away the Falcons really are. It should have been clear enough when Green Bay blew out the Falcons last month.

But the Packers’ win over the Steelers showed the Falcons there is still some work that needs to be done.

Let’s hope the negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement go smoothly and the league and its players can get this mess out of the way. The quicker that is over, the faster Atlanta general manager Thomas Dimitroff can get to work.

And Green Bay gave him the blueprint to get the Falcons to the Super Bowl next year in Indianapolis.

http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2011/02/09/1452325/bill-shanks-commentary-green-bay.html

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This is all the reason why TD needs to abandon his philosphy this year of building through the draft, and go get a couple of free agents who can have a big impact this year, and not have to wait for them to develop. We dont have that kind of time. Abe aint gettin no younger, and he needs help just like he did this year, but everyone was sooooo high on kroy, thinking he was the next pat kerney which was not the case. If spoon shines this upcoming season (if their is one), then our linebacking corp will be set, or at least almost set, with looking for a upgrade or successor to mike pete. D-rob has to show up and outshine grimes next season. There is no question grimes will be resigned. So all in all, we need a vet pass rusher, and maybe a upgrade over pete to get us to the next level. Im kinda skeptical on td28 at safety. He had some times when he shines, but during the last couple games of the season and playoffs, he was MIA.

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Jason Babin "great"???

He had a good year but he has been a MAJOR bust.

He has been in the league what 6 years? and he is on his what 4th team?

Yeah that is just "great"

Also Ray Edwards has been a solid above average player who is under rated because he plays with some bigger named players.......but averaging about 8 sacks a year while a certain improvment over what we have now is not " great".

I also find it funny that someone is talking about defense in reference to a game that had nearly 60 total points over 700 yards of total offense, that could have been a great deal higher had it not been of mistakeso n offenses like dropped passes.

However I do agree with the overall tone of article, we certainly have a couple areas I would rather see a FA over a rookie be placed in.

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"And Green Bay gave him the blueprint to get the Falcons to the Super Bowl next year in Indianapolis."

Thanks, Bill Shanks. I'm sure TD wasn't aware that a good defense can help a team win the SB.

We can say with certainly that this FO won't stand pat on this defense. They will continue to upgrade and make changes. TD usually has one big signing, and I'm sure it will be on defense once again.

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I also find it funny that someone is talking about defense in reference to a game that had nearly 60 total points over 700 yards of total offense, that could have been a great deal higher had it not been of mistakeso n offenses like dropped passes.

However I do agree with the overall tone of article, we certainly have a couple areas I would rather see a FA over a rookie be placed in.

I can't disagree we need upgrades on defense, but this article somewhat overstates the GB defense.

GB was ranked third overall in the postseason on def. The team at no. 2 was PIT, who they beat. The no. 1 team was BAL, who didn't even make it to the SB.

GB was ranked no 7 against the pass, hardly a sign of a great defense. They were no. 18 in the regular season.

The real lesson here is the importance of a team coming together at the right team to make a run. The defense was playing well, and the offense was great. I believe the week off the Falcons had cost them some momentum, and our cold team ran into a very hot GB team.

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Atlanta is close, but we saw on Super Sunday just how far away the Falcons really are. It should have been clear enough when Green Bay blew out the Falcons last month.

But the Packers’ win over the Steelers showed the Falcons there is still some work that needs to be done.

Let’s hope the negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement go smoothly and the league and its players can get this mess out of the way. The quicker that is over, the faster Atlanta general manager Thomas Dimitroff can get to work.

And Green Bay gave him the blueprint to get the Falcons to the Super Bowl next year in Indianapolis.

The first sentence above is most disheartening.

He's had three years now and the defense we saw against Green Bay in the single most important game in years was the worst defensive performance in Atlanta Falcons playoff history. Slice it and dice any way you want but with 9 new starters on defense we are either not selecting players well or not coaching up those we have selected. I think it's the latter!

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The first sentence above is most disheartening.

He's had three years now and the defense we saw against Green Bay in the single most important game in years was the worst defensive performance in Atlanta Falcons playoff history. Slice it and dice any way you want but with 9 new starters on defense we are either not selecting players well or not coaching up those we have selected. I think it's the latter!

3 years ago, GB was in the championship game, falcons were 4-12, minus their coach and QB and loaded with age on D. Takes time to build a club.

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We have a DC that cannot get the job done-PERIOD. 3 years into this 'building' process and our playoff Defense has gone from BAD to WORST!

We can blame the players all you want, but in the end Capers found a way to coach a Defense even with many players on IR. How is it that Capers can do this and BVG cannot.

Fewer points allowed as coach Smith brags about, is more attributed to the Clock Controlling Offense keeping the opposing Offense on the bench for most of the game.

This allegiance to BVG is more sickening that sad, as the experiment has proven wrong with every playoff game. If Georgia Southern ran him out of town for his embarrassing losses, how is he employed by a team hoping to win the Super Bowl?

Someone needs a reality check.

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