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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Packers' season in review

Ryan Ellerbusch

Looking back at the regular season and considering all of the injuries that have dampened the Packers’ roster, you have to give credit where credit is due. Tramon Williams, BJ Raji, and AJ Hawk have all turned in solid defensive performances throughout the season and have earned Pro Bowl alternate recognition as a result. Even Matt Flynn’s effort in a close loss to the Patriots (in which they were extremely competitive in), helped the Packers never lose hope as they kept the mindset that anything was possible and that controlling their own destiny could indeed be accomplished. Leadership by the Packers’ veterans also helped the success of the new faces on the team as they not only earned a roster spot, but eventually would play a key role in the latter part of the season.

Ted Thompson deserves to be acknowledged for building the roster and youth mid-season in the midst of numerous unfortunate injuries at what seemed like every position. The emergence of several young athletes, many of whom never were given the chance to play, let alone start, at the NFL level, kept the Packers in playoff contention. Linebacker Erik Walden was one of those players who started at right outside linebacker and recorded 8 tackles and 2 sacks on Sunday, holding the Chicago Bears offense to just 3 points.

As far as Sunday’s outcome is concerned, the Packers 10-3 win over the Chicago Bears will allow them to live to see another opponent next week in the Philadelphia Eagles as they will look to head coach Mike McCarthy for a superb game plan, even though the criticism regarding his play-calling and challenges continues despite a wildcard playoff berth.

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