Column: Pack Attack
By Derek Garcia '13

In my short time as a columnist for The Student, I have never been so excited to write an article. Most of the asides I write concerning me meeting my quotas imposed by my (all-knowing and gracious) editor are actually some of the things that cross my mind when I type this column. But this time, I’m not so worried. Actually, like how I mentioned earlier, I want to express my sincere happiness for what just occurred last Sunday.

For those of you who don’t know…..THE PACKERS WON THE SUPER BOWL!!! THE PACKERS WON THE SUPER BOWL!!!!!!!!! (Ah, that feels much better). As much as some of you want to see me go on and talk about my previous predictions, I won’t fall into the over-gloating crowd (Why does it feel like I might have already done that?).

What I will say is that I never doubted the Pack or my predictions for a second despite me flubbing on a few matchups. No, but really, gloating is not cool. I for one wouldn’t like it if someone else wrote a 1000-word column saying that the Steelers are the greatest team in NFL history and how they beat the Packers in the Super Bowl. I presume most of you wouldn’t either given that since Saturday, the media has been saturated with news concerning the Super Bowl in spite of the fact that some real serious things are going down in Egypt right now.

I am still hyped about the win, but I’m not going to gloat or talk about my predictions this column. I have already celebrated. For those of you who may have noticed, I was the guy who wore the A.J. Hawk jersey and the huge Packers jacket on Monday. I have a whole year (let’s hope there won’t be a lockout) to be proud and happy about the fact that the Packers are the reigning champs. So what am I going to talk about?

Here are the five things to expect next season if there is no work stoppage (I hate to be a downer). Although a lot of crazy things can (will) happen in the offseason, it’s never too early to predict!

1. Expect the Texans to get it together. Now hold up, I remember how they were everyone’s dark-horse pick at the beginning of this season, and they flopped badly; but let’s take a quick look at their division. The Colts are getting older, the Jags still don’t look good, and the Titans are a mess in the front office. The Texans were adequate on defense until Demeco Ryans was lost for the season, so expect them to make some progress on that side of the ball when he’s healthy again. They also have a defensive stud in Mario Williams, as well as some young talent in their secondary.

I doubt Arian Foster is a fluke so expect him to have a good season, and Schaub to pick up the offensive slack because teams that will actually be preparing to stop the explosive running back. The Texans, for all the excitement they generated at the start of this season, will have a chance to recreate that situation and make some headway in the division, possibly winning it outright.

2. Donovan McNabb will win the Comeback Player of the Year Award. Despite his sub-par season, I still believe that McNabb didn’t perform to the best of his ability in D.C. because he never had the support of the coaching staff. Not to mention, other than Cooley and Moss, who were the other Redskins wide receivers? Ryan Torain helped lighten McNabb’s load with a solid year, but the Redskins were mired in inconsistency all season.

In addition, McNabb never had a strong running game or offensive line. I mean come on, he was sacked 37 times (fourth-most this season), and he was benched the last three games of the season. If he ends up in Minnesota or Arizona, I would expect him to light it up next season and win the award.

3. Michael Vick will be good, but not as good as this season. I’m not saying he will stink. I’m just saying that teams now have enough game footage from this season to adequately prepare for him next season. He will throw more interceptions and probably fewer touchdowns. Make no mistake, he will still be dangerous with the ball, but it’s about time his lack of ball security caught up with him.

4. The Jets will be back with a vengeance. I don’t know what is it with the Jets, but I still feel they have some gunpowder left in the barrel. Not to mention, Rex Ryan knows how to motivate this team (we all remember the “burying the ball” incident). I wouldn’t be surprised if the Jets actually landed a few key free agents again this offseason to replenish some of the talent they will lose this off-season.

5. The Packers and the Patriots will be the teams to beat next season. Despite me saying that Rex Ryan will have a few tricks up his sleeve, he once again has to deal with the Patriots next season. If the Pats were 14-2 with quite a few rookies on both sides of the ball, imagine how good they will be next year with their experience?

By virtue of their title, the Packers are the team to beat. With injured stars coming back next year on both sides of the ball, I wouldn’t be surprised if Super Bowl XLVI turned out to be a matchup of these two teams.

Issue 14, Submitted 2011-02-09 17:23:15