By: Lucas Kochevar
The stage is set for Tampa Bay, Florida as Super Bowl 55 will take place on February 7th. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers survived a comeback from the Green Bay Packers as they controlled majority of the game. In Kansas City, the Chiefs handled their business and showed why they were the one seed. In the next two weeks leading up to Super Bowl 55, I will be doing more breakdowns of the big game. I would also like to do pieces on the coaching changes. For this article, I will be doing a similar style to last weeks article and talk about the teams that lost, starting off with the Green Bay Packers.
Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers lost the game to the Bucs, not the refs. They looked outmatched for most of the game and they were outcoached. The Packers forced Tom Brady to throw three INTs and only managed to put together points on one of those picks. Then, HC Matt LaFleur took the field goal for no good reason on 4th and 8 with the game seemingly on the line. Metrics suggest that the field goal attempt was one of the worst field goals attempts of all-time with the game on the line. The game ends and the hottest team in the NFC is no more and their future is very intriguing going forward. As Aaron Rodgers stated, "A lot of guys' futures, they're uncertain, myself included,"
A number of reporters speculated after this quote that perhaps Rodgers might force his way out of GB with a trade. I'm here to tell you, the MVP favorite is not going anywhere. People jumped the gun on this quote and took it the complete wrong way. The Packers are not about to trade one of, if not the best, QB talents in history. He mainly was alluding to C Corey Linsley and RB Aaron Jones. These two guys were critical in making GB one of the most explosive, versatile offenses in the league. Linsley played the best ball of his career and will surely get paid. Aaron Jones will also be commanding more than the Packers will be willing to pay for a RB. The defense should come back for the most part. It was also evident they were missing the best LT in the game, David Bakhitari, who will return next year fully healthy. The Packers don't seem to have any threats in their division yet, so they should be well-positioned to another division title and playoff run as long as they stay healthy. It will be intriguing to see the moves they make to replace key pieces they might lose.
The Buffalo Bills had the best season in their history since 1995. Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs set new franchise records and look to be one of the leagues best duos moving forward. They ended up falling to the juggernaut that is the Kansas City Chiefs. Josh Allen didn't look nearly as impressive as he has all year and you could feel the energy in the air was different for the Chiefs, especially when Andy Reid would dial up a play that ran 60-50 yards. Many people thought the Bills might be able to beat the Chiefs, but soon that reality came crashing down. The Bills still had a very successful year and the best news they got was that OC Brain Daboll would be coming back for another year after not getting hired during this HC cycle. Daboll lead the Bills to having one of the best offenses in the league, but he needs to figure out how to find a complimentary run game so that Josh Allen doesn't have the burden of the world on his shoulders.
The Bills also have to address some deficiencies in their defense. The Buffalo defense wasn't horrible, but it felt like they just didn't have that edge to them that they had last season. They still have Tre'Davious White and company on the secondary so they should be good for next year. I would like them to address their D-Line with one of their edge rushers. The pressure just was never there when they needed it unless they brought someone on the blitz. Another solution could be to make sure A.J. Espenesa gets more reps and training over the offseason to improve his game. The offense should be good once again, they just have slight adjustments to make to the team and they should be in the running for next years AFC Championship.