Pack Em Up: Losers Breakdown

Getting into the playoffs is a preliminary goal of the bigger picture, but a wild card loss is an illusion of depicting a team?s fate. There are only two scenario?s to account for an early exit in the playoffs. A team is young and inexperienced, or that a team is old and faltering back. For the Chargers, Packers, Seahawks, and Broncos all of them fit in one of the two categories.

San Diego Chargers
Marty Shottenheimer is getting choke job references due to the same parallel results that happened when he was Chiefs head coach. It?s a label that he?ll be stamped with until he proves otherwise. To his credit he was in a situation that no one could fathom happening. It was a great year but now the truth of their definite future will be brought out in the next few months. More than likely they aren?t going to be able to resign Drew Brees, and that?s a lame copout for a team that used Brees as a goat. Before they even drafted Philip Rivers, they showed mistrust in Brees ability by signing Doug Flutie. Flutie has had a great career, but why bring him in to confuse Brees and the Chargers fans? Everyone knew that Flutie wanted the opportunity to finish out his career strong, but Brees opposed that and backed it with his play. If I were Brees I?d move on in a heartbeat to a team that has talent except for at quarterback, and end his business relationship with the Chargers. The bottom line is if he stays a Charger and goes on a rough losing streak, this organization will turn to Rivers in a heartbeat. It?s totally wrong for an organization to dishonor a player and then flip in a 100 percent turnover direction, acting as if their agenda or motive was to develop Philip River?s slowly. This team can still due damage, but the youth that progressed this year is going to have a setback due to Philip Rivers having to learn. It?s going to take at least a season or two for the Chargers to get back in the AFC fold.

Denver Broncos
Now the unruly fans of the world are revolting against Jake Plummer as quickly as Shanahan does with running backs. There is something about Plummer that makes him enticing for coaches to keep, but in all reality he hasn?t made any advances in his career. This is a guy that has been in the league since 1997, not 2000. You?d expect an eight year professional to learn from mistakes and develop on a consistent basis. Instead he continues to display erratic play that has also carried onto the field, as he was fined for an obscene gesture late in the season. The yearly prospective is that maybe the light bulb will finally turn on for him, but instead it only flickers with a dimmer of hope for stretches on a season. Denver has no choice but to keep their faith in Plummer because they signed him to a long term deal. You can bet though that Mike Shanahan is having his scouts go and find an upside youthful quarterback that he can sign for cheap. This situation looks a lot like Drew Bledsoe when he was a Patriot, before Tom Brady took over and the Patriots were able to dump Bledsoe?s contract. If Plummer doesn?t show up early and often next year, look for a young promising quarterback to make Plummer relinquish his position.


Seattle Seahawks
They just can?t win a playoff game, and now they have to worry about resigning the backbone of their team. Matt Hasselbeck and Shaun Alexander somehow were not part of Seattle?s organization game plans to resign last summer. Both have proven they deserve top notch dollars for their position, and as athletes in their situation they will make a career move. Both are entering the phase where they have a good four to five years to be valuable assets in the league, and neither of them are not dumb enough to not realize that. They are going to cash in for top dollars, and that means Seattle will have to fork out more than they would have likely had to, if they would have done this sooner. They really have no choice if they want to improve and have a shot at contending in their division. St. Louis will still have weapons, the Cardinals are improving, and the 49ers are in an adjustment period. Not to mention teams like the Lions, Bears, Panthers, Saints, Bucs, etc were all young teams that hinted with playoff contention this season.

Green Bay
Watching Favre play and digress as the game went on, you could only imagine flashbacks of the last time a future Hall of Famer played like this in the playoffs. The last one was Dan Marino in 2000, when the Dolphins were walloped 62-7 in Jacksonville. Usually a loss gets full blame on the quarterback, even though they don?t deserve the criticism wholly. In this case though, Favre?s play was 80-85 percent of the reason why they lost. It?d be a mistake on Favre?s part to comeback another year, as his body doesn?t need it and neither does his trophy case. He has the coveted goal of winning a Super Bowl, and his reputation amongst fans and NFL personnel is priceless. If he were to come back, he?d be looking at another shot at going to the wild card round. It?s not worth it, and the Packers only chance of being a serious contender next year is if the organization banks on it. Meaning they go out and sign big time players and go after a championship run in one year. That could happen, but after that?s done the organization would suffer from all of the contracts they?ll have to restructure. The end of the quarterback chain has come for Favre, he?ll be missed but it is time to hang it up.


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