The Packers had one of the more impressive Super Bowl runs, leading every playoff game by at least 11 points at halftime and winning with a young teams despite 15 players on injured reserve. Still, nothing about their title suggests a coming “dynasty” that so many now predict.

The Packers had one of the more impressive Super Bowl runs, leading every playoff game by at least 11 points at halftime and winning with a young teams despite 15 players on injured reserve. Still, nothing about their title suggests a coming “dynasty” that so many now predict.

Aaron Rodgers, whom Quick Shots considers the best quarterback in the NFL, is the main reason for that optimism, but the Packers have never even won an NFC North title in three years with Rodgers. The Patriots were just as injured when they won their second Super Bowl in 2003, winning their last 15 games in a row despite starting 42 different players, an NFL record for a division champion until the Patriots started 45 in 2005. They’ve won only one title since. The Colts won 12 games seven years in a row and only won one Super Bowl. Green Bay has one division title in six years, and one 12-win season in eight years.

If the 1996 Packers, one of the rare NFL teams to finish No. 1 in both total offense and defense, didn’t become a dynasty, there’s little chance these Packers will. The only other 10-6 Wild Card team to win a Super Bowl is the 2007 Giants, who beat the unbeaten Patriots. The Giants have’t won a single playoff game since.

Bad news for Bears

Green Bay won the Super Bowl in part because it kept making the single most important play in football; the Packers returned interceptions for TDs in three straight games against the Falcons, Bears and Steelers. Coldhardfootballfacts.com reports the last three Super Bowl winners each returned an interception for a touchdown and teams that do so are now 11-0 in the Super Bowl.

On the other hand, teams that score a touchdown on special teams are 3-9 in Super Bowls. While the Chicago Bears lean heavily on Devin Hester, coldhardfootballfacts says kick returns “have little impact on the NFL” and doesn’t even list special teams among its 17 Quality Stats to predict football games.

Cutler needs to use shotgun

Quick Shots has a new quality stat of its own: number of passes thrown out of the shotgun formation, especially when throwing behind a leaky offensive line. Green Bay won the Super Bowl, in part, because it used the shotgun more than Pittsburgh.

The shotgun has long been a touchy subject in Chicago. It should be. Jay Cutler was sacked 11 times in 616 passes in his Pro Bowl year in Denver, when he passed for 4,526 yards. He threw out of the shotgun at least 20 times in all eight of his 300-yard games that year.

Cutler was sacked 52 times in 432 throws this year. When he was sacked nine times in one half vs. the Giants, the Bears ran four plays out of the shotgun before their final drive with third-stringer Caleb Hanie.

All the best quarterbacks rely on the shotgun. Drew Brees and Peyton Manning lined up in the shotgun a combined 58 times in last year’s Super Bowl. Tom Brady threw all three of his first-half TD passes against the Bears out of the shotgun. If the Bears want Jay Cutler to excel — and stay upright — they need to line him up more than two feet away from opposing pass rushers.

Matt Trowbridge’s Quick Shots on Sports appear Sundays. He can be reached at 815-987-1383 or mtrowbridge@rrstar.com.