Could it be that a team that has made the playoffs five years in a row and won a Super Bowl in 2010 is flying under the radar this year? Judging by some of the national media comments so far this year, that just might be the case. If you believe guys like John Kincade of CBS Sports the Packers have zero chance of making the playoffs. I beg to differ.
While this is probably not going to be good news for Packers’ fans who follow Packernet I think the Packers might be in for a special year. And I think it starts with a victory over the defending champion Seattle Seahawks on September 4.
Packernet followers know I was down on last year’s team predicting an 8-8 record before the start of the season. While they did win only eight games, before Aaron Rodgers got hurt they were looking like a Super Bowl caliber team. They proved that when Rodgers came back and beat the Bears to win the division and then barely lost to the 49ers in the divisional round of the playoffs.
Those two events have me excited about this season. The Packers only had Rodgers and Eddie Lacy healthy together for six games last year. Can you imagine both of them staying healthy for 16 games? This offense will be unstoppable. If teams can’t stop Lacy with Matt Flynn at quarterback what are they going to do it with Rodgers back there?
Because the Packers have lost in the divisional round of the playoffs the last three years the national media has had enough. They say the Packers can’t compete with the NFC’s elite teams even with Rodgers at quarterback. Again, I beg to differ.
Kincade thinks the Packers will be 1-3 in September because of road trips to Seattle, Detroit and Chicago. Well, the Packers won in Seattle the last time they were there even if they didn’t get credit for it. And Aaron Rodgers has never lost a game in Detroit that he started and finished and I think he has only lost one in Chicago. I’d be shocked at anything less than 3-1 over that span.
And after that the schedule is very favorable. Every hard team they play is at home like Carolina, Philly, New England and Atlanta. The only hard road game is at New Orleans the last week of October. I think everything is shaping up very nicely for the three-time defending NFC North champions.
For a quick take on the rest of the NFC North teams I think the Lions will get a boost from having real leadership for a change. I think the Vikings will be better defensively but am not sold on their offense even with noted offensive coordinator Norv Turner calling the shots.
The Bears look to be the same old Bears. As long Jay Cutler is still under center you can’t be too worried about them. Signing Jared Allen is not much of a concern. Over the last four years the Packers have been much more concerned with defending Julius Peppers than Allen. The Packers got the better end of that deal I think.
So there you have it. I think 12-4 is the final number and another NFC North title. I hope all teams in our division stay healthy and I think one or even both of the wildcard spots could come from the North.
I hope that doesn’t ruin your day. I have to be right once in a while. Don’t I?