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Rodgers will lead Packers to Super Bowl glory

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Neil Reynolds | 16:13 UK time, Wednesday, 8 September 2010

The long NFL off-season is finally over and, while the past seven months have not lacked in terms of headlines and intrigue, I cannot wait for the real action to begin on the pitch.

It has been an off-season full of high-profile moves. Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall was traded from the Denver Broncos to the Miami Dolphins, star quarterback Donovan McNabb joined the Washington Redskins after 11 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, and a whole host of veteran stars inked deals with an ambitious New York Jets club gearing up for a Super Bowl run.

But, as has been the case for the previous three years, one man dominated the off-season news and all eyes were on future Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre for much of the summer.

Given that Favre got severely beaten up in the NFC Championship Game at the end of January, underwent tricky ankle surgery in May and will turn 41 in October, Vikings fans could have been forgiven for thinking the man who threw for 4,202 yards and 33 touchdowns in 2009 was not coming back.

Aaron Rodgers has finally stepped out of Brett Favre's shadow in Green Bay

Aaron Rodgers has finally stepped out of Brett Favre's shadow in Green Bay

But Favre re-signed with the Vikings for a 20th season in the NFL and gives them undoubted playmaking class from the quarterback position.

Although Favre demands considerable attention, I don't consider him to be the best quarterback in the NFC North division. I would give that honour to the rising star who replaced Favre in Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers.

I feel the 2010 season will see Rodgers put himself in the same class as the likes of Peyton Manning and Drew Brees - and I think the result will be a Super Bowl victory for the Green Bay Packers in February.

Rodgers, still only 26, has the arm strength to make every throw in the playbook, he takes care of the football and he rarely gets rattled under pressure.

The one knock on him during the first half of the 2009 campaign was that he held on to the ball for too long and took too many sacks. He wiped that problem from his game over the second half of last season and will receive a further confidence boost from the fact he will be playing behind a much-improved offensive line in 2010.

But it is in the skill positions that the Packers are most spoiled. In addition to Rodgers, they have outstanding receivers in Greg Jennings and Donald Driver, and a playmaking, athletic tight end in Jermichael Finley. Add in Ryan Grant, who rushed for more than 1,200 yards and scored 11 touchdowns in 2009 and you can see why the Packers will easily put points on the board.

Defensively, the Packers ranked second in the NFL last term and return playmakers across the board in the form of cornerback Charles Woodson and linebackers Nick Barnett and Clay Matthews.

But with quarterback being such a pivotal position in the NFL, Rodgers is the key man and he looks extremely capable of guiding the Packers on a special run to the Super Bowl.

Rodgers' career passer rating of 97.2 ranks as the highest in NFL history, ahead of Hall of Fame greats such as Steve Young, Joe Montana and Dan Marino.

He now needs a Super Bowl crown to truly win the love and admiration of Packers fans who still think back fondly to the Favre era. And I think this could be the year he does just that, guiding the Packers to victory over the Indianapolis Colts or Baltimore Ravens in February.

As someone who has handled himself with class and dignity in the face of so many questions about Favre in recent years, Rodgers would fully deserve that kind of success.


Week one on BBC 5 live sports extra

We have a couple of mouth-watering contests to listen out for on BBC Radio this week, beginning in the early hours of Friday morning at 0030 BST with the NFC Championship Game re-match between the Vikings and the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints.

Greg Brady and Darren Fletcher will call the action live from the Superdome and I think Drew Brees and the Saints will have too much firepower for a Vikings side with question marks at receiver.

I'll take the Saints and their receivers every time, particularly with Brees firing the football around the field.

On Sunday from 2100 BST, Arlo White presents live coverage of the San Francisco 49ers' visit to the Seattle Seahawks. The hometown Seahawks are rebuilding under new head coach Pete Carroll but I think the 49ers will be too strong for them on this occasion.

Mike Singletary has introduced a feel-good vibe around the Wembley-bound 49ers and they are favourites to take the NFC West this season. Alex Smith has some offensive weapons around him and the defence remains as good as ever.

It should be a fascinating opening weekend and an action-packed, exciting 2010 campaign.

Enjoy the season!

You can catch Neil commentating on an NFL game every Sunday at 2100 BST on BBC 5 live sports extra throughout the season.(UK users only).

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Was it really the case that Rodgers stopped holding the ball too long? Or was it the weak back 8 that ultimately lead to less sacks?

    The Packers will undoutedly be strong and will almost certainly make the play-offs, will they win it all? Not this year, for me it's had to look beyond the Ravens, they've added some new toys for Flacco and Josh Wilson is a shrewd pick up on defence, the other thing is, there is no guarantee the Packers will win their division, and in an extremely competitive NFC a wildcard isnt a given. The Ravens should top the AFC North comfortably.

  • Comment number 2.

    Aaron Rodgers has been fantastic so far and has more than justified Green Bay's stance of not being bullied by Favre. Whilst I still do remember fondly back to those Favre days I also remember the interceptions, particularly the last play he ever made in a Green Bay jersey, against the Giants in 2008.

    There's no doubt in my mind that Aaron Rodgers is good enough to win a Superbowl. If we can give him the pass protection he needs then we definitely do have a chance, though the vulnerabilities on the offensive line were exposed by the fact we had to bring in Mark Tauscher. Our inconsistency was also exposed by the fact we beat Arizona 33-7 in week 17, then lost to them 45-51 in the wild-card playoff the very next week, after a sack to Aaron Rodgers.

    I think we have a chance, but I wouldn't mark ourselves as the favourites.

  • Comment number 3.

    Whilst their offense looks incredibly exciting - Woodson aside, that Packers secondary is very average. They are going to leak a lot of points like they did in the postseason last year. I wouldn't even be surprised if the Vikings topped the NFC North again - which would put them on the road.

    My Superbowl tip for this year is the Ravens. They've added a receiver in Boldin, which is about the one thing they didn't have last year. Ray Rice will rush for more yards than anyone else this year and Flacco is improving all the time. They are incredibly tough and have an awesome offensive line which will dominate. Ray Lewis is a conusmate leader and will inspire his team to glory.

  • Comment number 4.

    New York Jets baby!!!!!

  • Comment number 5.

    The NFL is at the end of the day a Knockout tournament, for any journalist to claim that they know who will win a knockout tournament where there isn't a clear favourite is just guesswork. Ok, if you get it right 50-60-70% of the time over 30 years then maybe I'll take you seriously. It doesn't matter if Green Bay get to the Superbowl and lose, you said they will win it. Ill judged.

    I've guessed the winner of the champions league 3 times out of the last 10 years. But it isn't hard if you keep going with one of the 2 favourites each year.

  • Comment number 6.

    "Rodgers' career passer rating of 97.2 ranks as the highest in NFL history, ahead of Hall of Fame greats such as Steve Young, Joe Montana and Dan Marino."

    Look over that list, and tell me that it is not totally flawed. I appreciate you are trying to make a point about how good (and perhaps underrated) Rodgers is, but those ratings make a mockery of history...

    Chad Pennington better than Marino? Ask any Dolphins fan who they'd rather have. Kurt Warner better than Joe Montana? John Elway ranks 55th and Duante Culpepper 14th... Duante Culpepper!! Come on.

  • Comment number 7.

    Thank goodness, the wait is over... Neil is back, too, added bonus, right?

    The Packers are a popular pick for the Superbowl this year, they are certainly the most fancied NFC team, and you have to believe they will come through the North and be a contender post-season. Overall though, the NFC probably has only 4 or 5 genuine contenders (Packers + Saints, Vikes, Cowboys, Giants), the AFC double that, so I was rather hoping you'd stick your neck out on the winners of this conference!

    My picks as of today -

    AFC: Jets, Bengals, Colts, Chargers; Patriots and Texans as wildcards.
    NFC: Giants, Packers, Saints, 49ers; Cowboys and Vikings as wildcards.

    For the record, I expect this to be 90% wrong!

  • Comment number 8.

    The Cowboys will win the 2011 Superbowl. There is no doubt in my mind that Jerry Jones will want to win the Superbowl in the Cowboy's backyard. It is his chance to show off the billion dollar stadium to the world and showcase America's team once again. This year is different for the Cowboys and the pressure will culminate in a victory in the Superbowl.

    Aside from the Cowboys, the Saints, Packers and Vikings will challenge hard in the NFC and truly test the Cowboys before a match up against either the Colts or Patriots from the AFC. Although the Ravens and Jets have added great skill players, there's only one Peyton Manning and one Tom Brady.

    Anyway, all of this is coming from a Cowboys fan anyway so I'm just happy to go along with the fun and the fanfare of being America's team!

  • Comment number 9.

    I think the Packers have got a very good chance, but I find it hard to look past Peyton Manning and the Colts.

    they've made the playoffs in every year but two since Manning took over as starting QB in 1998, and despite the theory about Super Bowl losers the following season, the Colts look too strong to be affected by that.

    You talk about the weaponary available to Rodgers, which is substantial, but Manning can throw to Wayne and the returning Gonzalez as well as Garcon and Collie who showed last year they have what it takes! He also has the league's best receiving TE in Dallas Clark.

    Also you mentioned Rodgers' career passer rating being the best of all time, but he's only had TWO starting seasons. Manning is not much lower and has not missed a game in 12 years. Then there's Tom Brady whose not far behind and he's been starting since 2001. Although the stats don't lie, I think it is slightly skewed.

    Enjoyed the article though, you do make a compelling for the Packers and I would not be surprised to see the Packers life the Lombardi trophy in feb!

    I fancy the Bengals though, just to be different!

  • Comment number 10.

    I agree with Neil about Rodgers- I hope he has a great season, hes in most of my fantasy teams!! I just fancy the Jets this year, they have added some great players and now Sanchez has a years experience, I feel he can be a lot better. Their biggest signing...Revis.

  • Comment number 11.

    Great to be back with you guys for another year - looking forward to a season of lively debate.

    The Binocular... I don't claim to know who will win a knockout tournament. I have just been asked by many people during the off-season who my tip for the Super Bowl will be... So I thought I would make a case for the Green Bay Packers, although I do admit that is not a very bold pick as they are favourites of a lot of people right now. I also expect to be proven wrong come February, given the unpredictable nature of the NFL.

    Matzov... Totally agree with you about passer rating - like any statistic, used in the wrong way it can be misleading. I was just using it to highlight just how ruthlessly efficient Rodgers has been in his first 2 seasons as a starter. Daunte Culpepper or Marino? You're right, don't need to think too long about my selection there.

    Eddie George... Good to have you back on board! In the AFC, I really like the Ravens but also think the Colts will be good again. It will be between those 2 in the AFC Championship Game, I reckon. The Packers and Cowboys in the NFC Championship Game. Again, all just guesses for fun at this stage.

    I can see the SB winner coming from GB, Dallas, New Orleans, Minnesota, Indianapolis, Baltimore, NY Jets and San Diego... outsiders who are talking a good game in the NFC at the moment are Atlanta and San Francisco. Houston might finally make a playoff run in the AFC.

    But none of us really knows, do we? And that's what makes the NFL such a fun league to follow and cover.

  • Comment number 12.

    Sorry Eddie George... just ducked your question for the 2nd time. The Super Bowl representative from the AFC will be.... The Colts !

  • Comment number 13.

    Neil, Whats your assessment of my team, Philadelphia Eagles, this year and also how do you think Kolb will do?

  • Comment number 14.

    Neil, great to have you back. I am looking forward to the new season and I have really been impressed with the Ravens off-season.

    Ozzie Newsome has worked his magic again and finally got some WR's for Flacco to play with. I think we will be close at the end of the year and a lot will depend on how Reed comes back in week 6. Hopefully the extra games off now will mean he is fitter by the play-offs.

    Oh and I also tipped the Packers!

  • Comment number 15.

    Cheers, Neil. I see it that the Jets and the Ravens are the two AFC teams that if they prove themselves, one will come out on top in the AFC (but lose to the Saints in the Superbowl).

    If the Jets stall - because of a lack of offense - or the Ravens falter - because of a lack of defense - then I see the Colts coming through.

    But I think one will come right, I lean Jets at the moment... but only just and they need to win on Monday... against the Ravens.

  • Comment number 16.

    As a Green Bay fan I'm particularly excited about this season, feel that the Packers have a very real chance of a strong post season. I think that the two games against the Vikings though could go a long way to deciding whether we go to Dallas in February. With home field advantage through the play-offs I feel Green Bay have a strong chance, I know the "mistique" of Lambeau has gone, but when it's -15 degrees with a strong windchill the dome teams such as the Vikes and the Saints won't much fancy it.

    As always with the NFL, there will be a few surprises along the way, some much fancies teams will flop and some of the less fancied teams will surprise people. Before their Superbowl season in 1999 the Rams were 4-12 and I can't recall many people tipping them.

    If I were to predict the Superbowl I would pick the Packers and the Chargers. I also wouldn't be surprised if that was way off the mark too.

    Looking forward to it all kicking off tonight. And I'm so glad Favre came back for one more season, hope the Packers record 2 regular season wins followed by one in the post season over the Vikings. That would be sweet.

  • Comment number 17.

    I also like the Jets but will wait a few weeks and see if Mark Sanchez has truly progressed at the QB position. They have strength elsewhere but will need to be successful in the passing game as well.

    The Eagles? They won't admit it but I think they are ever so slightly rebuilding. Young team. Average age around 24 I think I read somewhere. Bold move to go with Kevin Kolb and the right one.

    And they are trying to surround him with playmakers who can go the distance on any given play - young talent in terms of LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin.

    They are going in the right direction in terms of adding young playmakers. Playoff contender? Probably although tough division. But not ready for a Super Bowl run. Interesting team to watch though.

  • Comment number 18.

    I think the bigger question with the Jets is if their running game is as consistent without Thomas Jones. If Sanchez has notably improved, then the Jets are a very scary proposition; but as long as he can continue to manage the game okay (which I assume is Ryan's plan at the moment), then they should be able to ride their defense into the post-season.

  • Comment number 19.

    And one final comment from the peanut gallery - a reason to worry about the Ravens is that they don't seem to match up too well against the Steelers or Bengals, who both have solid D and a passing attack that seems certain to give the Ravens problems.

  • Comment number 20.

    If I were a Ravens fan I would feel good about the season but worry slightly about the secondary and the lack of a deep threat at WR. Boldin, Houshmanzadeh and Mason can catch the ball, but none of them are blazers in terms of speed.

    Guess that problem gets fixed when Donte Stallworth returns.

  • Comment number 21.

    I have to agree with the previous comments regarding the Ravens. Their defence has ranked highly in the NFL for years, and although aging and declining, Ray Lewis is still a force and a true leader. Haloti Ngata is quickly developing into one of the best defensive lineman in the league and he is unbelievable athletic for a man of his stature. The secondary will miss Ed Reed but the Ravens will be hoping the rush will get to the QB before they can be exposed down the field.

    Offensively Joe Flacco is taking strides every year, and with the addition of some proven wide outs (Boldin, Houshmandzadeh) he will be making plays and moving the chains, that’s without even mentioning the talented combination of Ray Rice and Le'Ron McClain in the backfield.

    For the Packers there's no doubting the talent on the roster, on both sides of the ball. Dom Capers is revolutionizing the 3-4 defence and like Neil says Rodgers is a talented qb who makes the cheese heads a real contender for a shot at the super bowl.

    But what people are failing to see is that free agency and the draft has given the packers a slight hill to climb. The offensive unit only had to face Jared Allen twice last year coming off the edge (i say only!). This year Rodgers is looking at Julius Peppers twice a year and the combination of Ndamukong Suh and Kyle Vanden Bosch twice a year too.

    Vanden Bosch is aging but Jim Schwartz (Former Tennessee Defensive coordinator) knows how to bring the best out of him. Anybody else notice how Vanden Bosch's stats dropped as soon as Albert "I can’t complete a fitness test because my wallet is too heavy" Haynesworth left, meaning no interior double team? I would bet a lot that Schwartz sees what he saw in Haynesworth in Suh. (See Ndamukong Suh Jake Delhomme close-line).

    However I digress...

    At least six games a year Rodgers will face proven pass rushers.

    This + Chad Clifton at Left Tackle + Rodger’s knack of holding on to the football a little bit too long on some occasions = Rodgers picking himself up off the turf more then he and Mike McCarthy would like.

    As much as I like Rex Ryan, the Jets are going to come down hard from the cloud they are on when a rejuvenated Tom Brady turns up in week 2 and proves why he’s been to 4 super bowls and has won 3 of them....


    @matzov love the Daunte Culpepper reference!

    If only there was an NFL ranking for most boat party scandals....

  • Comment number 22.

    Eddie George - we get the Steelers before Big Ben returns from his suspension. I would say we are the favourites for that game.

    Then in the 2nd game Reed will be back, Washington and Webb will be 100% and Wilson will have complete understanding of the defense. I am not worried about the Steelers.

    The Bengals on the other hand do match-up against us very well but if we were to go 1-1 with them that would put us in a great position to get to the post-season.

  • Comment number 23.

    The Pack for the Superbowl? I think not mate. From memory you said the Vikes would triumph last season.
    Think it will be Indy once again.

  • Comment number 24.

    Ed Reed is on the PUP list and will miss the first 6 games of the year.

  • Comment number 25.

    Is it wise to declare oneself a Redskins fan in their first post on here?

    Thought not!

    Must admit that I've not followed the NFL for a while, but may start taking an interest again this season.

    Neil, who do you think will be the whipping boys this year?

  • Comment number 26.

    i fancy the falcons this year, good all round team, and they could sneak under the radar. I would love to say my 49ers, but, it's not going to happen. I think they will struggle to win the NFC West. Too many questions, and they are still searching for the right answers. Seattle, will make the play-offs.

    Neil, whats your view on a) the potential of a London based team?

    and b) whats your view on expanding the regular season to 18 games? the players don't seem happy with the idea.

  • Comment number 27.

    "Ed Reed is on the PUP list and will miss the first 6 games of the year."

    Correct but will only miss the Steelers first game and will be back for the 2nd Steelers game (didnt make this clear in the earlier post).

    Zbikowski did a good job filling in for him last year when he was injured and has looked good enough in pre-season. Reed himself has said missing the first 6 weeks maybe better for him as he will be less physically drained by the play-offs (assuming we get there).

  • Comment number 28.

    Aaron Rodgers versus Julius Peppers, Lance Briggs and the resurgent Brian Urlacher - I'm sorry folks but everyone's writing off the Bears as a force in the division. Jay Cutler had to learn a whole new system in the closed season and shunt his natural instinct, to throw at every opportunity, to the sidelines. Word is he's got it and let's face it - he is the franchise. Matt Forte showed last year that he can run it and do it well.

    There is no way that Lovie and the Bears will produce the display that they did last year and the massive investment in a guy that eats QBs for breakfast only backs the theory up. Make way for the Pepper Shaker!

    Foregone conclusion that the Pack are on their way - not in this house baby!

  • Comment number 29.

    Sorry Ravens_Defense_DOW_Ray_Rice_Running_Right_for_the_Ravens!!!

    i didnt read your post properly!

    They play the steelers again in week 13 i believe.

    My understanding though is that Reed is pretty banged up. All those big hits must be catching him up!

    Your correct, Zbikowski did fill in well but Reed is a play maker and when fully fit is argueably the best safty in the NFL.

    "Make way for the Pepper Shaker!"

    Fantastic quote! Although i do agree writing off the bears is an unwise move.

    Mike Martz will only improve the passing attack more and more, and if brain Urlacher can stay fit (and thats a big if) then they maybe able to make a run for it.

  • Comment number 30.

    I'm a big Chargers fan, as ever it looks like they will challenge this year and easily win their division. I totally agree with you over Rogers, I'm a big fan of his and I also think the Packers will win the Superbowl.

    I think when you are talking about under-rated Quarterbacks, look no further than Philip Rivers. The guy is phenomenal at times but he did disappoint me in the playoffs last year. I also really like the addition of Ryan Matthews at RB. Hopefully Jackson and McNeil return at some point.

    Do you think their defense is good enough this year to win the Superbowl? To me it looks like their defense will be at it's worse for years, with Williams gone now and the secondary looking weak. Merriman doesn't seem the same player since his injury. Also can the Chargers challenge if Jackson and McNeil don't return?

  • Comment number 31.

    It's nothing against you Neil, I just hate those kind of questions. Who'll win the World Cup, who'll win the Champions League, who'll win the Superbowl?

    The people who ask these questions either expect incredible foresight, or simply do not appreciate the fine margins of sport in one off games.

    The NBA is a bit different, best of 7. Even Grand Slam Tennis because of the best of 5 sets, the fine margins tend to even themselves out over that length of match and the better player wins.

    All in all, a good article on a rising NFL star Aaron Rodgers.

    And maybe I was a little more harsh because I'm a Bears fan and I don't see a way into the playoffs with the Packers and the Vikings.

  • Comment number 32.

    Custom_5

    Julius Peppers is the new Reebok Terrible Terry Tate - the Pain Train has arrived at Soldier Field.

    Talking of the legendary Mr Tate, anyone else sitting in the office wishing that a 300lb linebacker would fly in 3 feet off the ground and just plough through the boss?

    Stop draining the coffee pot!

    "When you kill the Joe, you make some more.......that ain't new baby!"

    Or is it just me?

  • Comment number 33.

    Ravens D - I do hope you have a good season; so I can rag my cousins in Pittsburgh, rag some other cousins in Cleveland about something other than LeBron, and see a TO-Ochocinco soap opera break out.

    But Neil expects us to be serious here about the NFL(!), and I actually think your best shot at success is to run the life out of the opposition with that 3-headed monster you have in the backfield. But that doesn'tseem to be the plan right now, they look like they want to put it in Flacco's hands, and we'll see how that works out... I've got a few doubts, mainly because you are in a pretty tough division.

  • Comment number 34.

    Neil what are the plans for 5live coverage this year? One game per week at 9-00pm on a Sunday or any more than that? Will it be BBC play-by-play or a feed from the US - my personal preference is for picking up the original commentary and having people like you, Greg and Arlo to discuss key plays, relay scores and gnerally put a UK slant on things during breaks.

    PS, have always supported the Packers, and really hope they do well this season - gotta love the only non-profit, community-owned major league professional sports team in the United States

  • Comment number 35.

    With due respect The Binocular, if you don't like these questions about who will win the Superbowl/Champions League etc then do not read these type of articles.
    Personally, this is what sports fans and sportswriters do. The countless pages written, conservations at the water cooler and at the bars are what hype the season and get everyone excited. No one knows at this stage who will win the Superbowl, but it is fun to argue about it.
    I guess with the English Premier League there isn't much to talk about. At least NFL is unpredictable that there are 9 teams in with a good chance and another 12 in with a chance.
    To be honest I fancy the Pats. They have been quietly getting on with business and have the experience of winning.

  • Comment number 36.

    Am a Jags fan and if they get to a .500 record I'll be happy. I have to agree with just about everybody else, I think Aaron Rodgers is the real deal.
    However as for the man he replaced at Green Bay, I can't see him finishing the season, I think his body will give up on him and he will be gone by mid-season. It's a young man's game and he isn't young anymore.
    Am concerned to what the NFL headlines will be in the dead zone next year, no Farve retirement talk & uncertainty if there will be any football season to look forward too, due to a lockout or strike action.
    However that is next year and before that Archie Manning's middle son will have another SB ring to collect.

  • Comment number 37.

    PeterKirk1... The season starts tonight on 5Live with our own crew in NO. Show starts at 12:30 with season preview and my ranking of all 32 teams.

    Arlo White will do live coverage of Sea-SF on Sunday... there will be more of our own live games in the US but, for the most part, we will be in the studio reacting to the action and, perhaps more importantly, bringing news and updates around the league. That is vital as it gives fans a real sense of excitement.

    We will also do a few double-headers towards the end of the season, with shows kicking off at 6pm. And then a playoff game live all the way through the Super Bowl.

    Should be exciting - hope you guys give us a listen through the season.

  • Comment number 38.

    fellainisbarnet

    I wish "the pepper shaker" would wipe out my boss like he's a qb with no blind side protection.

    Speaking of pepper has anybody else seen the Michael Strahan Dr pepper ad? Wipes out Donovan McNabb at the end, funny stuff.

    Also what are peoples thoughts on C2K repeating his feat? I'm don't think its possible. Defences will create special packages to try and stop him; this will limit how the Titans can run the football.

  • Comment number 39.

    I hope that A.J Smith has sort something out with Marcus McNeil and Vincent Jacskson, if so i think that we can be a real force again this season.

    And it'll be intresting to see what rookie Ryan Matthews can do replacing LaDainian Tomlinson this season.

    Can't wait for tonight, Saints to win by under 10 points

  • Comment number 40.

    As someone who has been to lambeau quite a few times and has friends in Green Bay. In relation to Rodgers holding on to the ball too long, i don't necessary regard this criticism as correct. Obviously the o-line was weakened by the absence of the 2 most talented and experienced players Tauscher and Clifton but Rodgers threw a ridiculously low number of interceptions. Give me a quarterback who holds on to a ball too long than someone who throws over the middle off the wrong foot across the body into double coverage anytime.

    As for Green Bay, they are a very good bet for a deep run in the playoffs. Personally I have 2 concerns 1. injuries 2. football outside in January. we can stop the run am still not entirely convinced by our o-line and grant's ability to run the ball against the best teams as per the last championship game at Lambeau when we lost to the giants.

    apart from that I think Green Bay will meet Indy in the superbowl. who wins that? anything can happen on "any given (superbowl) sunday."

  • Comment number 41.

    I've tweeted it a bit and now I'm writing on this insightful blog, well done Mr. Reynolds. Simply I've never been a Packer Backer when the whole of the NFL, the press, the fans, etc. pencil the Packers as the team to beat.

    I'm not jumping the gun though, I think another offseason of 3-4 Packers D, and Rice and Harvin with their issues on the Minnesota Vikings roster, the NFC North is ours to lose, at the very least, 10-6 as our season strength is weaker than most, and lets be honest, the NFC in the race for the post-season has always been weaker and more "level" than the AFC. I remember 2005 where the Baltimore Ravens missed out on the post-season with a 9-7 record in the AFC, the same record that woulda got them a Wildcard spot in the NFC... This seems to normally be the case in the NFL.

    My point is, to get to the post-season would be a problem for the Packers, it's the Super Bowl and to win it that strikes me with fear and real questioning. Of course I wish it, but will it?

  • Comment number 42.

    Packers:
    Wonderboy QB
    High Ranking Defence
    Outstanding Receivers
    Quality RB
    All around strong on offence

    equals...

    ONE AND DONE IN THE PLAYOFFS...

    to a team who then got destroyed by the Saints.


    Packers will be lucky to do as well this year.
    (Don't forget what Favre did twice last season)

  • Comment number 43.

    I would avoid making a definate pick on who to win the Superbowl. The talent is too widespread to pick a winner. However if I was forced to make a pick I would go for either the Chargers as they have a very easy schedule.Philip Rivers is a brilliant player who needs to step up and start winning big. Or the Colts who have the right mentality and enough strength and depth in the offense with Antony G coming back from injury + Pierre Garcon and Reggie Wayne.

    As a life long Redskins fan I am a bit sceptical of the changes occuring over there. It seems that every year we under go a massive "change" and suddenly we are play off contenders. Adding McNabb is an example of how much money and muscle we have during free agency, but inevitably these players struggle to perform when the season starts. We just dont have a winning menatlity, and we have no chance to build momentum because we have a virtually unwinnable game against the 'Boys to kick of the season. What do you make of us??

    And also do you believe there is a chance that London gets its own NFL team??

    Thanks for your time

  • Comment number 44.

    While I admit to be being more than a tad worried about the Vikings chances this year - to say Favre is fragile is an understatement and one hit tonight could see him one and done for the season - you can't right them off and the pre-season results have provided no evidence that teams in the NFC have dramatically improved over last season. I for one think it will be a closer race than 2009 but can't see the Pack overhauling the Vikings; labelling Rodgers in the way some posters have done, is simply foolish and that D has still more holes than a sieve.

    3 hours to go till kick-off and head and heart just cannot agree on the outcome - either way though, it could well be a bad night for the purple...

  • Comment number 45.

    Count me in on the chorus tipping the Ravens this year.

  • Comment number 46.

    Not liking the amount of people backing the Ravens here. As a Bengals fan, who lived in Baltimore for 4 years, it would be hard to take the abuse many of my friends would dish out. Saying that, after a poor year last year i expect them to be there or there abouts. But im hoping that two teams come out of the AFC North. Green Bay, although a talented side, dont have the depth to go the whole way but i do expect them to make a push into the playoffs and maybe an NFC semi. beyond that im not so sure.

    Pats destroyed us early on today and we looked flat. hoping we an bounce back next week. Bengals will be hard to beat on their day but consisteny will be a big issue again. Hoping we can remain strong to win the division and ride a bit of luck to push for the AFC Championship!

    WHO DEY!!

 

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