Coming off a 15-1 regular season, which just happened to be one of the best in the Green Bay Packers' history, there are high expectations heading into the 2012 season. That could be from nearly every valuable player returning to one of the league's most potent offenses, or it could be from an impressive defensive draft class that Ted Thompson put together to improve a struggling unit.
The truth is that it's a combination of both that has Packers' fans everywhere excited about the possibilities of what could happen in 2012 for this team. The only question that remains is how many games do the Packers have to win in order to consider this season a success?
Today we'll look to nail down an exact number of wins that Green Bay needs to get in order keep fans happy and not have the 2012 season turn into a bust.
Fewer Than Eight Wins?
If the Packers win fewer than eight games, it will be considered the worst season in franchise history. The likelihood of this happening is about one-in-a-million, so let's just move on.
Eight to 10 Wins?
Most teams would consider a 10-win season a successful year, but with so much talent on the Packers' roster, 10 wins simply isn't enough. This offense has too many weapons with players like Aaron Rodgers, Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson and Jermichael Finley to win only 10 games.
With that type of offense, teams will need to put up at least 28 points on Green Bay's defense, and there simply aren't that many teams in the league that have that ability. With that said, the only way that I can see fewer than 10 wins happening is if the problems on defense that plagued Green Bay last year become more severe in 2012.
Still, the chances of this happening are pretty slim.
To be honest, if the Packers only win 11 games, I wouldn't consider it a successful season. Even if they finished at the top of the NFC North, 11 wins just seems like too little wins for this team.
While Green Bay has a difficult schedule outside of their division, the two teams that scare me the most on their schedule (San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints) have to come to Lambeau Field to take on the Packers. The games are also early in the season when teams will still be getting into their grooves, giving the Packers a huge home-field advantage.
Would I be happy with 11 wins? Of course, but it still wouldn't be enough to call the season a success.
This is the amount of games that I'm predicting the Packers will win this year, and if they do win 12 games, the 2012 season will be a success.
Even though the Packers may be the most talented team in the NFL, teams like the Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears and New York Giants aren't too far behind, and the Packers need to play them a combined five times. Throw in a trip to Houston to take on the Texans as well as a difficult stop against the Seattle Seahawks, and losing four games definitely seems like a good possibility.
While that may not be what Packers' fans want to hear, it's the likely outcome of the season, and it's an outcome that we should all feel satisfied with.