Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the Frozen Tundra….
Despite recent events, it is no longer worthwhile talking about a decrepit, beat up 1991 Buick Skylark when the current model of the Green Bay Packers offense is a 2005 Dodge Viper. As hard as it is to believe, Aaron Rodgers has been lighting up teams all preseason and yet still everyone is talking about Favre and his wannabe down in Chicago. What does Aaron Rodgers have to do to get a fair shake around here?
As much as all the fans are raving about Rodgers’ performance this preseason, no one in the mainstream media is paying much attention to number 12. Everyone is salivating over Chicago’s supposed best quarterback since Jim McMahon, the number one overall pick in Detroit, and the arrival of He Who Shall Not Be Named in Minnesota. Rodgers, meanwhile, still somehow flies below the radar despite becoming only the second quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 4,000 yards in his first season as the starter.
You know what? Rodgers and coach Mike McCarthy don’t care. In fact, I think they are both salivating right now. The Packers’ first teamers are playing lights out on both sides of the ball right now, and no one is paying any attention. “Detroit went 4-0 in the preseason last year! Look how that turned out!” people are saying.
WRONG! Detroit’s preseason wins were actually due to the fact that the second and third stringers won those games. The Packers’ starters this year have gotten the lead and the second and third teams merely maintained it. It’s apples and oranges.
The Packers should adopt the “Theme from Jaws” as the team anthem this year. They are going to sneak up on teams that don’t even know they are coming, even though they should had they been paying attention in August. There is going to be pain and suffering across the NFC North.
It’s not just Rodgers that’s could be devouring the competition, either. The patchwork offensive line that McCarthy finally settled on a week ago has shown signs it will gel very quickly. Defensive coordinator Dom Capers’ new 3-4 scheme has been implemented with minimum speed bumps and the unit is a turnover forcing machine (and Capers is allegedly only showing ONE THIRD of his playbook!) Defensive end turned linebacker Aaron Kampman has shown he can still rush the passer with the best of them.
Now , could all this hype turn out to be a major bummer for the Packer faithful? Sure. The Packers are shaky at the quarterback position behind Rodgers, though Matt Flynn was showing promise in the preseason before injuring his shoulder. Linebacker Nick Barnett has yet to see action and there is no guarantee he will return to his previous form before undergoing knee surgery last year, causing him to miss most of the 2008 campaign. The punting situation looks grim, and a couple blocked punts could be the difference maker in a couple of games. The injury bug can strike any team at any time at any position.
Let’s be honest here: preseason predictions are based on a whole lot of ‘what ifs.’ People assume things will go one way or the other and they have no clue which was some things will go.. Despite this, I think we can guarantee one thing about the Green Bay Packers’ 2009 season:
It will be fun. Duh dummm….duh dummmm…