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The Packers: Flying Below The Radar

GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 18: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looks for a receiver during a game against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field on October 18, 2009 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Lions 26-0. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
ExJx BrooksContributor IOctober 27, 2009

In a season overshadowed by the return of Brett Favre, the Pack may be performing better than the almost perfect Vikings.

Although the Vikings have stolen the show, the Packers have put themselves in a position to win the division many believed they would. Of course this prediction was made before "Mr. Unsure" (Favre) finally made his decision to come back.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of Brett Favre and have defended him all season, but his actions have enabled a talented Green Bay team to play without speculation.

With another showdown this Sunday, the Pack has a chance to make a statement and put out the lights that create Favre's ginormous shadow.

Although a 4-2 record does not reflect dominance, their success is reflected by the numbers.

With the third best defense in the league and the eighth best offense, the Pack has a chance to put the screws to the Vikings and sit along side them at the No. 1 spot in the division.

They still have the Bears to contend with, but I think they'll prevail there as well.

It's a close race thus far and with the exception of the Lions, the NFC north looks like the AFC east of 2008. It will probably come down to the last two games of the season to see who lives and dies.

The Vikes are 6-1, the Pack are 4-2, and the Bears are 3-3 with a bye this week. Of course the Lions need a miracle again.

This could turn into a real contest, with many questions answered.  The question everyone is asking: Can Favre finish out, avoid his annual end-of-season implosion, and help lead his team to the post season?

Aaron Rodgers is again living up to the comparison, which is sadly being overlooked by Favre's play in Minnesota.

Can he brush the chip off his shoulders and move out of the shadows?

Lucky for him, he may just do so this weekend with a win against the Vikings. If not, he'll have to wait until the playoffs or the offseason when Favre, hopefully, retires.

The last question to be answered: Will all the off-season whining and crying pay off for Jay Cutler? Can he get back the momentum and get his team to the postseason?

Only one team can go all the way, and at best only two of them will make it to the playoffs.

In the midst of all of this, the Packers are close to topping the charts in offense and defense.

Offensively they are eighth in the league, fourth in the NFC with 376.3 yards per game. They've scored 161 points (ninth NFL, fifth NFC) for 26.8 points per game (eighth NFL, fifth NFC). They also are in the top-10 in passing and rushing.

More impressing is their defense, ranked third in the league and second in the NFC. A defense that had difficulty finishing games last year is holding teams to 96 points (third NFL, first NFC) for 16.0 points per game (fifth NFL, first NFC) through six games.

Not to mention Rodgers is having another great year ranked sixth in the league for yards, 1702 (first in the NFC), yards per game, 238.7 (first in the NFC) and touchdowns, 11 (tied for third in the NFC). He also has a 110.8 QB rating, second only to Peyton Manning.

Ryan Grant has been consistent, and is ranked in the top five in most statistical categories at running back in the NFC.

The race is tight and the competition fierce. After seven weeks it's really hard to say who is the favorite.

All I know is, despite two losses, the Packers look really good thus far. If they can keep playing the way they have been, we should see them in the playoffs.

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