It's no secret to anyone that follows the NFL that the main goal of any team is to reach the Super Bowl. At the beginning of the season, some teams tend to place all their eggs in one basket, and live in hope of one day raising the Lombardi Trophy high above their head in victory, as the world stops and admires it's champion.
However, for some teams this dream is more of a reality, and while we eagerly await the 2010 season, one team pops into everyone's mind when considering possible Super Bowl candidates.
That's right, it's the Green Bay Packers. Looking at Green Bay on paper, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that the talent is certainly there.
However, perhaps there is one factor that has doomed Green Bay's chances right from the very beginning. I'm talking about the 2010 schedule, and unfortunately some of the games may limit Green Bay's chances this season.
Tough opponents appear in all area's of Green Bay's schedule, and a trend begins to form when looking at Green Bay's non-divisional games.
So who should Green Bay fear this season? Well, realistically nobody. But it is arguable that there are a few teams who could rattle the Green Bay Packers, and maybe derail any aspirations of a Super Bowl season.
The Philadelphia Eagles are a questionable team heading into 2010. Gone are the days of Donovan McNabb, and we arrive in the optimistic period of the Philadelphia Eagles franchise.
With this said, there is no reason to totally write off the Philadelphia Eagles. Kevin Kolb is a well developed quarterback that has a tendency to be vastly underestimated. Yes, he is still a young quarterback, but his ability to locate receivers and simply deliver a well timed pass is uncanny.
The other explosive option that the Eagles will look to utilize from the very beginning is DeSean Jackson. His lightning quick speed will place more than a few defenders on their backs this season, and when given the open field, let's just say DeSean will take it to the house nine times out of 10.
As for the running game of Philadelphia, well it is almost non-existent. Brian Westbrook is currently homeless, and LeSean McCoy is still trying to find his feet after a 637 yard season.
Therefore, Green Bay's chances of beating Philadelphia are quite high. This game may rely predominantly on Green Bay's defense to get the job done, but Aaron Rodgers should have no trouble gaining points on the Eagles struggling secondary.
Philadelphia were ranked 17th in pass yards on defense last season, so this stat alone should fill Rodgers' head full of confidence in Week One.
Like the Philadelphia Eagles, the Buffalo Bills are a hard team to place a finger on heading toward September.
In the Draft, Buffalo turned a few heads as they chose former Clemson star running back C.J Spiller in the first round. Not only is this a threat to Green Bay, the "double head" style assault should prove a handful for almost all other 31 teams in the competition.
But as the old saying goes "The quarterback is the most important position to a team", and looking around the Bills locker room, the talent is far and few between.
Last season saw Trent Edwards once again start, and it is fair to say that he did a decent job given the Bills limitations in 2009. But now the Bills are one of the few teams to feature a "quarterback shootout" amongst their roster, as former Green Bay Packer Brian Brohm looks to make a name for himself in the league.
It isn't clear right now who the Bills starter is, but realistically there is no concern either way the decision goes. As for the Packers chances, I would suggest that about 90 percent of people predict Green Bay to beat Buffalo, especially since the game is being played at Lambeau Field.
However it is important for Green Bay not to underestimate the Bills, as these are the type of games Green Bay must win if they expect any success in the postseason.
I think we finally know what to expect from the Washington Redskins in 2010, and that is an all out passing assault.
Donovan McNabb seems to be calm and excited as he steps in as the starter, and now that the Redskins have some offensive protection after drafting tackle Trent Williams, the passing game of Washington should be fairly consistent.
The only concern for the Redskins is still not having a number one wide receiver. Santana Moss is a trustworthy wide receiver, but he doesn't have the type of ability to be consistent game in and game out.
With this said, the Redskins do have one of the most feared coaches in Mike Shanahan to their name, and there is no telling what this offensive madman will think up come game day.
The Packers are set to play Washington at FedEx Field, a ground in which the Packers aren't all that familiar with. It can be hostile at times, and although Aaron Rodgers isn't one to crack under pressure, I do expect this game to be closer than some people think.
Once again, I expect the Packers defense to get the job done in this game, as the Redskins offense is their stronger point. Given Donovan McNabb's past, don't be surprised to see Charles Woodson or Nick Collins take a pick in this game, but the Redskins are looking like a stronger side this season.
The acquisition of Brandon Marshall for the Miami Dolphins is sure to improve their offense immensely. Chad Henne has become a much more improved quarterback over the space of a year, and the wildcat formation is still looking to be a threat to any opposing team.
A question could be asked of Brandon Marshall as to whether or not he truly can fit in with the wildcat formation. But given his athleticism and overall ability, the play type shouldn't challenge Brandon too much.
The biggest concern for Miami though comes on defense. How will they fair against elite passing attacks such as Indianapolis, and do they have the depth to survive if injury should occur?
Last season we saw Miami rally with the top dogs of the AFC, and unfortunately the Dolphins came off second best. Now they meet another pass savvy team in the Green Bay Packers, and their defense should be truly tested against two of the games elite wide receivers.
Unlike Washington and Philadelphia, the Packer offense really needs to pile the points on against Miami. The Dolphins are a young team, and it is in their nature to express a "never give up" attitude even if they are down by two or three touchdowns.
Simple short to intermediate routes should work against the Dolphins, as their cornerbacks aren't all that experienced. Expect Jermichael Finley to also have a big game against Miami, particularly in short throws from Aaron Rodgers that could result in big yards.
Piling points up early for Green Bay is crucial, as it is important to break Miami's momentum and put them off rhythm. If points are hard to come by, then a win may be hard to come by for either side.
The reason why I include the photo to the left instead of a typical action shot of Darrelle Revis is the fact that one name is missing. Greg Jennings.
All of the names on this list Darrelle Revis has played outstanding games against, so a telling story should be told when Green Bay meets New York at Meadowlands Stadium this season.
Now before I continue, we all know just how impressive the Jets look on paper. Darrelle Revis is an outstanding cornerback, Antonio Cromartie looks to make a massive impact, and Mark Sanchez and LaDainian Tomlinson should prove to be an explosive duo.
Therefore, this game is crucial for the Green Bay Packers, and you could go as far as saying it may make or break the Packers season depending on how the previous games go.
A whole team effort will be required from Green Bay if they are to take down the Jets, and it is important for the Packer receivers to get good separation away New York's impenetrable defense.
Ryan Grant will also have to have a big game, especially if the passing attack doesn't result in any early points for the Packers. A whole team effort is required, and bar any injuries, the Packers can live up to this task.
Ah, Dallas vs. Green Bay, my favorite occasion of the year. Last season saw Green Bay defeat Dallas in an all out shootout at Lambeau Field, and I don't expect anything different this season.
Dallas vs. Green Bay in 2010 seems for the most part to be an underrated occasion. Often overshadowed by bigger and better games, this is an occasion where to young and well established quarterbacks will battle it out, and see who has the better overall team.
Last year, this win more or less started the Packers playoff run. Hopefully in 2010 this event isn't quite as meaningful, but it should be exciting nonetheless.
The key man for Green Bay to watch out for is Dez Bryant. He's a guy Green Bay like all other 31 teams, haven't met before, and all College Football fans know of his explosiveness and ability after the catch.
The Packers do have the home field advantage, but this factor alone doesn't assure Green Bay a win. Rodgers will need to be at his best, and more importantly the defense can't afford to be injury stricken at all.
Tony Romo is a criticized quarterback, but one that seems to be heading in the right direction. Surrounded by talent, the Packers will have their hands full with the Dallas Cowboys once again.
The Atlanta Falcons are a team that has a point to prove this season. Out rallied and seemingly out of gas thanks to the New Orleans Saints last year, Atlanta looks to return back to their 2008 winning ways and take over the NFC South once again.
Unfortunately for Atlanta, they have to deal with Green Bay toward the closing stages of the 2010 season. Fortunately for the Falcons, they are at home, and they also have their top flight running back Michael Turner returning.
The Packers aren't all too familiar with Atlanta, but they are familiar enough to realize how dominating this team can be. Michael Turner also has a chip on his shoulder as he looks to return to his old dominant and bone crunching ways, while young Matt Ryan looks to keep the Falcons passing game in tact.
The Packers simply need to be aware of what this team can do. Whether or not this means watching excessive amount of tape, or just learning the fundamentals of each player, Green Bay needs to be aware of the Falcons three biggest threats.
Michael Turner, Roddy White, and Matt Ryan. If these threats are recognized and contained, a win should come easy for Green Bay. What the Packers can rely on in this game is their receivers, as the Falcons were ranked 28th in pass yards on defense last season.
It would be also wise for Mike McCarthy to fire up Ryan Grant, and send him through the middle of the Falcons defense, and really ask a question of Atlanta's stability.
All in all, Green Bay just need to play hard hitting and in your face football. If these factors are achieved, then the Packers have a great chance.
San Francisco more or less stole two of Green Bay's potential Draft picks. Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati should give Alex Smith no excuse to play poorly this season, but unfortunately for Green Bay, these two players alone may make like difficult for the Green Bay defensive line.
What San Francisco bring to the table is a good balance of youth and talent. Frank Gore is the type of running back that strives off of mistakes, and if a hole in the secondary is left open, expect him to see the light and drive right toward it.
Now I'm not saying Green Bay will leave a hole for Gore to run into, but if he does get a head of steam, it may be difficult for Charles Woodson or Nick Collins to stop him.
The other threat the 49ers pose is on defense. Patrick Willis is the type of linebacker that can swat low passes and return them to the house, so it is vital Aaron Rodgers gets time, but doesn't hold onto the ball excessively.
For Green Bay to win this game, it will require a lot of effort. Home field advantage plays in Green Bay's favor, but the 49ers appear to be a rejuvenated side heading toward September.
Perhaps the easiest way for Green Bay to achieve victory is by utilizing the deep ball pass. San Francisco's safeties aren't overly impressive, so Aaron Rodgers may be wise to throw a few deep bombs Donald Drivers way.
This game is set to be a blockbuster match up for the ages. Two elite passing teams going head to head in Foxboro, should not only delight Patriot and Packer fans, but the entire NFL.
Threats come from all over the field when looking at New England. The first if of course Tom Brady, who looks to have a more than impressive season in 2010. Second is of course Randy Moss and Wes Welker, who like Green Bay are as reliable as a Donald Driver and Greg Jennings.
What Green Bay may look to take advantage of is New England's poor leadership skills on defense. Mike McCarthy would be wise to mix the playbook up a little, and keep the Patriots defense guessing all game long.
Not only should this result in a fair share of opportunities, but also some questioning on the Patriots part.
Let's be honest, Green Bay may be lucky to win this game. Gillette Stadium is hard for any team to come into and win, and the Packers are no exception. But hey, the Packers have a legit chance right?
The 2010 New York Giants have questions written all over them. Tom Coughlin is on the hot seat, Brandon Jacobs has faded out of the starting role, and the Giants young wide receiver core is sure to be tested this season.
One factor does remain though, the Giants are a threat. Eli Manning is a well developed quarterback now, and now that his toe injury has healed up, he should be as good as gold this upcoming season.
Now I know what you may be thinking: "The Packers defense is no match for the Giants young offense". While this is half true, the Giants young wide receivers in Mario Manningham, Steve Smith, and Domenik Hixon aren't to be taken lightly.
They are a burst of fresh air, and when they get going they can really penetrate even the strongest of defenses. Therefore, Green Bay simply needs to treat the Giants three star wide receivers like they do any other.
Ryan Grant should also be utilized well in this game, as Jason Pierre-Paul will be looking to pressure Aaron Rodgers on every angle.
The Packers are lucky to be playing this game at Lambeau Field, but this factor alone won't win it all for the Packers. Heading toward the playoffs, this game may have more on the line than we originally think now, but the Packers have a more than probable chance of beating the New York Giants.