Three years ago, Aaron Rodgers took over for legend and future Hall of Famer, Brett Favre. Today, Favre plays for the hated rival and Rodgers is forcing onlookers to second guess their automatic decision to anoint Favre as the best quarterback in the NFC North, or even the entire league for that matter.
Not only do the Packers have one of the up-and-coming elite quarterbacks of the league for a long time to come, but they are balanced beyond belief across the board.
Take the third week of the preseason, for example, when they trounced Indianapolis. Granted the Colts do not ever play up to their midseason form in the preseason, but who does? Green Bay scored at will on offense, and their defense made Peyton Manning look mediocre at best, doing all of this without studs Greg Jennings, AJ Hawk and Al Harris on the field.
The thing that makes the Green Bay offense so explosive is their balance and threat to attack through the air and on the ground. Ryan Grant may be one of the most undervalued backs in the leagues. He may not have the explosiveness as Chris Johnson or Adrian Peterson, but he is extremely consistent and powerful, reaching the end zone 11 times last season while averaging 75+ yards a game. Grant keeps defenses honest enough to open up their incredible passing game.
With the talent in the Green Bay receiving targets, it makes it difficult for defenses to double up on any one player. Donald Driver is as steady as they come, over the past seven years, only two players in the NFL have caught 70 receptions and produced 1000+ yards in each season: Driver and Reggie Wayne.
Along with the experience of Driver, throw in the youthful, future stud Jermichael Finley. Finley is a 6'5" beast on the field and an extremely difficult player to match up with on defense. His size makes it near impossible for a defensive back to guard when running routes, but his natural speed is an obstacle for the linebackers to keep up with. Mix in youthful Greg Jennings and James Jones, Rodgers has a plethora of capable targets for slinging the ball around.
One of the greatest features of the offense, it overshadows just how explosive the Green Bay defense can be. The Packers defense scored on four separate occasions last season, while forcing 30 interceptions and recovering 10 fumbles. Stack on about 37 sacks and they’ve got themselves a very balanced defense that has not lost any notable players this year. Al Harris will begin the season on the PUP list, but the Packers defense will not miss a beat during his absence. With Dom Capers it is more of a scheme defense anyways and not reliant on any one player or position.
All that being said, don’t be surprised if the Packers go to Disney World next spring.