Green Bay Packers: 2008 Outlook

Mike CraigCorrespondent ISeptember 1, 2008

Before you analyze any teams chances of going to the Super Bowl, or winning their division, you have to look at their schedule. In September, the Packers have three opponents who are not going to give them an easy time.

First the play division rival Minnesota in Green Bay on Monday Night. This game is going to be a close one.

The Vikings are becoming the team they once were back when Green Bay and Minnesota were always battling for the NFC North. Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson is in fact improving, but not enough for the Vikings to win the NFC North THIS year.

And then the Vikings have running back Adrian Peterson. The last time the Packers and Vikings met, Adrian Peterson went no where but to the bench after Al Harris injured him. I have the Packers winning this game, but when they meet later in the season, Jackson will be better and I predict the Packers lose that one.

The second game in September pits the Packers against the Detroit Lions. Ha! Do I even have to explain to you about how this is the only easy game the Packers will have in September? Packers win this one and go to 2-0.

Normally, with the third game of the season being against a very good Dallas Cowboys team, I would say that the Cowboys would win. However, history seems to plague the Cowboys.

Just look at their playoff record since their Super Bowl victory over the Steelers? And the Cowboys franchise have NEVER won in Lambeau Field. I know, all of you Cowboys fans who have never heard this are probably like, "No freaking way?! That's impossible!"

Well, it's not considering the Cowboys have only played there five times. So for the sixth time, I'm sorry, the Cowboys lose again: now that Brett Favre doesn't play for the Packers anymore they might have a better chance, as he had bad luck against "Da Boys". So we are at 3-0.

The last game of September has Green Bay facing Tampa Bay. This was once a great rivalry mainly because the Bucs were in the the NFC Central before they split it up into the North, South, East, and West. That and Brett Favre and Warren Sapp. Do I need to say much more?

Unfortunately, there isn't much of a rivalry going on here anymore. The Buccaneers have a shot at beating Aaron Rodgers and the Pack. I have to say this will be Green Bay's first loss of the season, and they fall to 3-1.

Now we enter October. Three games, one easy one, one decent one, and holy cow the Packers play the Colts?!

Well again, let's do this in order. The easy game following their loss to the Bucs is facing Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons.

Is Matt Ryan a good quarterback? Yes. As a matter of fact, when I watched him play for Boston College, some of his throws reminded me a little bit of Brett Favre. That's why I am honestly a big fan of Matt Ryan. However the Falcons whole team all together is pretty much trash. The Packers win this one and reach 4-1.

Head Coach Mike McCarthy against the last Head Coach who won a Super Bowl in Green Bay, Mike Holmgren. This is Holmgren's last year, so I don't expect the Seattle Seahawks to be a pushover. The Seahawks win this one, and the Pack falls to 4-2.

Then comes an easy decision to make. The Aaron Rodgers-led Packers will be facing Peyton Manning and the ever-so-dominant Indianapolis Colts.

Wow, I'm not even sure if the Brett Favre led Packers could beat the Indianapolis Colts. If Brett Favre was behind center for Green Bay, it would be a shoot out, but I don't know about Aaron Rodgers.

Expect Green Bay to rely on their running game in this one and hope to God that their defense can stop Manning. However, the Colts win and the Pack falls to 4-3.

Ahh, November. The air starts getting colder and the wind speeds in Green Bay start picking up. However, out of the five games that the Packers have they will only being playing in cold weather twice: once against the Bears in Green Bay and the other against the Panthers in Green Bay.

The Packers travel to country-land Tennessee to play the Titans for their eighth game. The Titans have quarterback Vince Young, he's a good QB that can, umm, run! His passing is decent but I don't see the Titans winning this one. If their defense can stop Ryan Grant, then yes, but I don't see it happening. Green Bay wins and goes to 5-3.

Then on to the Metrodome for the ninth game of the season for good ol' Aaron Rodgers. Tarvaris Jackson has at least eight games under his belt for the season, as well. You should expect to see the Vikings playing at a higher level by now: they win this one and the Pack falls to 5-4.

Okay, so the Packers play the Chicago Bears following their loss to the Minnesota Vikings. I'm sure after the beating they took from Chicago in the second to last game of the season last year, the Pack are looking for some revenge. Green Bay wins and reaches 6-4.

Now the Packers play the New Orleans Saints: I am expecting them to be a really good team this year. I don't see Aaron Rodgers and the Pack beating the Saints this year, and they fall to 6-5.

The month ends with a win for the Pack. I do expect to see some improvement in the Panthers because of Jake Delhomme, and I don't see them beating Green Bay. Ryan Grant ran all over this defense last year. Oh wait, he did that to every defense. The Pack goes into the final month 7-5.

In December there are four games, all semi-easy but one. First off, the Houston Texans have to come into Green Bay and play. This will be the first time Ahman Green has been in Lambeau field since leaving the Pack. However, Green Bay's rush defense is a little better than people think. Sorry Ahman. I mean, that is of course if Ahman Green isn't injured like every other season. This will be a close game, but Green Bay wins and finds themselves 8-5.

Here is the last game that I think the Packers will lose. That is against the Jacksonville Jaguars, another team I expect to do really well in the NFL this year. Not even the Steelers run defense can stop Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew. Green Bay definitely loses this one and is now 8-6.

What, The Bears again? Sigh, and this time it's in Chicago. A hard choice to make but I already stated that Jacksonville would be the last game Green Bay loses. I see Green Bay going 5-1 in their division: Packers win and are now 9-6.

Of course, the wonderful Detroit Lions. Didn't the back-ups for Green Bay beat them during the last game of the season? I think Brandon Jackson gained over 100 yards rushing. Wow! Green Bay wins to finish the regular season 10-6.

That is only if these two things happen:

  1. If Aaron Rodgers does well under pressure and plays the way he did in that Dallas game last season, then the Packers should still be in pretty good shape. I mean come on, think about this. Aaron Rodgers has watched a future hall-of-famer in Brett Favre for the past three seasons. So he knows what to do, and he also knows not to make the same mistakes Favre did. Not too many quarterbacks can throw like Brett Favre and get away with it.
  2. The other thing is if Ryan Grant can be consistent for a whole year. We only got to see him play one half of a season. I will give him this, during that half of the season he was phenomenal. Let's just see if he can be phenomenal for 16 games and hopefully the playoffs. With a 10-6 record in the NFC, not hard to make the playoffs.