Much is being said about the matchup between the Green Bay Packers and New Orlean Saints, but I can't help but feel one key factor is being left out.
Aaron Rodger has secured his spot as one of the best quarterbacks in the game—in my mind, right behind Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. But it's the performance he gave in Super Bowl XLV that demonstrates why he's on the cusp of becoming a player just like Brady or Manning.
The Pittsburgh Steelers don't possess the kind of secondary like the Saints do, but they do have one of the best front sevens in the NFL. They ranked first in the league against the run last season, yet they were unable to keep an unproven rookie from garnering an efficient 4.7 yards per carry in the Super Bowl.
The Saints have bolstered their defensive line with the acquisitions of Aubrayo Franklin and Shaun Rogers in response to their 2010 17th-ranked rush defense. Despite that, would anyone be convinced this is anything like the run defense that the Steelers have?
So, knowing the run game could be a huge factor in the season opener, the only question remaining is how are the Saints going to be able to contain Rodgers?
Not long after the Super Bowl, Rodgers said that he actually wasn't that nervous coming into the game because he had two whole weeks to study the defense. He felt confident and played the game like it were any other.
If Rodgers was able to give the performance he did in the Super Bowl with only two weeks of studying, just how well could he play against a team he's had a whole offseason to prepare for?
I'm not convinced Drew Brees will be able to bail them out either, as he threw a career-high 22 interceptions last season. And while the Packers are going to miss Cullen Jenkins, they should be able to keep Brees from getting too comfortable in the pocket.
Just imagine how an uncomfortable Brees is going to do against a secondary that hosts Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams, Morgan Burnett, Nick Collins and Sam Shields.
There are no guarantees in the NFL, but there are high probabilities. I would not be surprised to see the Packers win this game in convincing fashion.