Now, I know there are still nine games to go in the 2011 season, but the Green Bay Packers have started perfect through the first seven. This begs the age-old questions of, “Is a perfect season within reach?” and “Can Green Bay go 16-0 and possibly finish 19-0?”
Let’s analyze the facets of their game to see whether or not this could happen.
If Green Bay is going to go 16-0, it must rely on its explosive offense. With the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Greg Jennings, James Starks and Jordy Nelson, it is an easy offense to rely on.
Rodgers is having an MVP-like season so far, and as long as the offensive line can protect him, look for that to continue. Through seven games, he has thrown an impressive 20 touchdowns with only three interceptions.
Another huge factor in the offense is the wide receivers. Green Bay has the most talented wide receiver corps in the NFL with Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Randall Cobb and TE Jermichael Finely.
NFL defenses do not have enough playmakers to stop the mass amounts of receivers the Packers have. The team has enough receivers that if one is having a bad day, another can step in.
The receivers will have opportunities to gain huge yardage against most of the remaining teams on the schedule.
An often overlooked source of offense is the kicker, in this case Mason Crosby. As of Week 7, he is perfect in the 2011 season. Having confidence in your kicker gives a team the most opportunities to make points. The head coach knows that when called upon, the kicker will deliver the extra point or the three points.
The offense is, and has been, the Packers' driving force on the field. This will continue and help the Packers run the table heading into the playoffs.
The defense, in my opinion, has been the weakest part of the Packers’ game in 2011. With that being said, the defense plays a huge role if the Packers wish to complete the 16-0 regular season.
The defense bolsters the interception leader, Charles Woodson (five), for the league as well as the second best tackler in the lead in Desmond Bishop. The Packers need to improve on their 31st ranking in the league for defense passing yards. Green Bay still has to face the likes of Matthew Stafford, Philip Rivers, Jay Cutler and Christian Ponder through the rest of the season. If the Packers hope to go undefeated they must contain these quarterbacks.
The Packers have a solid ranking against the rush at ninth in the league. They must use this to their advantage in the remaining games. Adrian Peterson and Darren McFadden are still on the slate for the Pack this season, but if they can continue to stop the run, they can focus on limiting the passing yards and improving their pass defense.
It goes without saying that teams win with both sides of the ball, but Green Bay’s defense holds the key to maintaining their undefeated streak.
Looking at the schedule, San Diego, Detroit, Oakland and New York pose the most risk to upsetting a possible perfect season. However, the Minnesota game in Green Bay may be a sleeper risk. Minnesota will look to avenge its home loss in Week 6 to Green Bay, but a solid outing like the Pack had in Minnesota will guard against the upset.
The Packers must take each game as they come in order to ensure that they run the table. Each time teams get to this point in the season, the pressure may get to them. I don’t see this happening with the Packers.
Look for the Green Bay Packers to win the rest of their regular-season games and go into the 2011 playoffs with a 16-0 record and the top seed in the NFL. This will translate into the Packers becoming world champions once again.
What are your thoughts?