Green Bay Packers' 2010 Regular Season Report Card

Sal DeRose@@TheSalDeRoseCorrespondent IJanuary 6, 2011

GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 02:  Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers circles the field after the Packers win over the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field on January 2, 2011 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

What began as a high expectation season for the Green Bay Packers quickly took a turn for the worst.

In the first game of the season starting running back Ryan Grant hurt his ankle and that would later undergo surgery, promptly ending his season.

This was one of the many injuries that plagued Green Bay throughout the season and continues to do so looking into their Wildcard matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles.

But, through those injuries, a team rose from the ashes and fought hard all season long to a 10-6 record and a last second, wildcard berth.

Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson did a great job looking for and capitalizing on the talent they signed and drafted throughout the year.

A hard fought 10-6 record, second place in the NFC North and the sixth seed in the playoffs was what the Packers settled for this season after being NFC title favorites.

Now if this team were to have grades for their offense, defense and special teams what would they be?

Offense: B+

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Even though their running game wasn't what it was suppose to be and it never really showed up consistently this year, they deserve a B+ for their offense.

Aaron Rodgers had a Pro Bowl season even though he shockingly missed the cut. The Packers passing game finished fifth in the league in passing yards with 257.8 yards per game and finished fourth with 31 touchdown passes. Also, with help from the receivers, finished second in the NFL with 8.1 yards per attempt.

The rushing offense wasn't as lucky though finishing 24th in rushing yards with 1,606 yards and finishing 19th with 11 rushing touchdowns. Aaron Rodgers accounted for 4 of those touchdowns and was 2nd on the team in rushing with 356 yards.

Such a low finish in rushing for a team that looked to have it figured out this year with Grant leading the stable of running backs for the Packers. Brandon Jackson, John Kuhn, Dimitri Nance and James Starks never figured it out.

Defense: A

Defensive coordinator Dom Capers did an excellent job creating and sustaining this defense this season. Through all the injuries the defense was top notch this year with fill-ins at almost every position.

Capers did wonders with standout rookie cornerback Sam Shields. Shields at times looked like a veteran, covering every inch of the field. Not only Shields but also Tramon Williams. Williams, normally known for his standout special teams play, helped anchor a Packers pass defense with Charles Woodson that was fifth in the league in passing yards allowed with 194.2 yards per game.

It also seems the Packers have a shot to have two straight Defensive Players of the Year with second year linebacker Clay Matthews III. Matthews from the first game was making himself known and making himself a force to be reckoned with this season. In the 15 games he played this season he had 60 tackles, 13.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and one interception that was returned for a touchdown.

Special Teams: C-

After New England Patriots lineman Dan Connolly, is it really any surprised that they get this grade?

Mason Crosby virtually saves the special teams grade for being 22 of 28 this season which isn't even that good. 

The coverage on punt and kick returns has been abysmal and doesn't seem like it will get any better. And in the returning department for the Packers wasn't any better. The Packers didn't return a kick or punt for a touchdown and finished 23rd in the league in kick return yards.

To contend next season the special teams play has to get better. Not just returning, but also coverage which has hurt the Packers tremendously, like the aforementioned Connolly return that gave momentum and three points to a New England team that was trailing at that point.

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