I've been trying to come up with a prediction for the Packers this season that I can be confident in. But the lack of a certain quality, a certain Favreness, has me all bamboozled. I like this team pretty much from the Driver to the Lumpkin, which is to say from top to bottom. That's no slight on Lumpkin either, from what I can tell he only lacks experience (well, that and a few dozen Linus and the Great Lumpkin references, but it's just a matter of time, right?), but you've got to produce to get me fired up.
My hesitation on the prediction hinges mostly on the QB spot, for obvious reasons, but in a way that's all right. By most accounts this is a deep team with quality throughout each position. There are questions about each side of the line, but those aren't new and we seemed to do all right last year with many of the same issues. A lot of teams have questions about the QB and they've done ok. Y'know, like...um, hmm....
So... the QB. To be honest I'm not that concerned about Rodgers. That's not really an endorsement though. The only thing I'm certain about with Aaron is his ridiculous and completely awesome devotion to bad facial hair. I love that and support each variation more than the last. I like that the QB can, on occasion, look like an extra on The Fall Guy.
It's not quite Clinton Portis' flair for the dramatic, but in Green Bay it'll do just fine.
I think that, barring serious injury, Rodgers will lead this team to the playoffs. Remember that this team won games last year with special teams, with defense AND with the offense last year. If he can just be average I think this is a ten win team. Of course, if he snaps a bone at any time then we're staring down the barrel of a Daunte Culpepper signing and 10 wins and my lunch are going down the toilet. On the plus side I won't have to listen to John Madden continue his love affair with #4. That's a check mark in the positive column for lunches kept down vs. lunches lost.
I have a lot of questions about how the offense will look. I have concerns about Rodgers' production, Ryan Grant's health, the O-line's quality and the D-line's suddenly depleted depth. But I still like this team. I look around the division and I see two creampuffs and a quality team with no coach or quarterback and I think the North Title is ours to claim. That feels pretty good. So here it goes...
Green Bay Packers 10-6
Minnesota Vikings 9-7
Detroit Lions 7-9
Chicago Bears 6-10