Thursday, September 9, 2010
2010 Green Bay Packers Preview
The Green Bay Packers shocked a lot of football fans last season with their unexpected success so soon after the highly publicized divorce with that old guy that's now in Minnesota. The Packers ended 2009 with a playoff berth (although they lost in a shootout with the Saints), the best defense in the NFC and a rising star at quarterback. Not too bad of a season, no?
Give almost any NFL starting QB time, and he can pick apart a defense, except maybe Matt Leinart (sorry, but that was too easy). Thanks to one of the top offensive lines in the league, QB Aaron Rodgers has responded with two excellent seasons as the Packers franchise signal caller. Rodgers is extremely accurate, nimble and athletic enough to gain yards via the scramble and also has a very strong arm to get the ball down the field. He has all the tools to take advantage of Green Bay's nice stock of receivers, led by veteran Donald Driver. Driver has been nothing short of consistent throughout his career and at 35 doesn't appear to be slowing down. Explosive WR Greg Jennings is the perfect complement to Driver and is capable to put up big numbers weekly. Green Bay tecnically has two #1 recievers. Throw in backup wideouts Jordy Nelson and James Jones and the Packers have in my opinion the deepest receiving corps in the NFL. Don't sleep on Nelson. Snatch him and stash himon your fantasy football roster. Trust me.
One particular player to watch is Jermichael Finley. The third year tight end has a ton of talent and is poised for a breakout year. Finley has a matchup advantage no matter who opposing defenses line up to cover him. He reminds me of a bigger version of Marques Colston. The running game has been consistent the last couple of years with Ryan Grant and third down back Brandon Jackson. Grant is one of those solid running backs that just gets the job done and should be able to again surpass 1,200 yards on the ground.
Green Bay fields a defensive 3-4 scheme that is riddled with first rounders and play makers. They were excellent against the run with B.J. Raji and Cullen Jenkins up front. Former USC linebacker Clay Matthews had a nice rookie season with 10 sacks and he should produce much of the same in 2010. A.J. Hawk & Nick Barnett are athletic middle linebackers that are good in both pass coverage and against the run. Former Heisman and Defensive POY winner Charles Woodson is a ball hawk in the secondary and is said to be in the best shape of his career. CB Tramon Williams and S Nick Collins are emerging as bonafide interception threats against the pass and shouldn't be underestimated.
Green Bay can score light up the scoreboard with the best of them, and their defense is good on paper. One thing to be weary of is that they did give up 51 points to the Saints in the playoffs last season, so their gambling to make big plays on defense is capable of being exposed by a top notch QB. Still, the Packers are a solid contender for a Super Bowl berth in the NFC. Brett who??