Take a look around the major sports websites, and you'll uncover a common theme: Everyone is in love with the Packers.
It is a bit ironic, given the fact that a few months ago, most analysts had us finishing 3rd in the NFC, failing to transition into the 3-4 smoothly, and not improving much on our 6-10 record. But after three dominating preseason performances, the Packers' bandwagon is quickly filling up.
As a wise man once said, "Back then they didn't want [the Packers], now [we're] hot, they all on [the Packers]."
I guess it just goes to show you that actions remain louder than words-- and when those actions include 12 takeaways by your starting defense, a 151 passer rating by your QB, and no punts by your first-team unit on a dozen drives, they're louder than a fog horn.
Take "The Jump" to see what everyone's saying.
Peter King, the Monday Morning Quarterback himself, also seems to see the Packers as the favorite to win the NFC North, and claims that the division, at least one through three, may be the best in the league. He points to the Packers' incredible off-season attendance, at 97%, as a prime factor for their present resurgence.
Speaking of SI's Packer love, Aaron Rodgers will grace the cover of the magazine's September 7th edition, accompanied by the title, "The Toughest Job in the NFL."
- Don Banks, of Sports Illustrated fame, declares the Packers his top pre-season performer, and says they've been "the closest thing in the league to a juggernaut" thus far. He also expects their success to continue into the regular season, especially considering their cupcake schedule early on. In fact, Banks guarantees that the Pack "will be no worse than 5-1 when November arrives."
On to Sporting News, where Clifton Brown contends that Aaron Rodgers' stock has risen the most out of just about any other player in the NFL this preseason. Also, you know this writer is legit when he starts off his segment on Rodgers with a phrase I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot of this year- "Brett who?"
Michael Lombardi of the National Football Post says the Packers are the youngest team in the league, and also have 70 blue points. Apparently, this is good, because Mike goes on to say, "The future looks very bright on the frozen tundra." I don't know what blue points are, but I'll take it.
Now on to NFL.com. Although it's a fantasy related article, it's worth noting that Michael Fabiano thinks "there hasn't been more a more impressive quarterback this preseason than Aaron Rodgers," and that #12 i is "the real deal."
And possibly the biggest "hoo-rah" for the Pack can be found on NFL.com's preview of the Packers' upcoming season. Five NFL experts analyzed 09-10 for Green Bay and offered their predictions. The results? Four out of five experts say the Packers will win the division, all of them say they'll avoid another losing season, and one of them (Bucky Brooks, bless his soul), says the Packers will finish with the league's best record. High praise indeed. Although you gotta wonder about good ol' Pat Kirwan, who says Rodgers is just now "on the verge of being a top 10 quarterback." Huh? We're not in 2008 anymore Patty.
Anyway, it feels good to see all this positive talk about the Packers. But one thing to remember. It is all still just speculation. These guys now saying we'll go 11-5 are the same ones who said two months ago we'd finish 7-9. At the end of the day, they don't know much more than you or I, because predicting something like the outcome of an NFL season is dang near impossible.
But oh well, I can't help myself. I think the Pack will go 11-5, beating the Vikings for the division crown on the basis of two head-to-head victories.
Feel free to leave your predictions and thoughts in the comments.
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