Coming off a 15-1 regular season, it is of little surprise that the Green Bay Packers will likely be the favorites to win the NFC North, and possibly return to the Super Bowl for the second time in three years.
Unfortunately, the Packers play in an extremely difficult division with each team looking to dethrone Green Bay as the elite team in the NFC North. Today we'll take a look at five players who'll pose the biggest threat to Green Bay's hopes of repeating as division champions in 2012.
Let me start by saying the Vikings don't stand a chance in any game against Green Bay. With that said, Allen has dominated the Packers since he joined the Vikings back in 2008. It's like he's an unstoppable force who was sent here for the only purpose of absolutely destroying Aaron Rodgers.
Whenever you have to face the all-time leader in kick/punt return touchdowns (17 by the way) twice a year, it is never a good thing for your special teams unit. Hester is a threat to score every single time he touches the ball, and considering the fact that whenever Green Bay and Chicago meet it's a close game, one score is usually the difference.
The best way for Green Bay to not get beat by Hester is to not let him touch the ball. You hear me Tim Masthay; don't let him touch the ball.
Stafford proved that when healthy, he is one heck of a quarterback. He easily separated himself as a top-10 quarterback in the league, and one of the best young quarterbacks out there.
Of course, it helps to have a weapon like Calvin Johnson (more on him later), but Stafford gets the ball to all his weapons. He's talented and gritty enough to give the Packers' defense a run for their money every single time he steps on the field.
The winner of this head-to-head series will likely come out on top in the NFC North, so containing Stafford will be a must-do for Green Bay.
2. Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears
There are numerous reasons why Forte scares the heck out of me, but his versatility is the main reason. Last year the Packers struggled with slowing down receivers who caught the ball out of the backfield. Forte excels at doing that, and his improved ground-game makes him an even bigger threat to Green Bay.
If Forte can continuously pick up short chunks of yardage on the Packers' defense, it will keep their offense off the field. If that happens, the Packers are in big trouble.
1. Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions
I told you we'd be getting to Mr. Megatron himself.
Simply put, Johnson poses a major threat to every single team he faces, and Green Bay gets the luxury of trying to slow him down (he's impossible to stop) twice per year. The best that the Packers can hope to do against a player like Johnson is to contain him.
They can only hope that he only scores one touchdown instead of three or four.