NFL Predictions 2010: Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers were an afterthought entering the 2009 season. But a dominant year by Aaron Rodgers and the Packers new defense quickly changed the perception of the post-Brett Favre era in Wisconsin.
2009 NFL Recap of the Green Bay Packers
With the Minnesota Vikings acquiring Brett Favre and the Chicago Bears trading for Jay Cutler, many thought that the Packers were doomed for a third place finish in the NFC North. However, the Packers wound up being one of the premiere teams in football, and it was their defense that led the way. Don’t believe me? Look at the stats. While quarterback Aaron Rodgers was a beast and was perhaps the most prolific quarterback in football last year, the Packers finished the year just 7th in passing and 14th in rushing the ball. Defensively, however, the Packers, which had installed a new 3-4 scheme the previous offseason, finished 5th against the pass and 1st against the rush, making them the second best defensive team, behind only the New York Jets. That ultimately led to an 11-5 record and trip to the playoffs, where the Packers lost to the Arizona Cardinals in overtime.
Green Bay Packers 2010 Offseason Transactions
If the Packers had any major holes on their team last year, it was the offensive line’s inability to protect Rodgers in the pocket. Thus, the Packer went out and used their first round pick on OT Bryan Bulaga and resigned both OT Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher in hopes that they would get better in 2010. The Packers tried to keep their defense in tact by making Nose Tackle Ryan Pickett their franchise player, before signing both Pickett and S Nick Collins to contract extensions a few weeks later. The Packers also bolstered their secondary by signing CB Trevor Ford and S Khalil Jones, which should improved the Packers depth at those positions.
2010 NFL Prediction for the Green Bay Packers
As we mentioned, the Packers biggest hole was on their offensive line. While drafting a talented rookie gives them talent at the position, it doesn’t necessarily make them a better pass protecting team in 2010. So they might be a little better on experience alone with last year’s starters, but they will still have games in which Rodgers gets harassed and bothered by the rush. Luckily for the Packers, Rodgers does a great job of moving around and avoiding the rush—as he proved last year when he was the most prolific quarterback in football. The rushing game might be hurt if Ryan Grant can’t stay healthy. The Packers used to have some solid help at the position, but Brandon Jackson hasn’t been too resourceful as a backup to Grant. Defensively, the Packers remain strong, and if Charles Woodson has a similar year to the one he had last year as the NFL’s Defensive MVP, the Packers defense will remain one of the best in the league. With Ryan Pickett moving to the defensive end spot and BJ Raji taking over the nose tackle position, the Packers defensive line is even more talented than it was a year ago. Not to mention, these guys have a full year under the 3-4 scheme, and players that didn’t fit last year, such as DE Aaron Kampman, are now out of the system, making the defense that much stronger. So with an offense that should be a little bit better than last year and a defense they may challenge the New York Jets for that #1 spot, the Green Bay Packers are in prime position to win double digit games in 2010. In fact, we’re so confident in the Packers, that they are one of our favorites to make it to the NFC Championship game and possibly represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
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