Let me make this perfectly clear, I really liked what I saw from Aaron Rodgers last season. He did an excellent job stepping into the role as the Packers starting quarterback.
Rodgers had the unenviable task of playing in Brett Favre's shadow. Even Bubby Brister didn't deal with that when John Elway retired from the Broncos. Rodgers performed very well in his first full season as starting quarterback. He passed for 4,000 yards and 28 touchdowns.
Sadly, there was still some who compared Rodgers and Favre. Rodgers can be a great quarterback for the Packers franchise. Hell, he could be one of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL. The good news is that, with the success Rodgers had last season, the comparisons might be stopping. I wish nothing but the best for Rodgers...until he faces the Bears.
The Packers were a lot better last season than their 6-10 record. In fact they outscored their opponents by 39 points in 2008. They were the only team in the NFL to outscore their opponents, despite a sub-.500 record.
The Packers offense was fifth in the NFL, but the defense was 22nd overall, in the points category. The Packers lost a lot of close games late in the season to Jacksonville, Chicago, Carolina and Houston, all by no more than four points. If just a few of those close games goes the Packers way, maybe they're 8-8, or 9-7.
The Packers plan to implement a 3-4 defense scheme for this season. If it works out, I don't see why the Packers couldn't make the playoffs. If it doesn't, well, who knows!
Time for those burnin' yearbook style questions:
Most Offensive Player (Offense MVP): Greg Jennings
Most Defensive Player (Defense MVP): Aaron Kampmann
Best New Guy (Rookie of the Year): B.J. Raji (if he ends his holdout)
Coolest Twitter Page: Nick Barnett
Team Song: The BoDeans- Closer to Free (NOTE: Also theme song for Party of Five)
Coolest Names (Top 3): Breno Giacomini, Jordy Nelson, Atari Bigby
Most Likely to Succeed (Team MVP): Aaron Rodgers
In 2009, the Packers will go: 10-6 (Make playoffs)
I'll cover the Lions on Friday.