Packers Super Bowl Chances: Three Causes for Concern

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What me, worry?

If you are a Packers fan, you already know that this season is basically Super Bowl or bust. Ted Thompson even changed his ways, looking to free agents for some immediate help. The team enters the year as one of the favorites to reach New Orleans, while last season’s postseason disappointment is still fresh in everyone’s memory. While the Packers on paper look as good as anyone, there are still some concerns. Here’s a look at the three positions that cause the most concern for the Packers in 2012.

Running Back

A team with Aaron Rodgers as their quarterback is not going to run the ball that often, but they still need to be able to do it on occasion. The signing of Cedric Benson should help, but as he gets up there in age his production will not likely be what it used to be. When it comes to other running back options, there just really is not much there. Alex Green, James Starks and Brandon Saine have all been restricted by injuries this preseason, but they also have just not been very impressive when on the field. The running game has to be at least a threat, or defenses will be able to focus on the pass more than ever.

Young Defenders

The Packers are known more for their offense, but the defense still needs to be solid. Nick Perry, Jerel Worthy, Mike Daniels, Casey Hayward, Jerron McMillian and Dezman Moses are all rookies that the Packers are most likely going to hand significant minutes. This is partly due to necessity, as last year’s defensive performances will attest to.In addition, the Packers have always been a team that prefers the draft-and-develop method.

Backup Quarterback

Yes, everyone hopes it never comes to this, but the Packers no longer have the security blanket of Matt Flynn if something goes wrong with Aaron Rodgers. Instead, they enter the season with Graham Harrell. While Harrell has been in the system for a few seasons, he still does not seem to be ready to provide much value as a NFL quarterback.

Rodgers has been pretty durable, but remember that he did suffer a pair of concussions in 2010. All quarterbacks are just one hit away from possibly missing time. To achieve the long term goal of reaching the Super Bowl, there may be a need fo someone to “hold the fort” for a game or two. Fans were confident with Flynn in that role. Harrell? Not so much.

This post has been guest written by the football staff at www.fanduel.com, the number one site where you can draft a new team every week to play in fantasy football money leagues.

  • Mr. Bacon

    I wouldn’t worry much about running back as the position in time is becoming more expendable. It’s sad but it’s true. What we need is three things.

    * Ball Security
    * Minimum of 4-5 yards per Carry
    * Hands for Screens

    The Quarterback issue is sorta naught for me, as I won’t expect the Packers to win the Superbowl with Harrell in after Rodgers goes down. Can they make the playoffs, win the big one no.

    You have two subjects on Defense, the Pass Rush and the Pass Defenders. If the Pass Rush is as good as it was the final two games of the pre-season, then the Rookies defending the receivers will have a easy season getting used to playing in the NFL.

    If not, we are going to have a ton of big plays go against us because the Pass Rush is the most important aspect of defense this year.

    I am not saying forget about the run, but the Packers are going to score alot of points, so we are going to be forcing our style of play on the opposing teams which is pass happy.

    • Tarynfor12

      The feature back may be more expendable but the Niners will show how important it is to have a good committee of backs with an average QB.

      If we didn’t have Rodgers,we would invest a lot more into our RB committee.

    • Two Bears, One Cup

      Agree that the backup QB is practically irrelevant. I’d argue the more important position is LT with Newhouse protecting Rodgers.
      I, too, would love to see the screen play become the weapon it was during the Holmgren years. The draw play wasn’t cutting it last season; we need to give opposing pass rushers something to think about. . . .

      • Ron LC

        Nailed it with the Newhouse concern, two. I’ll be wacthing the aggressiveness of the D carefully. If they go to prevent early I”m worried.

  • Dan

    Out of the 3 possitions for concern you have listed, I think #2 is the biggest. The Pack proved a SB is possible with a avg or little below avg running game. The back up QB is an issue, but let’s face it, if Arod goes down we are done anyways. If he’s down for a few games, the pack proved a SB can be won losing a couple games with a BUQB (Detroit and NE games)…that leaves the D. What helped win the SB was a good D to complement a great O. I hope the young guys can boost the D sooner then later this year.

  • Wagszilla

    Remember in 2010 when Matt Flynn beat the Lions and the Patriots in must win scenarios? That was awesome!

    Oh wait, that never happened.

    My goodness the backup QB angle has to be the most overblown storyline of this entire offseason.

    A bigger storyline is the offensive line.

    Can Saturday stay healthy? Will Newhouse improve or regress? Is Sherrod still hot garbage? After all, these are the guys that 1.) Give Aaron time in the pocket to scan the field and 2.) Open up holes for running backs.

  • Jeff

    With less playing time in preseason,the starting offense looked rusty.Newhouse has to improve. The defense has a lot of young talent,but may need time to jell.Hopefully that will come sooner than later.

  • Shavager

    Problem with Thompson’s ‘free agents’-none were top level players able to dominate any phase of offense or defense. McCarthy built his team on ‘west coast offense’ style but ignored the run game and consequences of defense shutting down his pass offense. With no run game to fall back on, GB offense becomes ineffective and desperate. McCarthy needs a better O-line to run block and protect Rodgers, Capers needs MORE dominant talent to help Matthews control line of scrimmage and pressure opposing QB’s. KC, Giants, and now Niners have solved this offense, controlled the game with their running backs, a formula Packers should’ve invested in themselves.