Saturday, September 8, 2012

It is Time!

The title of the post of course refers to Kevin Greene's second half exhortation to Clay Matthews in Super Bowl XLV.  Matthews proceeded to force the fumble that did a lot to secure the Packers' victory over the Steelers.

"It is Time" also seems apt to me as we approach the week one matchup with the 49ers.  As a person who really doesn't follow any other sport, the off-season seems to go on forever, and I almost can't believe that the season has started with the opening night matchup of the defending champion Giants against the Cowboys.  (I think I read that, in the 8 or 9 years since the league started the opening Thursday night game featuring the defending champions, the Giants are the first defending champion to lose.)  So the season is off to a good start, from the standpoint of playoff positioning.

What will the Packers do this season?  There is no reason to expect the offense to be anything other than excellent.  Aaron Rodgers said something to the effect that the law of averages suggests that his stats will not be quite as impressive as last year, there might be more interceptions bouncing off of shoulder pads, etc.  Cedric Benson as the starting running back (at least for now) tells me that our running game should be improved, even if he is fumble prone based on his history.  So the offense should be fine.

The defense was the question mark last year, and the Packers have already lost two starters from opening day last year - Nick Collins (released due to his injury) and Desmond Bishop (on injured reserve).  But the Packers first six draft picks were on defense, so it is hard for me to see how the defense will not be improved.  I am counting most on Nick Perry, starting at Outside Linebacker, and Jerel Worthy, at defensive end, to provide some more of the pressure that the Packers were missing last year.

Here in the SF Bay Area, they seem to think that the 49ers will be contenders for the Super Bowl this year.  I will believe it when I see it.  I know they played very well last year, but I am not a believer until I see a better passing game.  I'm not sure how much the loathsome Randy Moss has left, and my primary issue with the 49ers is Alex Smith.  Aaron Rodgers, he ain't, and I have it on good information that Jim Harbaugh keeps him on a very short leash.

My week one prediction: Packers 31, 49ers 20.

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