Three and out: Packers
September, 3, 2009
By Kevin Seifert | ESPN.com
Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert
Three quick hits on the Green Bay Packers:
1. To the extent that a team can generate a preseason buzz, the Packers have done it. Their starters have rolled through the first three games, showing no sign of the malaise that left them 6-10 last season. Their starters have outscored opponents, 76-10. Green Bay’s offensive starters have yet to punt, having scored nine touchdowns on 12 possessions. Defensively, the Packers have forced 13 turnovers as they unveil the new 3-4 scheme. You have to be cautious about reading too much into preseason performance, but the Packers will be a playoff team if they play this way during the regular season.
2. No quarterback in the NFL has been sharper this preseason than quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who has a 151.1 passer rating -- having thrown for six touchdowns and no interceptions. Importantly, the Packers’ rebuilt offensive line has not allowed him to be sacked. The NFC North has welcomed Jay Cutler (Chicago), Brett Favre (Minnesota) and Matthew Stafford (Detroit) this offseason. But at this point in time, Rodgers might be the top quarterback in the division.
3. When the Packers first announced their switch to the 3-4 defense, there was some concern about whether they had enough linebackers to fit the scheme. This preseason has proved they have some well-heeled depth. A pair of 2008 backups, Brandon Chillar and Desmond Bishop, have proved to be excellent blitzers and have been challenging for starting jobs. Rookie Clay Matthews has been limited by a hamstring injury, but at various times Brady Poppinga and Jeremy Thompson have made plays in his absence. I’m not sure if there is a superstar in this mix, but the Packers have more than enough good players to populate the position.