Don’t get me wrong Tim Tebow, Peyton Manning, and Andrew Luck are all newsworthy topics. But am I missing something here? Who said that Tebow was going to make it as a traditional passer at the next level? I don’t recall anyone of note making that claim and yet every week a new member of the media is beating their chests and boasting about how the kid won’t develop as a passer, as if that was ever a true debate to begin with. At this point I’m just rooting for Tebow to win every game so that Phil Simms, Shannon Sharpe and Boomer Esiason will all collectively say, “You know what? We’re dumbfounded. How Tim Tebow is 10-1 as a starter is akin to the
distinction extinction of dinosaurs. We don’t know how it happened, but it did. Meteor? Maybe. A higher power? Who knows. But it happened and we don’t know what to say except, well, except that he will never be a good passer. Ever.”
I tackled the Luck-to-Colts debate right before the season started but at this point, what more can be said? Nobody knows if Manning is done forever or if he’s going to start practicing in a month. So for the time being, it’s probably safe to move on to more current storylines. Like, how nobody is talking about the undefeated Green Bay Packers, for instance.
It’s hard to fly under the radar as an undefeated defending Super Bowl champion but somehow the Packers have accomplished the feat. Actually, the reasons are rather obvious as to why very few people are chatting up Green Bay these days. First and foremost, the Packers’ defense is about as fearsome as a box of kittens, so maybe people are just assuming it’s only a matter of time before Green Bay falls. Clay Matthews is still wrecking havoc on opposing quarterbacks and Desmond Bishop has been quietly productive. But otherwise the Pack rank 30th in yards allowed per game, 31st in passing YPG, and 17th in points allowed. Those numbers are a far cry from the unit that ranked fifth in YPG, fifth in passing YPG, and second in points allowed last season.
The Packers haven’t played a full game in quite some time either. They struggled in the first half against the Falcons in Week 5, struggled in the second half versus the Rams in Week 6, struggled in the fourth quarter against the Vikings in Week 7 and just surrendered 38 points to the Chargers last Sunday. But because of Aaron Rodgers, the Packers are serious contenders to go 16-0.
Now, I know what you’re probably thinking: “Ha! Not with that defense, Stalter. You shouldn’t drink and write, you clown.” But Rodgers is putting together one of the finest seasons in NFL history and as of right now, it’s hard to envision an opponent getting the best of him on any given Sunday. There has only been one quarterback since 1960 that has attempted at least 10 passes and had a better passer rating than Rodgers’ current mark of 129.1 through eight games: Tom Brady, who had a QB rating of 136.2 in 2007. Yes, that was the same year the Patriots finished 16-0.
Granted, Rodgers has help. The job general manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy have done building an offense around their star quarterback has been outstanding. The play of the offensive line has been hit or miss over the last three years, but no quarterback outside of maybe Drew Brees has more weapons at his disposal in the passing game than Rodgers. But it’s Rodgers who continues to torch defenses with his accuracy, aggressiveness, and decision-making week after week. He has truly been a marvel to watch this season.
Do I think the Packers will finish the season 16-0? No, I don’t. With two games left against Detroit and a road contest versus the Giants left on the schedule, some team is likely to trip Green Bay up. But because of Rodgers’ play to this point, the possibility that the Pack will reach the playoffs unscathed is very much alive.
I know, I know. The debate about whether or not the Packers are actually flying under the radar is completely subjective. But in my eyes they are and with Rodgers at quarterback, that’s a scary thought.