American Football Article
2008 Green Bay Packers Preview
In Brett Favre’s final season as a Green Bay Packer, the aging vet guided the club to an impressive 13-3 season and the NFC championship game where they lost to the New York Giants in OT. This season, amidst a lot of controversy, the Green Bay Packers must do something they haven’t done on over 15 years—break in a new quarterback. This portends to be a season of surprises.
Whoever starts at QB for the Packers, it’ll be someone who has never started before in the NFL. Aaron Rodgers, a three-year pro who has thrown a total of just 59 passes, connecting on 35 (59.3%) for one touchdown, is in training as the 2008 QB. In 2007, the O-line looked good, allowing just 19 sacks. RB Ryan Grant (188 ATT. 956 YDS, 5.1 AVG, 8 TDs), a rookie last season, slashed through defenses like a vet. The pass catchers are skilled and talented. They include cagey vet Donald Driver (82 REC, 1,048 YDS, 12.8 AVG, 2 TDs) and the young and sure-handed Greg Jennings (53 REC, 920 YDS, 17.4 AVG, 12 TDs).
The Packers tied for 13th in the NFL in sacks with 36. Aaron Kampman and Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, both at defensive end, led the club in QB takedowns with 12 and 10 respectively. Nick Barnett (131 tackles) and A.J. Hawk (105 tackles), both linebackers, were the two best tacklers on the team. The LBs are an awesome unit. Safety Atari Bigby had five interceptions. At the corners, two smart vets, Charles Woodson and Al Harris, offer smarts, but both have been slowed by injury.
Rookie placekicker Mason Crosby put in a solid season, while second-season punter Jon Ryan made fine strides in his development. The return unit is weak.
Mike McCarthy has posted a 22-12 record in three years. This season without Favre will be a true test for McCarthy. The playoffs are possible.
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