Have the Packers Already Won the Super Bowl?

How about a little of both? Allow me to make the following predictions:

1. The Packers will finish 16-0
2. The Packers will not win the Super Bowl

Why would I say that? Because incredibly, Green Bay could finish 16-0 and still not be one of the best five teams in the NFL. The defending Super Bowl champs have been flying high in 2011 to be sure, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers is doing his best 2004 Peyton Manning impression. But the Colts didn't win the Super Bowl that year for the same reason the Packers won't this year: a lack of defense.

Green Bay's defense isn't bad, it's putrid. The Packers are allowing a whopping 397.8 yards (second-worst in the league) and 21.8 points per game (15th-worst in the league). The team has been able to overcome its defensive ineptitude because of Rodgers and a soft schedule—the Packers will go the entire season without playing the 49ers, Steelers, Ravens, or Patriots. Their lone win over an elite team was a 42-34 nailbiter in Week 1 against the Saints that came down to the final play. But at 12-0 with only the Chiefs, Raiders, Bears, and Lions left on their schedule, the Packers will probably finish the regular season undefeated. They could even get through the Saints and Niners to reach the Super Bowl. But the winner of the AFC North (Pittsburgh and Baltimore are currently tied at the top) is my Super Bowl favorite. Let's say Pittsburgh 24, San Francisco 16 in Super Bowl XLVI.

What about you, Emma? What's on your radar screen for the rest of the NFL season?

–Jake

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Sports Roundtable

Patrick Hruby, Jake Simpson, and Hampton Stevens 

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