Detroit Lions 2012 Schedule Preview: Green Bay Packers

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Jan 15, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers running back James Starks (44) runs with the ball against the New York Giants at the Lambeau Field. The Giants beat the Packers 37-20. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

3. Where are the Packers most vulnerable and what will be their greatest strength this season?

RR: The Packers’ greatest vulnerability will probably be with the uncertainty of the defense. We all know what’s been done to put the pieces in place for improvements on that side of the ball. However, having the pieces is one thing – to be able to utilize those pieces and fit them into the scheme is another. One thing is for certain – the Packers’ defense can’t get any worse – they can only go up from where they were last year. That said, if we look to the offense, the running game is another vulnerability that will be interesting to watch. With Ryan Grant gone from the scene, the Packers will look toward two players coming off serious knee injuries to be their main men – James Starks and Alex Green. Second-year player Brandon Saine might surprise a lot of people, as well. He catches the ball out of the backfield very well and is big enough to run between the tackles. He will push for more playing time this season.

The team’s greatest strength is a no-brainer. When you’ve got Aaron Rodgers as your quarterback and a receiving corps that’s as deep as the well to hell, there’s no reason why this year’s edition shouldn’t play even better than last year. That’s a scary thought considering the numbers the 2011 edition of the Packers’ offense put up. With the hope that injuries don’t cause issues, this should be a fun team to watch.

4. Have the last two regular seasons changed the way Packers fans view the regular season?

RR: Not really. For the past two decades, which is the time many, many Packers fans have been alive, the expectations have always been for a winning season, if not a divisional championship. There are many fans who only remember Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers as the team’s quarterbacks. Yes, there are many of us who go back 40-50 years with the team, but most are accustomed to winning year in and year out.

5. What are your expectations for the Packers in 2012?

RR: Is the expectation that the Packers will win 15 games again this year? Yeah, that’s the expectation, but the reality is that the team will probably win 12. They will have to win that many for a division crown. If they get 13 or 14, that will be icing on the cake. I expect the team to be playoff-bound again this year, either as the division winner or a wild card. And anything short of a Super Bowl berth will be a huge disappointment. The talent is too deep and the organization too sound to stand for anything else. However, to get there is difficult, as we all know showed through last year with the loss to the Giants in the first round of the playoffs. Packers fans expect the Lombardi trophy to be coming home every year. Our expectations are the highest they’ve ever been, but we all know this is the National Football League where anything can and probably will happen.

Not to go too far out on a limb, I’m saying it will be the Packers vs. the Texans in the Super Bowl this year. Packers 27 Texans 23.

It should definitely be another fun run with the Packers.

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