Michael Lombardo: Brett Favre is three touchdowns shy of tying Dan Marino's record for career touchdown passes. After watching Tom Brady carve up the Chargers secondary in week two, do you think Favre will tie or even break the record on Sunday?
Todd Korth: I think it is very possible for Favre to tie or break Marino's record on Sunday. Green Bay's offensive line didn't give up any sacks to the Giants. Favre also used a number of shorter passes to move the chains and develop rhythm within the offense. Though the Packers have had trouble running the ball, they have had success dumping the ball off to their backs in the flat to gain yards. Look for Favre and the offense to do the same against the Chargers.
ML: Wide receiver Ruvell Martin spent a couple training camps with the Chargers before moving on to the Packers and cracking the rotation. How have you seen him develop since arriving in Green Bay? What is his role in the offense and do you expect it to expand?
TK: Starter Greg Jennings has yet to play due to a hamstring injury. With Jennings out, Martin has played as the team's third receiver. He has proven to be a big target and has begun to see eye-to-eye with Favre. Though he only has two catches this season, he can be a threat, though many see him only as a role player. If Jennings returns this Sunday, however, Martin's playing time will be cut because rookie James Jones is ahead of him on the depth chart.
ML: While the Chargers boast the league's most marketable running back, the Packers run the ball with a committee of relatively unknown players. What's the early word on rookie Brandon Jackson? Does DeShawn Wynn merit the bulk of the carries after his week two performance? How will this committee be deployed against the Chargers?
TK: Jackson runs hard and has not turned the ball over, but he might be in over his head at this point. The Packers obviously figured that Vernand Morency would enter the season as the No. 1 back, but he injured his knee on the first day of training camp and has been out ever since. He might play against the Chargers, but it will be on a limited basis.
Jackson has great quickness, but he has made fewer big plays than Wynn, who overcame a quadriceps injury late in training camp to make the team. Look for Wynn to get more carries this Sunday. The coaching staff loves his instincts and ability to make plays. Wynn was slowed by a quadriceps injury during training camp, but Mike McCarthy won't hesitate to use him more than Jackson.
ML: The Packers fielded the youngest interior offensive line in the league last season, knowing those players would take their lumps and hopefully learn from them. How have sophomores Daryn Colledge, Jason Spitz and Tony Moll looked in their second seasons? What about fellow youngsters Scott Wells and Junius Coston? Is this unit ready to hold up against an aggressive Chargers front seven?
TK: The Packers offensive line has been the biggest disappointment thus far this season. Many were expecting the line to pick up where it left off last season, but for whatever reason the run-blocking has been sub-par. Spitz has been dealing with a calf injury and Moll has yet to play this season due to a neck stinger, so that has something to do with the lack of continuity.
Coston started his first game as a pro against the Giants but struggled at times. He may start again at right guard for Spitz, but Spitz may be ready to play. If not, Moll may be given the starting nod. Moll started five games last season at right guard. The Packers do not face many 3-4 defensive schemes, so that may cause problems for the line.
ML: After allowing nearly 23 points per game in 2006, the Packers have allowed an average of 13 points through two weeks? What sparked this dramatic improvement? How much of can be attributed to the development of budding stars A.J. Hawk and Nick Collins?
TK: The Packers should finish among the top 10 teams in the league in defense this season. The defensive line is the strongest part of the defense, and its linebacker corp of Hawk, Nick Barnett and Brady Poppinga is as good as it has been in many seasons.
Veteran cornerbacks Al Harris and Charles Woodson often help account for coverage sacks. The Packers replaced veteran safety Marquand Manuel with second-year pro Atari Bigby, who is more athletic and a better tackler. Bigby and Collins also have communicated well with the other defenders.
ML: Early in the season, it is difficult to sort out the contenders from the pretenders. What is your take on this year's Packers team? Do they have a chance to win a wild card or even challenge the Chicago Bears for the division crown? How high is their ceiling?
TK: With a 2-0 start, the Packers will have a chance to win a wild card or challenge the Chicago Bears for the division crown. Green Bay's defense is the real deal, and special teams have improved dramatically from last season. If the offense can score 16 or points a game, the Packers will be challenging for a wild card berth or division title.
Behind Enemy Lines: Part I
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