Super season in progress

After their thorough beating of the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, the Green Bay Packers made a statement to the football world that they are legitimate Super Bowl contenders, says's Dylan Tomlinson.

It's no longer too early.

Such talk seemed ludicrous before the season. A few weeks ago it seemed incredibly premature.

Now, that's no longer the case.

At 8-1, it's no longer too early for the Packers to talk Super Bowl.

Before the season, a winning season would have seemed like an accomplishment and just making the playoffs would have been a major step in the right direction for Mike McCarthy's young team. Right now, barring a colossal collapse, the Packers will make the playoffs. Hell, it will take a lot for them not to win the division. It's also not a reach to think the Packers will get a bye and at least one home game in the playoffs.

The Dallas Cowboys are the overwhelming favorites to win the NFC, and deservedly so, but no Super Bowl discussion can be had without mentioning the Packers, who seem to get better by the week.

The Cowboys and Packers will meet Nov. 29 in Dallas and while the Cowboys will be colossal favorites in that game, is there anything left that the Packers can still do this season to continue to leave jaws on the floor. Beating the Broncos in overtime in Denver on Monday Night Football? Beating the Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium just six days later? Humiliating their biggest rival with an impressive and dominant 34-0 win over the Vikings on Sunday?

For the first time in what has seemed like an eternity, the Packers are among the NFL's elite. Are they as good as the New England Patriots? No, but that team might very well be the best team of the last 20 years and possibly of all-time.

The second-best team in the NFL may be the Indianapolis Colts. It may be the Cowboys. It may very well be the Packers. After Sunday's blowout win, former Packers Ryan Longwell, Darren Sharper and Robert Ferguson all said they were incredibly impressed with what they had just seen from their former team.

The Packers are the most unlikely of the NFL's elite. While Brett Favre is a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, until this season, he had not been overly effective since at least 2003. He was OK in 2004, abysmal in 2005 and a bit better last season. This season, were it not for Tom Brady's spectacular year, Favre would be a legitimate MVP favorite.

Based on what we've seen through nine games, the Packers will go as far as Favre's aging shoulders can carry them. They've proven they can win in games where Favre didn't play well, as evidenced by wins over the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins, but when they get into the playoffs, that won't be the case. The Packers might be able to beat a team like the Seattle Seahawks or the New Orleans Saints without Favre playing his best, but that won't be the case against the Giants or the Cowboys.

If Favre keeps playing well, there's no reason to think the Packers don't have a very real shot at the Super Bowl.

It's not too early to talk about it.

Dylan Tomlinson is a frequent contributor to and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at

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