The Experts Like the Packers

Analysts from NFL Network and NBC like what they've seen from Green Bay in the preseason.

Well, so much for flying under the radar.

About the worst thing anyone can say is the Packers will finish third in the NFC North but make the playoffs anyway. Sports Illustrated's Peter King, for instance, has the Packers finishing third and losing to Chicago for the NFC championship.

Here are some quotes from a couple of national conference calls the last couple of days.

NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth: Watching the Packers and the way that they're playing, I really do feel like the circus leaving town has really helped this football team. With Dom [Capers] coming in and taking over the defense, they seem refocused despite the change.  Offensively, Aaron [Rodgers] is putting on an absolute show throwing the football and you just can't deny that they have been the best team of this preseason, I mean they've been spectacular.

NBC's Tony Dungy, on the best team in the NFC North: I think Green Bay is probably going to come out of the chutes fast because they've got their quarterback that's been there the longest. Cutler and Favre are great quarterbacks and they've got great talent, but they don't have that same two-year window that Aaron Rogers has had working with his receivers. But then as the weather gets colder the defenses are going to take over and I think Chicago is going to have the best defense.

NBC's Rodney Harrison, on Brett Favre: Brett's been in this game so long, and he is such a smart, intelligent football player — he's so passionate about this game and he loves it. The one thing about football that I had to come to grips with is that your mind is always going to tell you can make that play but the hard part is getting your body to follow. You get to a point where at 21 your body is basically made of steel but once you get into the 30s and now your body is basically made up of glass. So there comes a point in time where you have to walk away like I did. Brett showed us flashes that he still can play and that he is very competitive, but mentally once he's done after this season he's going to really have to take a look and say you know what, is this in the best interest of my body, my mind, and my family?  Do I continue to play this game or do I walk away?

NFL Network's Michael Irvin: A lot of us look at Brett Favre with our hearts and we love him and we appreciate all that he's done. But Green Bay is about to beat them again. That's just how it's going to end up. Green Bay is the best team in the North.

NFL Network's Marshall Faulk on Aaron Rodgers: What I've seen from him thus far says that he will have an even better year this year. He has a running game because Ryan Grant will be in play and the offensive line is pretty good.

Faulk, on who will win the NFC North: I like the Green Bay Packers to win the North. If you ask, ‘Is Cutler the best quarterback?' I'll say he's probably the better talent, but being the better talent doesn't mean you're the best quarterback.

Irvin, on who will win the North: I'm giving it all to Aaron Rodgers in the North, period. Point blank. He has phenomenal talent and is a phenomenal player.

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at and Facebook under Bill Huber.

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