"It's not just the maturation of Aaron Rodgers," King writes in his Monday Morning Quarterback column. "It's the carryover from a fluky end to 2009 (the weird playoff loss at Arizona ) and the fact that only one team in football — New Orleans — had a better point differential than the Pack's plus-164 last year."
Barring a couple key injuries in training camp, the Packers will enter the season as one of the prime Super Bowl favorites. They return 21 of 22 starters — losing only Aaron Kampman — and finished the regular season on a 7-1 roll.
Rounding out King's top five are San Diego, Baltimore, Indianapolis and New Orleans. Around the NFC North, Minnesota is No. 13 (declining offensive line, King says), Detroit No. 24 (the Lions might win the NFC West) and Chicago No. 25 (Julius Peppers, even if he wants to play, won't solve everything on a bad defense).
Of course, King had the Bears reaching the Super Bowl last year and the Saints ranked 24th.
"I stink at this," wrote King.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.