The Best Ever? Rodgers Keys Powerhouse Attack

The 1962 scoring record set by Bart Starr and Vince Lombardi will be trampled this year by Aaron Rodgers and his overwhelming supporting cast. This group appears to be without flaws through the first three preseason games.

Last year's Green Bay Packers set a franchise record for points scored with 461.

In terms of points per game, though, the Vince Lombardi-Bart Starr juggernaut of 1962 holds the standard with an average of 29.6, or 0.8 more than last year's offense.

However you want to slice it, expect Aaron Rodgers and the 2010 Packers to obliterate those marks and hoist the mantle of most explosive offense in franchise history.

At age 26, Rodgers looks like he'll challenge to be the Packers' first league MVP since Brett Favre won the first of three straight when he was 26 in 1995. With an unparalleled behind-the-scenes work ethic, a superb supporting cast and top-notch coaching, Rodgers is coming off of a record-setting 2009 and is in the midst of a brilliant preseason.

Last summer, Rodgers compiled a passer rating of 147.9 with 70.7 percent accuracy, six touchdowns, no interceptions and no sacks. This summer, the numbers are practically the same — a league-best 141.2 rating, 77.4 percent accuracy, six touchdowns, no interceptions and no sacks.

"Very productive," Rodgers said after Thursday's game in summing up his preseason. "The last two years, I felt real good about where we've been at the end of preseason, but I feel better this year because I think we have a little bit more of an identity on offense, where last year we made a lot of big plays but I don't really felt like we ever established kind of what we wanted to do. And now it's pretty obvious, we're going to find ways to get the ball to Jermichael and find ways to get the ball to Donald and Greg, Jordy, James. When we get into a rhythm like we have this preseason on offense, we're going to be tough to stop. It's fun."

Part of that identity is an established offensive line. Even though Rodgers wasn't sacked last preseason, Chad Clifton was coming off of surgeries to both knees and both shoulders and Allen Barbre stood out as a major question mark at right tackle. This preseason, Clifton is healthy and Mark Tauscher has reclaimed his spot at right tackle.

During Thursday's game against Indianapolis, Clifton and Tauscher handled the duo of Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis, who combined for 23 sacks last season. Rodgers was hit just twice on 29 first-half dropbacks, the first on a six-man rush when he hit Jermichael Finley for a touchdown and the second during the successful two-minute drill.

"I thought the protection looked good," offensive coordinator Joe Philbin said. "I'm interested in watching the film, but I thought overall, that part of the game, you've got to be pleased with. Obviously, we all know we can't start the way we started a year ago in terms of our protection of the quarterback."

Aaron Rodgers has a mastery of the offense.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
The second part of that identity is an underrated running game. How underrated? The Packers ranked 14th in the NFL in rushing last season with 117.8 yards per game and 11th in yards per carry with 4.3. The yardage figure trailed the mighty Vikings by just 2.1 yards per game and the yards per carry was 0.2 yards better than the Vikings.

Ryan Grant is coming off of back-to-back 1,200-yard seasons. His two fumbles during the preseason are a concern but he enters this regular season with a streak of 291 consecutive carries without a fumble. Only former teammate Ahman Green (393) has a longer streak. It helps to have a dominating offensive lineman to run behind in right guard Josh Sitton.

The third part of that identity is a ridiculously talented and deep group of pass-catchers. Only the Colts' Reggie Wayne can match Donald Driver's streak of six consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. Even with a so-called "down" season, Greg Jennings ranked second among NFC receivers in yards after catch and second among NFC receivers in yards per reception. And James Jones and Jordy Nelson are productive complements.

Add to that Finley, who dominated down the stretch last season and very well could be the NFL's best tight end. He was unstoppable in the playoff loss at Arizona and has been unstoppable in the preseason. Rodgers doesn't force the ball to anyone, but Finley has become his go-to target. In the Packers' two-minute drill on Thursday, there was this four-play segment: Rodgers to Finley for 10 yards, Rodgers to Finley for 25 yards, Rodgers kills clock with spike and Rodgers to Finley for 15 yards. Early in the second quarter, Finley's jersey was practically yanked off but he still hauled in the pass for 15 yards.

Simply, he is too tall, too fast, too strong and too good.

And finally, there's Rodgers. He was brilliant last season as the only quarterback in NFL history to top 4,000 passing yards, 300 rushing yards and 30 touchdown passes with seven or fewer interceptions. Then there was his heart-stopping comeback in the playoff game. In three preseason games, he's led the offense to seven touchdowns and a field goal in 14 drives. Only three times has the drive ended with a punt. On the two-minute drive, he completed all seven passes (not including the spike) to cover the 78 yards.

Plus, Rodgers just doesn't throw interceptions, as we told you last week.

"He's started 33 games in the NFL, whether it be regular season or postseason," Philbin said. "In our evaluation of those 33 games, he's a good football player and a leader and has a good mastery of our offensive system. I don't know that any of us are surprised at the way he's playing and I don't know that I'm putting anything into this more than what I already know about him. I think he's playing well. I think he's been a good quarterback for us and we're looking forward to him become even better as the years go on."

Last year, the Packers ranked third in the NFL in scoring, in no small part due to a league-high 40 takeaways and league-best 16 giveaways. So, the Packers will have to get close to duplicating that feat. But the potential of this offense was evident late last year, when the Packers averaged 40.5 points in their final four games.

If the defense suffers through some early-season growing pains, then Rodgers and Co. are going to have to come out firing. Based on what's been on display in August, good luck to opposing defenses.

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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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