By Scott Rohlffs aka souperman79

As I write this article, my World Champion Green Bay Packers stand alone with an 8-0 start. I understand that I have some bias in writing this article because I feel the Pack will repeat this year and win yet another Super Bowl. The biggest problem facing the Packers this year is their defence; especially the defensive line in my opinion. With the loss of Cullen Jenkins to the Philadelphia Eagles in free agency and the often injured Mike Neal out at the time; opponents are able to focus on Clay Matthews and shut him down with double teams. I think this has a lot to do with the amount of passing yards and big plays the secondary is getting blamed for. The line is not getting pressure on the quarterback, thus giving opposing teams time to let plays develop. Philip Rivers was able to shred the Packer defence for 385 passing yards and 4 touchdowns.

 

The difference maker for the Packers is number 12, Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense. He has to be the runaway MVP candidate at this time. He is completing his passes 72.5% of the time and has 24 touchdowns to just 3 interceptions. His ability to put the ball into spots where his receivers can catch it is sometimes mindboggling.

At the pace Rodgers is currently on, he is set to throw for over 5,000 yards with a 71% completion rate and 45 touchdowns.  All of these are worthy of a championship belt celebration without a doubt.

 A team that has truly surprised me this season is tough to call. The Lions have roared out to a great start with Stafford so far staying pretty healthy and Calvin “Megatron” Johnson catching anything in his sight. The Buffalo Bills have cooled off a little bit as of late but are still doing very well. The problem that plagues the Bills is being in the same division as the Patriots and Jets. You can’t look past the San Francisco 49ers either; Jim Harbaugh has come into the once storied franchise and put them back on the map. The biggest surprise for me this season though is the Cincinnati Bengals. With a rookie quarterback in Andy Dalton starting and doing well, along with Cedric Benson picking up from where he left off last year, how can you not be surprised?

 

When Carson Palmer refused to play for the Bengals ever again, I think most people left them for dead. They took Dalton in the draft in my eyes with the intention that Palmer may return and they could give Dalton a year or so to get acclimated to the NFL. Here we are through 8 games in and the Bengals are 6-2 leading the division. Dalton has probably exceeded a lot of the expectations out there thus far. The true test is coming for the Bengals though, as they are set to play the Steelers and Ravens two out of the next four games. Even if the Bengals would be unable to win all of the games, they have an opportunity to really put a mark on this season and prove they are not just a fluke.

You could also say the Philadelphia Eagles are surprising people this year. The so called “Dream Team” has had a rocky start to the season. After a 1-4 start they have won two in a row; the last win against the Cowboys being a very well played game. To me though, the biggest disappointment is the Indianapolis Colts. It goes to show how important Peyton Manning truly is to that franchise. Unfortunately I have a bad feeling we might have seen Peyton take his last snap as an NFL quarterback. For a person who has worked so hard and dedicated so much time and effort to the game, it’s a shame it might have to end like it could.

The road to Indianapolis this year will be a fun journey. The first half of the season has been one of the best I can remember since I have been watching football. You have teams that have been doormats for years coming back to the forefront. You have so called “Dream Teams” severely underperforming and not meeting  expectations; and you have a team who comes from a small town in Wisconsin, known as “Titletown”, doing what they do best, winning.